Sitka assembly opposes summertime Naval exercises

Operation Northern EdgeThe Sitka assembly has gone on record opposing training exercises by the US Navy in prime fishing habitat in the Gulf of Alaska next summer. Most members agreed that the use of live explosives and powerful sonar could be harmful to fish and marine mammals — and detrimental to the state’s fishing industry. Emily Stolarcyk, with the Eyak Preservation Council in Cordova, was quick to point out that the resolution under consideration was not anti-military. The proposed training area occupies around 70,000 square miles of the Gulf of Alaska, between Kodiak and Sitka. Roughly 90-percent of the area is designated Essential Fish Habitat. “This is about finding common ground between two very different user groups who have to use the same area — mainly commercial fishermen and the US Military. So what we’re asking for is for the Navy to make adjustments to their current plans to practice in the summer. We want them to go back to what they’ve historically done, and practice in the winter.” Read the story here 10:17