Alaska Sea Grant
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Managing Fisheries—Empowering Communities

A community conference sponsored by NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Region
NOAA FIsheries

Anchorage, Alaska, USA
April 21–23, 2005

Contact: Sherri Pristash,

Conference evaluation form

For Powerpoint presentations, please see the agenda.

Conference Announcement

Participants attending this conference will look for ways for Alaska coastal communities to gain a voice in local fisheries management. Many of Alaska's coastal communities, rich with vibrant histories and diverse cultures and economies, face an uncertain future. In most coastal communities, the local economy is fueled by a combination of government spending, subsistence activities, and, in the private sector, fisheries and other resource development. As government spending declines, the role of the private economy becomes more important.

In recent years, fishery managers have focused on managing fisheries for biological and economic sustainability. Often, the challenge of addressing overcapitalization ("too many boats chasing too few fish") has led to limited-entry programs, which use tools such as limiting licenses (as is the case with the salmon and herring fisheries) or allocating a specific amount of quota to individuals (seen in the halibut and sablefish IFQ program).

Fishery management regulations, and limited access in particular, clearly impact fishing communities. While there are considerable benefits to limiting access, such as longer fishing seasons, increased efficiency, improved product quality, and increased value of the fishery, there also has been a trend of fishing activity and supporting industries migrating from rural coastal communities to more urban areas. This out-migration of fishing activity can result in weaker local economies and a less certain future for Alaska's coastal communities.

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Understanding and considering impacts to coastal communities should be a necessary step in the fishery management process. This conference will address such questions as:

  • Are there ways to develop effective policies and programs that do not foreclose opportunities to coastal communities?
  • What aspects of "coastal communities" are we trying to protect?
  • How can communities be considered under the federal and state fishery management systems?
  • What do we need to know in order to assess community impacts?
  • Are there better ways for communities to participate in the development of fishery management programs and plans?
  • How can community members take advantage of the provisions of existing programs?

The conference is designed for Alaska coastal community residents, fishermen, processors, fishery managers, and others interested in this topic. Speakers, panels, and breakout working sessions will address these questions. A conference report will summarize the exchanges.

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Program Schedule

The registration desk will open at 8:00 a.m. Thursday, April 21. Stop by to register or pick up your conference materials. The program will begin at 9:00 a.m. with opening remarks and will proceed with panel presentations. Friday's schedule will begin with case studies in the morning, breakout working groups in the afternoon, and a reception in the early evening. On Saturday, April 23, the working groups will report their recommendations, followed by a discussion on how to implement those recommendations. The meeting will conclude at midday Saturday. A light continental breakfast will be available in the meeting room each morning; other meals will be on your own.

See the conference agenda for more detailed information. The agenda includes links to PowerPoint presentations, in PDF format.

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Location and Facilities

The conference will be held at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown Hotel. The Marriott offers a variety of guest amenities, including fine dining, a business center, health club, swimming pool, and whirlpool. Many rooms have great views.

Guest room accommodations are available for conference participants at a special rate of $85.00 per night, single or double occupancy. Add 8% tax to all room prices. Be sure to make your reservations by March 21 to get the special group rate. Make reservations directly with the Marriott:

Anchorage Marriott Downtown Hotel
820 West 7th Avenue
Anchorage, AK  99501
1-800-228-9290 (toll free) or 907-279-8000

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The registration fee is $75.00 per person if received by April 8. From April 9 to 14, registration is $100. After April 14, registration will be available only on-site at $100.00 per person. The fee covers a light continental breakfast and break refreshments daily, a reception, and conference materials. You are urged to register and pay your fees in advance so that adequate materials are available.

Make checks payable to Alaska Sea Grant College Program (money order or US funds check from US bank). Visa and MasterCard are also accepted. If it becomes necessary to cancel your registration, fees will be refunded at 75% if notice is received by April 1.

Sherri Pristash, Coordinator
Alaska Sea Grant College Program
PO Box 755040
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5040
907-474-6701 (voice)
907-474-6285 (fax)

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Organizing Committee

  • Brian Allee, Director, Alaska Sea Grant, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Sue Aspelund, Fisheries Policy Advisor to the Commissioner, Alaska Department of Fish & Game
  • Paula Cullenberg, Associate Director and Marine Advisory Program Leader, Alaska Sea Grant, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Mark Fina, Senior Economist, North Pacific Fishery Management Council
  • Nicole Kimball, Fisheries Analyst, North Pacific Fishery Management Council
  • Philip J. Smith, Program Administrator, Restricted Access Management, NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Region

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NOAA Fisheries (financial sponsor)
North Pacific Fishery Management Council
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Alaska Sea Grant/Marine Advisory Program

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