bycatch. Bycatch occurs not just from bottom trawling and trap fishing, but all fisheries have some bycatch which potentially impacts other populations in the ecosystem. CDQ groups will need to comply with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the National Standards for Fishery Management objectives of reducing bycatch; such compliance should contribute to healthier fisheries which will benefit CDQ groups in the long term.

Conclusion

Economic sustainability implies programs and policies that offer the greatest assurance of economic options over the long-term to a population that chooses to remain in specific locations. That is, given alternative economic futures for a people (or for a community), economic sustainability would entail choosing that future with the lowest probability of inducing economic decline as measured by a range of indicators. Economic sustainability is but one part of the larger problem of ecological and socio-cultural sustainability. Clearly, communities that squander their local environmental resources (or that fail to maintain cultural and social processes and structures) will be incapable of economic sustainability. Large-scale commercial fishing activities can have negative impacts on ecosystems, either independently or through interaction with natural fluctuations. Because the CDQ program is designed specifically to increase participation in fisheries activities and at the same time improve the long-term economic conditions of the participating communities, special emphasis should be given to environmental stewardship.

Recommendations

  • Overall, concern for the long-term health of the Bering Sea ecosystem needs to feature more prominently in the CDQ program. Local level concerns about environmental sustainability and stewardship need to be able to be expressed in a meaningful way throughout the management structure, beginning with effective communication of local concerns to the CDQ group management and continuing on up through the Council process. The allocation process can foster enhanced emphasis on environmental sustainability by directly recognizing such emphasis when applications from the various CDQ groups are evaluated.
  • Economic sustainability is dependent upon sound environmental stewardship. In order for the CDQ program to help build a sustainable economy in the region, it is imperative that the underlying resource base—the fisheries—be used in ways that are sustainable over the long-term. This will require explicit, indepth, continuing analysis of the condition or health of the fishery resource and management that can respond and adapt to changes in this condition.


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