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VIDEO: Alaska roundtable focuses on fishery management issues

The fourth annual Kenai Classic roundtable on national recreational fishing brought together leaders from all segments of the recreational fishing community.

The panelists gathered on Aug. 17 at Kenai Peninsula College in Alaska to examine alternative solutions to fishery management issues. They discussed several strategies for the management of mixed-use fisheries and put forward solutions they believe could be beneficial to all fishery stakeholders.

“When we talk about management, it’s not just managing for one sector, it is making sure that from the commercial side, from the sport side, from the substance side, that we manage in a way that allows for the opportunities for all Alaskans,” said U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

Here is a three-minute video detailing the event.

Murkowski joined Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and a panel that focused on providing solutions that could benefit all fishery stakeholder groups in efforts to alleviate some of the burdens placed on fishery managers.

Together, the panel put forward a variety of management strategies that have track records of success in inland and coastal fisheries. The panel also highlighted the growth of the recreational fishing coalition, and the coalition’s desire to provide solutions for today’s key fishery issues. Panelists included:

  • Mike Nussman, president and CEO, American Sportfishing Association
  • Jeff Angers, president, Center for Coastal Conservation
  • Chris Horton, fisheries program director and Midwest states director, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
  • Jim Martin, West Coast director, Recreational Fishing Alliance
  • Andy Mezirow, member, North Pacific Fishery Management Council and owner, Crackerjack Sportfishing
  • Ricky Gease, executive director, Kenai River Sportfishing Association

“The recreational community prepared for this year’s roundtable by bringing solutions for the complex problems of fisheries management,” Martin Peters, government relations manager of Yamaha Marine Group, said in a statement. “The solutions presented would be potentially beneficial for the recreational users and neutral or beneficial for other user groups. There is no such thing as a solution for one group and not another. To solve fisheries problems, we must all work together.”

During the coming months the recreational fishing community plans to build on the vision put forward at the 2016 Kenai Classic Roundtable.

The panelists indicated that the coalition will pursue implementation of the alternative management strategies discussed, inside and outside the context of the Magnuson-Steven Act, the nation’s primary saltwater fishery management act.

The panelists also said the ideas put forward during the roundtable show the recreational fishing community’s willingness to work with legislators throughout the MSA reauthorization process.

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