Ted Stevens that established the system only set the stage for the seven-year organizational process that was completed when the NPRB science plan was submitted to the National Research Council for the last of repeated reviews.
The lawsuits will certainly continue, but the NPRB and its operating process are meant to coordinate ongoing marine research to avoid repetition and waste while also identifying areas where study is needed, all on a permanent ongoing basis.
"That's why what we've created here is really something unique," said Tylan Schrock, NPRB chairman and executive director of the Seward SeaLife Center.
Think of it as an "Alaska Permanent Marine Science Fund," with the NPRB serving as its board of trustees.
Answering those questions is what the NPRB has been about since it was formed and began preliminary work on the science plan in 9001, but that's not to suggest it has not yet begun funding research.
That and the massive geographic and scientific scope of what the NPRB is addressing make the completion of its science plan even more remarkable.
The 20th member also represents fishing interests, but is nominated by the rest of the NPRB board.
Frank Murkowski's nominees, beginning new terms at the NPRB's next meeting in March, include environmentalist Dorothy Childers, executive director of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council; fisherman and consultant Gerry Merrigan; and, Denis Wiesenburg, dean of the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries.
Remarkably, the document (at finalized at this writing) is expected to weigh in at not much over 50 pages, but with extensive reference material at or through the NPRB Web site (www.nprb.org).
Clearly commercial fishing is a central element of the NPRB in several ways.