Section  305(i)  of  the  Magnuson-­‐Stevens  Fishery  Conservation  and  Management  Act  [16  U.S.C.

 1855(i)]   WESTERN  ALASKA  COMMUNITY  DEVELOPMENT  QUOTA  PROGRAM   (A) There  is  established  the  western  Alaska  community  development  quota  program  in  order—   (i) to  provide  eligible  western  Alaska  villages  with  the  opportunity  to  participate  and  invest   in  fisheries  in  the  Bering  Sea  and  Aleutian  Islands  Management  Area;   (ii) to  support  economic  development  in  western  Alaska;   (iii) to  alleviate  poverty  and  provide  economic  and  social  benefits  for  residents  of  western   Alaska;  and   (iv) to  achieve  sustainable  and  diversified  local  economies  in  western  Alaska.       ***  WACDA  Statement***   A  recent  letter,  and  subsequent  media  coverage,  concerning  the  composition  of  the  North  Pacific   Fishery  Management  Council  devoted  much  of  its  attention  to  the  Community  Development  Quota   program.    In  its  effort  to  argue  an  Alaska  bias  on  the  NPFMC,  the  letter  painted  an  incomplete—and   fundamentally  incorrect—picture  of  the  CDQ  program.   The  letter  largely  focused  on  the  revenue  CDQ  groups  have  been  able  to  generate  through  participation   in  a  number  of  fisheries  in  the  Bering  Sea  and  Aleutian  Islands  over  the  last  two  decades.  Glossed  over   and  ignored  is  what  that  participation  has  delivered  to  the  residents  and  communities  of  coastal   Western  Alaska.  The  profits  earned  by  the  CDQ  groups’  fishing  activities  do  not  enrich  private   corporations  or  shareholders;  instead  they  are  directly  invested  back  in  65  villages  along  the  coast  of   Western  Alaska,  serving  more  than  27,000  residents.  In  working  to  fulfill  the  goals  and  mission  of  the   CDQ  program,  the  six  individual  CDQ  groups  have  created  jobs,  infrastructure  and  opportunity  in  some   of  the  nation’s  most  geographically  isolated  and  economically  depressed  communities.     The  CDQ  program’s  ability  to  create  and  improve  markets  for  locally  harvested  seafood  has  allowed   residents  to  more  fully  participate  in  one  of  the  few  economic  opportunities  available  in  coastal  Western   Alaska.  CDQ  groups  have  funded  the  building  of  fish  plants  in  many  of  our  communities,  putting   thousands  to  work  in  newly  created  jobs.  CDQ  groups  have  also  created  a  better  economic  environment   for  those  who  provide  our  plants  with  seafood.  Loan  programs  have  allowed  residents  to  gain  access  to   fisheries  through  the  acquisition  of  permits,  vessels  and  gear.  Other  CDQ  infrastructure  investments,   1    

such  as  ice  machines,  tenders,  docks  and  repair  facilities,  have  further  enabled  Western  Alaska   fishermen  to  improve  not  only  their  ability  to  fish,  but  also  the  quality  of  product  they  deliver.     The  local  impact  of  the  CDQ  groups’  work  is  not  limited  to  the  fishing  grounds.  We  provide  millions  each   year  for  training  and  scholarship  programs.  We  serve  as  granting  organizations  for  government,  tribal,   NGO  and  nonprofit  entities.  We  fund  and  administer  scientific  programs  that  enhance  and  gather  data   on  local  fisheries.  We  provide  social  service  programs  that  range  from  heating  assistance  to  substance   abuse  prevention  efforts.  And  we  provide  jobs,  both  directly  and  through  the  placement  of  Western   Alaska  residents  on  the  vessels  that  fish  our  quota.  This  is  but  a  snapshot  of  the  services  and   opportunities  engendered  by  the  CDQ  program.     The  accomplishments  realized  by  the  six  CDQ  organizations  that  make  up  the  Western  Alaska   Community  Development  Association  over  the  last  20  years  speak  to  the  overwhelming  success  of  the   program.  Yet  for  all  the  achievements,  there  is  still  much  work  to  be  done.  Indeed,  there  is  an  imbalance   between  Western  Alaska  communities  and  those  near  the  more  established  ports  to  the  south.  A  visit  to   a  rural  Bering  Sea  community  will  show  that  the  playing  field  is  far  from  level.     While  CDQ  groups  have  succeeded  in  completing  several  infrastructure  projects,  the  65  communities   that  make  up  our  program  still  lag  far  behind  southern  counterparts  in  realizing  the  costly  development   required  to  fully  participate  in  fisheries  and  other  economic  pursuits.  Fuel  and  energy  prices  in  our   communities,  which  may  easily  be  triple  what  is  paid  to  the  south,  create  significant  hurdles  for  nearly   all  economic  development  and  infrastructure  projects.  The  high  cost  of  transport  for  both  people  and   goods  places  additional  barriers  to  putting  our  communities  on  equal  footing  with  the  rest  of  the  nation.   While  critics  may  choose  to  only  examine  CDQ  groups  by  our  participation  and  growth  in  the  greater   Bering  Sea/Aleutian  Islands  fisheries,  the  heart,  soul  and  mission  of  the  CDQ  program  reside  in  65   communities  along  the  coast  of  Western  Alaska.  Ignoring  the  past  and  ongoing  endeavors  by  the  CDQ   groups  to  improve  the  economies  and  quality  of  life  in  our  communities  disregards  both  the  purpose   and  focus  of  the  CDQ  program  for  the  past  20  years.   ###     Contact:   Larry  Cotter,  Chairman     907.586.0161                               Aggie  Blandford,  Executive  Director   907.868.7634  


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