North Pacific Fishery Management Council is meeting in Kodiak this week. The
council’s Advisory Panel and Scientific and Statistical Committee started
meeting Monday, while the council itself will get together for the first time
Wednesday. KMXT’s Casey Kelly has more.
has a full agenda, including many issues that will directly affect local
fishermen. This community took a major economic blow with the implementation of
the Bering Sea Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization program. So one of the
most anticipated items will be a report from the council’s Crab Committee,
which is currently looking at making changes to the program. Council Executive
Director Chris Oliver says while the report will just be part of the
committee’s ongoing work--expected to be complete later this year--it should be
of great interest to people in Kodiak, especially the issue of crewmember
1 :25s “…air
time there in Kodiak.”)
Shawn Dochtermann has fought against Crab Rationalization since before the
program went into effect. He plans to bring a proposal that would reallocate a
portion of the total allowable catch every year to working crab crewmembers.
1 :23s “…what we’re looking for.”)
says he’s crunched the numbers and it’s not just crab fishermen who were
negatively affected by the program.
2 :17s “…missing in this community.”)
committee’s report is scheduled to be taken up by the council on Thursday.
Before that another Bering Sea issue will dominate the discussion. On
Wednesday, the council is scheduled to receive an Environmental Impact
Statement report on ways to reduce the amount of Chinook salmon being caught as
bycatch by the Bering Sea pollock fleet. Oliver says the council will consider
the three alternatives presented in the report: maintaining the status quo; a
hard cap that would shut down the pollock fishery when bycatch numbers reach a
certain level; or triggered closures in certain areas when the pollock fleet
exceeds a certain number of king salmon caught.
2 :06s “…until
later this year.”)
home, two items dealing with Gulf of Alaska groundfish will be taken up by the
council. One is a look at a sector split between the different gear types
fishing for cod in the gulf. It would split up the total allowable catch
between the gear types based on catch history or other criteria. The other
issue is a proposed action to remove some of the 800 or so fixed gear licenses
that don’t have any recent catch history from the western and central gulf
groundfish fisheries. Dochtermann says he hopes the council takes a cautious
approach to both issues.
3 :29s “…this is going to go here.”)
fisherman Duncan Fields sits on the North Pacific council, and says he hasn’t
really made up his mind on any of the issues. But he encourages everyone with a
stake in the fisheries to come to the council meetings and let their voice be heard.
1 :29s “…change
through this process.”)
meets first thing Wednesday morning at 8:00. It’s scheduled to wrap up next
Tuesday. A full meeting agenda and background materials for each of the agenda
items can be found at the council’s website.
LINK: North Pacific Fishery Management Council website