For Immediate Release

January 10, 1997

Contact: Marc Gaden

313-662-3209 ext. 14

Agencies Review Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries

Officials from state, federal, provincial, and tribal fisheries and environmental management agencies met December 16-18, 1996 in Detroit to review the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries and to discuss ways in which implementation of the Plan could be strengthened and clarified. The Joint Strategic Plan is reviewed periodically to address new Great Lakes challenges and priorities.

The December review workshop focused on four aspects of the Plan: basin governance, accountability, operations, and shared responsibility. The outcome of the discussions will provide a basis for fishery agency directors to consider changes to Plan implementation.

Review of the Plan is led by a steering committee chaired by Bob Beecher (OMNR) and Doug Jester (MDNR) and comprising John Cooley (DFO), Danny Epstein (EC), Ken Fritz (ODNR), Chris Goddard (GLFC), Gary Gulezian (EPA), Tracy Mehan (MDEQ), and Jim Zorn (GLIFWC). The Great Lakes Fishery Commission has facilitated the development, implementation, and review of this partnership agreement. Recommended changes, if any, will be considered by the signatory agencies early in 1997, according to the Steering Committee's schedule.

The Joint Strategic Plan was developed in 1980 by natural resource agencies with responsibility for fisheries on the Great Lakes. The Plan identifies the lake committees of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission as the major action arms for the agencies to achieve their joint objectives for sustaining and enhancing the fisheries.

"Since its inception, the Joint Strategic Plan has worked remarkably well, thanks to a commitment by the signatory agencies to work within the guidelines of the Plan," said steering committee member Tracy Mehan, Director of Michigan's Office of the Great Lakes. "The Plan is widely viewed as one of the world's best examples of cooperative, ecosystem-based fishery management. It is noteworthy that environmental managers joined fisheries managers in this review. By working together, we have strengthened our resolve to manage the Great Lakes as an ecosystem."

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DFO Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada

EC Environment Canada

EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

GLIFWC Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

GLFC Great Lakes Fishery Commission

MDEQ Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

MDNR Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ODNR Ohio Department of Natural Resources

OMNR Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources