Alaskan Congressman Don Young participated today in an Alaska Delegation organized Congressional briefing on maritime boundary line enforcement that highlighted Alaska's unique geographical location and role in the boundary line enforcement mission.
Ambassador David Balton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, U.S. Coast Guard Commander Daniel Schaeffer, Chief of Fisheries Enforcement, Mark Gleason, Executive Director of Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers and Bruce Buckson, Director of Fisheries Law Enforcement for NOAA briefed the delegation and others on the maritime boundary line enforcement mission.
"As maritime traffic increases in the Bering Sea and Arctic waters, proper enforcement of our forgotten maritime boundary is essential not only from a national security standpoint, but also to protect our nation's economic and commercial interests."
According to recent estimates, Alaskan crab prices have dropped by as much as 25% over the past year, due in large part to illegal poaching in Russian and international waters to our west.
"Today's briefing was reassuring to hear that all interested agencies are working together to address this problem, and I will continue to work here in Congress to make sure they have the resources they need to perform the task."
Congressman Young, in his role on both the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Natural Resources Committees, as well as his position as Co-Chair of the House Oceans Caucus, will continue to work with his colleagues in the House to educate members on the "forgotten" maritime boundary beyond Alaska's western shores, and work to keep the boundary secure and prevent the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices that have plagued the region.