Murkowski Statement on NPFMC Closing EEZ Waters to Commercial Fishing in Cook Inlet

Following the announcement that the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC) has decided to close all Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters to commercial fishing in the Cook Inlet, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) issued the following statement:

“I am disappointed by the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council’s decision to close federal waters in Cook Inlet to commercial fishing, but I am also very concerned about the prospect of federal management over resources that have been, and should be, managed by the State of Alaska. I understand this decision was made under difficult circumstances, and to meet the deadline required under the Ninth Circuit decision affecting management of the salmon fishery in Cook Inlet’s federal waters. Nonetheless—this outcome underscores the need to collaboratively resolve tensions that have long persisted in Cook Inlet. Our fishery management process is intended to give the public a voice in decision-making, allow for a deliberative discussion of management policies, and foster compromise, but it cannot address serious management challenges arising from the Ninth Circuit’s flawed interpretation of the Magnuson Stevens Act. I stand ready to work with Cook Inlet stakeholders, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and the State of Alaska on a better long-term solution that supports fishing livelihoods in Cook Inlet.”

Related Issues: Alaska's Fisheries