In the first U.S. Senate approval of international treaties since December of 2010, Senator Lisa Murkowski today lauded two much-needed nautical treaties being approved weeks after she testified on the nation's need for them before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs: the Port State Measures Agreement and the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean.
Both of these treaties will protect Alaska's fishing industry and the state's economy by dramatically cutting down illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) "pirate' fishing practices -- activities that have cost Bering Sea crabbers half a billion dollars since 2000, and approximately $11 million in lost local landing revenues, and negatively impacted the market value of their catch.
"It is important that Alaskan and U.S. fishermen have a level playing field when it comes to our fishing opportunities. The fishing industry is a vital economic driver in our state and these treaties enhance the effectiveness of U.S. authority to deter IUU activities which harm our fisherman," said Senator Murkowski. "The treaties approved today will help ensure that when working with other nations, as it relates to fisheries, that we are operating with comparable rules."