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24th Legislature(2005-2006)

Bill Text 24th Legislature

00                 CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 15(RES)                                                               
01 Relating to open ocean aquaculture in the federal exclusive economic zone.                                              
02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
03       WHEREAS Alaska wild fish stocks are healthy and sustainable, in large part due to a                             
04 strong gene pool and Alaska's history of sound fisheries management, clean water, and habitat                           
05 protection; and                                                                                                         
06       WHEREAS Alaska commercial, subsistence, and recreational fisheries are managed                                  
07 to achieve the state's constitutional mandate of sustained yield; and                                                   
08       WHEREAS the State of Alaska enacted legislation in 1990 to prohibit finfish farming                             
09 in state waters; and                                                                                                    
10       WHEREAS there are numerous outstanding issues and concerns regarding the social,                                
11 economic, health, and environmental consequences of farmed fish, both in state and federal                              
12 waters; and                                                                                                             
13       WHEREAS open net cage fish farming poses persistent risks to the health of the                                  
14 marine resources of Alaska; and                                                                                         
15       WHEREAS there are patents pending to cultivate and introduce genetically modified                               
16 fish into open waters which will pose a direct threat to wild stock fisheries; and                                      
01       WHEREAS salmon farming has had severe economic impacts on coastal                                               
02 communities in Alaska as demonstrated by significantly lower prices for wild salmon                                     
03 fisheries products; and                                                                                                 
04       WHEREAS Alaska coastal communities and fishing families rely on the health of                                   
05 wild fish stocks for a strong economy; and                                                                              
06       WHEREAS global markets increasingly demand natural seafood products harvested                                   
07 sustainably from a clean environment; and                                                                               
08       WHEREAS the seafood industry in Alaska has developed strong name recognition in                                 
09 the marketplace for wild, natural, and healthy seafood products; and                                                    
10       WHEREAS successful seafood marketing depends on product differentiation and                                     
11 Alaska's untarnished name is its greatest asset in the global market; and                                               
12       WHEREAS the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is promoting                                        
13 legislation to permit open ocean aquaculture in federal waters from three to 200 miles                                  
14 offshore of the states; and                                                                                             
15       WHEREAS the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act                                            
16 provides for input from fishermen and coastal communities through regional fishery                                      
17 management councils; and                                                                                                
18       WHEREAS the proponents of federal open ocean aquaculture and members of the                                     
19 ocean aquaculture industry have not satisfactorily demonstrated that this activity will not be                          
20 detrimental to the ocean resources and to the economy of Alaska coastal communities; and                                
21       WHEREAS Governor Frank H.  Murkowski has proposed a five-year moratorium on                                     
22 all permitting, leasing, or development of ocean pen-reared shellfish and finfish in the federal                        
23 exclusive economic zone off Alaska;                                                                                     
24       BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature is committed to ensuring that                                  
25 open ocean aquaculture does no harm to ecosystem integrity, to existing wild fisheries, or to                           
26 the social and economic well-being of Alaska coastal communities; and be it                                             
27       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature opposes open ocean                                           
28 aquaculture for finfish and predatory shellfish; and be it                                                              
29       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully urges                                           
30 Congress to prohibit the issuance of any license to permit an aquaculture facility that imports,                        
31 exports, possesses, cultivates, sells or otherwise handles genetically modified fish in the                             
01 federal exclusive economic zone or has access to open waters; and be it                                                 
02       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports the regional                                        
03 fishery management councils under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and                                         
04 Management Act and respectfully requests that the councils be granted authority over any                                
05 proposals regarding open ocean aquaculture in federal waters; and be it                                                 
06       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests the                                    
07 United States Congress to require any federal proposal to authorize open ocean aquaculture in                           
08 the federal exclusive economic zone to undergo a legislative environmental impact statement,                            
09 as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.                                                                   
10       COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President                              
11 of the United States; the Honorable Ted Stevens, President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate                               
12 and member of the Alaska delegation in Congress; the Honorable J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker                               
13 of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable Carlos Gutierrez, United States Secretary                           
14 of Commerce; and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator, and the Honorable Don                                      
15 Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.                                               
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