Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP)
North Pacific Fishery Management Council
Agenda Item D2: PSEIS Discussion Paper – Review, Ecosystem Committee Report
February 11, 2023
Testimony of Vivian Korthuis:
My name is Vivian Korthuis, and I am the Chief Executive Officer for the Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP). I am Yup’ik and a member of the Emmonak Tribe. I will be speaking to agenda item D2: PSEIS Discussion Paper.
Association of Village Council Presidents
AVCP is the largest tribal consortium in the Nation, with 56 federally recognized tribes as members. We are in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta of Western Alaska. There are 48 villages spread along the Yukon River, Kuskokwim River, and Bering Sea Coast. This also makes us an Arctic region.
There are approximately 11 more weeks till Spring Break-Up on both the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers. In our villages, our families are starting to get ready for the summer. We are entering the third year of the Salmon Crash. What will we do if we see another failed salmon season? We are going deeper and deeper into a crisis and we need help.
Our villages are now experiencing complete closures on all salmon harvests for subsistence. What are we, I mean all of us, going to do to address this unprecedented situation? Our villages are experiencing famine, which is defined as an extreme scarcity of food. We have no salmon. Zero. None. Our freezers are empty. In my mind, this is unacceptable. Please, help us.
North Pacific Programmatic Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (PSEIS)
We are urging the Council to begin the process for a North Pacific Programmatic Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. The Bering Sea ecosystem is changing at a rapid and unprecedented rate – and this is impacting the multi-species salmon decline facing Western Alaska. You cannot continue to use outdated information to make decisions that affect the ability of our families to fish and continue our Way of Life. The Federal Government cannot meet its legal obligations without taking into account the significant changes to the ecosystem since the 2004 and 2015 studies.
Please reference the full comments in the joint letter attached to my testimony.
In conclusion, I am urging the Council to take action and start the process for a North Pacific Programmatic Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.
For additional information, please contact AVCP Communications Director, Gage Hoffman at 907-543-7308 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
AVCP is a regional nonprofit tribal consortium comprised of the 56 federally recognized tribes of the YK Delta. The geographic boundaries of AVCP extend from the Yukon River Village of Russian Mission downstream to the Bering Sea coast, north up through Kotlik and south along the coastline to Platinum and then extending up the Kuskokwim River to Stony River, including Lime Village on the Stony River tributary. The area encompasses approximately 6.5 million acres, or 55,000 square miles, in Western Alaska.