The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

Proposed Bering Sea Marine Sanctuary Draws Pushback from Fishing Industry

A proposed marine sanctuary in the Pribilof Islands has drawn major pushback from the commercial fishing industry, ever since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration accepted the nomination last June.

The Aleut Community of St. Paul — the tribal government for the Pribilof Island community of around 500 people — says the sanctuary designation would give it greater authority to protect the region’s vast ecosystems and resources, including rich fishing grounds and habitat for the federally protected northern fur seal.

The national marine sanctuary would be named Alaĝum Kanuux̂, or Heart of the Ocean — and if approved, it would be the first of its kind in Alaska, possibly creating a new precedent for resource management in the state.

Lauren Divine is the director for the tribe’s ecosystem conservation office. She said the sanctuary designation would make the tribe a co-manager for the region’s resources, which are currently managed by the State of Alaska and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

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