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Gaining Control of Alaskan Fisheries

ALASKA, US - Gaining control of the Alaskan salmon fishery is an important rallying cry for statehood, says Susan Braund for Alaska-Washington Connection.

According to the report published in the PetroleumNews, as Alaska prepares for its 50-year statehood celebrations in 2009, Alaskans are reminded of one of the rallying cries behind the statehood quest: to gain control of the salmon fishery. Fishing is intrinsic to the states identity.

Alaska has one of the only state constitutions that specifically addresses state responsibility for prudent and sustained resource stewardship, for the material benefit of the people, said Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) communications director Laura Fleming.

The vast fishery resources of Alaska are of tremendous importance to the economies of the state and the nation, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. These resources are self-renewing if properly managed . . . to maximize the production of seafood and economic benefits for generations to come.

The state manages all salmon, shellfish and herring fisheries, while the federal government has management authority for the majority of groundfish fisheries, with some exceptions.