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®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week

Bycatch Defenders Oppose The Data Quality Act
CRE and its Interactive Public Docket affiliate, the IPD.US, have long recognized the threat posed to the aquatic environment from bycatch, the incidental taking of marine species during commercial fishing operations.

The Alaskan fishing community also recognizes the danger bycatch poses to their livelihood. Now, the defenders of the current fisheries management regime recognizes the threat the Data Quality Act poses to bycatch. A recent commentary in AlaskaReport, "The voice of the Alaska fisherman since 1999," explains that the "Murkowski administration had someone testify before Congress that they wanted the Data Quality Act disqualified from pertinence to the Council process of fishery management of the North Pacific, or any U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. That way they can keep on putting the reports the big trawl companies don't like in the circular file. God forbid they should use quality data to manage the fisheries."

The testimony last year by the Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game before the House Subcommittee on Fisheries and Oceans stated, "Prevent Data Quality Act infringement on RFMC use of science for management." The Regional Fisheries Management Councils (RFMCs) were established by Congress to manage fisheries resources in various geographic areas. The State official expressed their belief that the Data Quality Act "as written...has the potential to have significant ramifications on the RFMC process...."

The testimony demonstrates the power of the Data Quality Act to ensure that fisheries are managed through the use of quality data and the ability of "pesky fisherman" to prevent their interests from being trampled on through the use of biased or otherwise flawed data.

  • Click for AlaskaReport commentary
  • Click for Congressional Testimony
  • Click for IPD article, "Recent Research Further Indicates Bycatch Is Greatest Threat to Cetaceans"
  • Click for IPD article "IWC Says Bycatch May Kill 2000 Marine Mammals Every Day"
  • Click for IPD Blog "Bycatch Solutions"
  • Click for IPD Blog "IPD Blog In Need Of Bycatch Info"