The NPFMC is charged with creating the Fisheries Management Plan… Shields: “And that process is going to take a year, two years, three years, it’s going to take some length of time. What it means for fishery management as of right now, no one’s really sure.” The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is now considering the implications of the lawsuit as they meet in Anchorage this week and next. The State of Alaska may still appeal the lawsuit. The United Cook Inlet Drift Association and the Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund filed the lawsuit in 2013. A ruling in their favor was announced by the the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last month (September 21). Shields: “Do I have any guesses or opinions as to what may happen? No I don’t. There’s nothing really to base this on. This is pretty new stuff. The court was quite clear in their declaration of how they saw the case, that an FMP has to be developed for fisheries that require conservation and management and both sides agreed that the Cook Inlet commercial fishery requires conservation and management. The judges were pretty clear in that, they said, ‘Go develop an FMP.’ Now everybody, me included, is wondering what that’s going to mean for the future of management. I can’t even speculate on what it might mean, because it’s all brand new.” FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Pat Shields’ job just got a lot more challenging at the Alaska Department of Fish & Game; the long-time Commercial Fisheries Manager is still unsure how a recent lawsuit over Cook Inlet fisheries will change area management.