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January 31, 2006

Pollock fleet provides record funding


Fairbanks, Alaska—Donations from a group of North Pacific pollock fishing companies to the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have made them the single largest private contributor in School history.

The Pollock Conservation Cooperative is composed of member companies of the At-sea Processors Association. The cooperative has donated over $6.3 million to the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences to fund the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center. The research center was founded in 2000 and receives over $1 million annually from the pollock fleet for marine research and education.

The Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center provides grants to University of Alaska faculty and other scientists to study North Pacific marine and coastal ecosystem issues, fisheries and marine mammals. Recent projects
funded by the center include a seafood technical training program in Western Alaska, a study of Northern fur seals in the Pribilof Islands and research into pollock reproduction in the eastern Bering Sea. Projects often involve
University of Alaska graduate students working on their own thesis research under the supervision of project leaders.

"The Pollock Conservation Cooperative is a model of private industry giving back to the state of Alaska by promoting sustainability and investing in higher education," said Denis Wiesenburg, Dean of the School of Fisheries and Ocean
Sciences. "The School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences is proud to be able to provide these funds to scientists and graduate students to study the health of the North Pacific and Bering Sea ecosystems."

Contributions by the industry cooperative also fund the Ted Stevens Distinguished Professorship of Marine Policy, a new position that will provide leadership in the area of marine policy with emphasis on the North Pacific. The
new professor's responsibilities include the development of an educational program in marine policy at the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

"One of our goals as a university is to be relevant and responsive to the knowledge and education needs of Alaska's key industries," said UAF Chancellor Steve Jones. "UAF and the Pollock Conservation Cooperative enjoy a very positive relationship."

The cooperative has been nominated for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Sustainable Fisheries Leadership Award in Stewardship and Sustainability by the Marine Conservation Alliance, an Alaska non-profit located in Juneau. Pollock Conservation Cooperative members include Alaska Ocean
Seafood, American Seafoods Company, Arctic Storm, Glacier Fish Company, Highland Light Seafoods, Starbound, and Trident Seafoods Corporation.

UAF Chancellor Steve Jones will host a special reception to thank the cooperative's member companies in Seattle on February 9, 2006.

The UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. More than 60 faculty scientists and 150 graduate students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. SFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.


Denis Wiesenburg
Dean, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences

Carin Bailey
Public Information Officer

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