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Members needed to support Sustainable Salmon Initiative

February 8th, 2011 | Alaska Newspapers Staff Print this article   Email this article  

The Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Initiative (AYK SSI) Steering Committee (SC) is distributing this call for nominations to solicit interest for new members on the AYK SSI Scientific Technical Committee (STC), as outlined in the AYK SSI Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The following information describes the background, selection requirements and responsibilities for the STC. Please use them as a guide in making your nominations.

Since 1997, salmon returns to Western Alaska have been subject to 16 state and federal disaster declarations. Low salmon runs create numerous hardships for the people and communities that depend so heavily on this fishery resource. Poor returns of Chinook and chum salmon to the Yukon River, Kuskokwim River, and rivers draining into Norton Sound, have led to severe restrictions on commercial and subsistence fisheries.

In order to identify the causes of the declines and recoveries, native regional organizations led the charge, joined with state and federal agencies to form an innovative partnership to cooperatively address salmon research and restoration needs.

This partnership includes the Association of Village Council Presidents, the Tanana Chiefs Conference, Kawerak, Inc., Bering Sea Fishermen's Association, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

In 2001, the partners established the AYK SSI through an MOU and created a process and structure to insure the coordinated expenditure of research funds. The AYK SSI is governed by an eight-member Steering Committee and advised by a six-member Scientific and Technical Committee composed of members representing relevant scientific disciplines.

The AYK SSI is the largest salmon research coalition in the state and one of the largest most diverse collaborative research efforts to rebuild salmon runs on the entire North Pacific coast.

The purpose of the AYK Sustainable Salmon Initiative is to foster expanded fishery research in order to help understand the causes of the declines and recoveries of AYK salmon stocks and to support sustainable salmon management in the region by:

1. Identifying pressing research and information needs throughout the salmon lifecycle and by funding proposals related to the freshwater, near shore and marine phases of AYK salmon stocks, as well as research proposals spanning multiple life-history phases.

2. Facilitating coordination and cooperation among research and management institutions by developing a dynamic, comprehensive, long range Research and Restoration Plan for the region.

The following information is excerpted, in part, from the AYK SSI MOU and sets forth the structure and responsibilities for the Scientific Technical Committee:

V. Scientific Technical Committee

1. STC Membership

The Scientific Technical Committee (STC) shall consist of six members nominated by the signatories to this MOU and the public. The Steering Committee shall select STC members from these nominations.

Members of the STC shall be selected based upon their knowledge, expertise and ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the STC as outlined in this agreement.

Membership shall represent scientific disciplines including, but not be limited to, fisheries sciences, socioeconomic sciences, aquatic habitat restoration, fish culture, marine ecology, freshwater ecology, community and population modeling, and population genetics. Members of the STC may be employed by the signatories to this MOU, and two members shall be ADF&G employees (one biologist, one social scientist from the Division of Subsistence). However, no more than one member may be employed by any one of these groups or a federal agency, the Bering Sea Fishermen's Association or a regional Native organization. At least two members must be selected from the private or academic sector.

In addition to relying on its official members, the STC may consult with other scientific and local-knowledge experts in the development of the Research and Restoration Plan.

2. STC Responsibilities

STC members will exercise their best independent professional judgment to advance understanding of salmon abundance and distribution in the AYK area and the fisheries they support, independent of the governmental, academic, or private sector they may represent.

The STC shall:

• Choose a Chair and Vice-Chair for the STC by consensus. The Chair will work closely with the Chair of the Steering Committee. The Vice Chair will act in the capacity of the Chair whenever the Chair is absent from a meeting.

• Develop recommendations for restoration projects that will increase salmon returns to the AYK area.

• Evaluate suggested projects based on their merit and make recommendations to the Steering Committee.

• Regularly review the Research and Restoration Plan and ongoing projects throughout the life of this MOU, including reviewing project design and the utility of continuing ongoing projects; making relevant recommendations to the Steering Committee to ensure research and restoration is conducted effectively and efficiently; and making recommendations for augmenting, updating and revising research questions.

VI. Support for the Steering Committee and STC

The following support activities will be paid from funds appropriated for this effort:

• Travel and accommodation expenses for the individuals selected to serve on the Steering Committee and the STC. Professional Service fees for academic and private sector involvement on the Steering Committee and STC, and support services for committee activities.

• Logistical support for the meetings of the Steering Committee and the STC, the coordination of communication and public outreach efforts, administrative support and the hiring of staff.

Nomination Process:

Please provide a Letter of Interest/Support which includes the candidate's name(s) and contact information: mailing address, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail address, as well as why you think this person fulfills the above requirements. Please briefly describe the candidate's knowledge, area of expertise or scientific discipline. Ideally, a resume or curriculum vitae would be attached along with a list of publications. Nominations must be received by March 10, 2011.

Nominations to the AYK SSI Scientific Technical Committee can be sent, emailed, or hand delivered to the AYK SSI Steering Committee, in care of Bering Sea Fishermen's Association at the address below:

AYK Sustainable Salmon Initiative

c/o Bering Sea Fishermen's Association

110 W. 15th Avenue

Anchorage, AK 99501


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