Murkowski Urges NOAA to Help Alaska’s Fishermen Deal With Debris

Senator Shares Concerns on Hazards with NOAA Administrator

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hearing tsunami debris concerns rising among Alaska’s fishermen, Senator Lisa Murkowski reached out to NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, pushing for information on the status of ongoing prevention and monitoring efforts.

“Alaska is already experiencing higher levels of debris than typical, particularly off Montague and Kayak Islands in the Prince Williams Sound area,” Murkowski notified Lubchenco in a letter (attached).  “I respectfully request that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration coordinate with other federal agencies, the State of Alaska, local governments, and local industry to track debris that could encroach on historical fishing grounds and make vessel operators aware of the location of potential hazards.”

Senator Murkowski closed her letter by pointing out that extra funding is provided in the FY2013 Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill to track and mitigate debris from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.  Murkowski sits on that subcommittee and works to fund programs critical to Alaska’s fisheries.