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March 27, 2007

Fisheries center funds $300,000 in new research projects

Fairbanks, Alaska—The Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has awarded more than $300,000 to fisheries and marine scientists to study the health of Alaska’s marine resources.

Projects funded by the center this year include a study of sharks in the Bering Sea, an investigation into the causes of the Northern fur seal decline, an examination of how to improve management of Pacific Ocean perch and the continuation of a seafood processing and marketing training program in Western Alaska.

Administered through the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the PCCRC provides funding for peer-reviewed research of North Pacific fisheries, marine mammals and coastal ecosystem issues, as well as for training and education programs for Alaska’s fishermen. Research projects often involve UAF graduate students working on their own thesis research under the supervision of project leaders.

Last year, projects funded by the PCCRC included a study that used local and traditional knowledge to investigate the history of interactions between Steller sea lions and Alaska’s fishermen. Other projects included an analysis of fish habitat in kelp communities in Kachemak Bay and a genetics study of chum salmon.

The research center was founded in 2000 with a grant from the Pollock Conservation Cooperative. The cooperative is composed of North Pacific pollock fishing companies of the At-sea Processors Association. The PCC has contributed more than $7.4 million to UAF for marine research and education and funded more than 40 research projects. The group also provides funding for the Ted Stevens Distinguished Professor of Marine Policy.

UAF Chancellor Steve Jones and SFOS Dean Denis Wiesenburg will host a special reception thanking the Pollock Conservation Cooperative at the Hilton Hotel in Anchorage on Wednesday.

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 135 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.

Contact

Carin Bailey
Public Information Officer
UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Tel: (907) 322-8730
E-mail: bailey@sfos.uaf.edu

Denis Wiesenburg
PCCRC Director
Dean, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Tel: (907) 474-7210
E-mail: wiesenburg@sfos.uaf.edu

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