AEB’s Fish News for March 13th, 2014
Headline from this issue:
Spring 2014 Fishery Management meetings – By Ernie Weiss, AEB Natural Resources Director
The recent release of a Gulf of Alaska Trawl Bycatch Management Program (GOA TBM) discussion paper in advance of the April 2014 meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) sets the stage for the next major discussion point of this topic. The NPFMC has not taken up the GOA TBM subject since October, when the Council set out a cooperative management structure for analysis that would allocate quota of pollock and cod to cooperatives, based on the fishing history of the members. As the title of the proposed program suggests, the main goal is to reduce prohibited species catch (PSC) of Chinook salmon and halibut by trawl vessels. The recently released discussion paper is being studied by GOA fishery stakeholders from Oregon, Washington and throughout the Gulf of Alaska coastal communities, in preparation for the April meeting. A new NOAA document that details inclusion of fishing communities in new catch share programs is also being studied by stakeholders, following a community fishing association workshop that was held at the conclusion of the February meeting.
One stumbling block for the GOA TBM program may be how to settle the state/federal fishery jurisdiction issue. Currently, a significant portion of the pollock and cod federal TAC (total allowable catch) is caught in state-waters. However, Article VIII §15 of the Fish News Published by the Aleutians East Borough March 13, 2014 Page 2 Alaska Constitution prohibits the creation of an “exclusive right of fishery” in state- waters. While the Council continues to move forward developing GOA TBM, continuation of the status quo LLP program with no new catch share plan continues to be an option, for now. Click here for more info:
Other items slated for April NPFMC meeting include a discussion paper on the Bering Sea Canyons, and Final Action on Round Island Transit to remedy an unintended consequence for tenders in the Togiak herring fishery. There will be an update and possible action in April on the Steller sea lion Environmental Impact Statement (SSL EIS). There are also several important reports and updates to be presented at the April NPFMC meeting: the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska Salmon PSC genetics update, the Amendment 80 program 5-year review and reports, an observer program update and the fishery cooperatives reports. The April NPFMC meeting runs April 9 through the 15 th , held at the Anchorage Hilton.
Alaska Board of Fisheries
The Board of Fish will meet March 17 – 21, 2014 at the Anchorage Sheraton Hotel to discuss statewide Tanner and King Crab and supplemental issues. Of the 49 proposals to be considered, at least 5 are of direct interest to the South Alaska Peninsula region:
• ADFG Proposal 340 would clarify weather delay regulations to open the Tanner crab seasons.
• ADFG Proposal 341 would clarify Tanner crab tank inspection requirements.
• King Cove AC Proposal 342 would change the South Alaska Peninsula Tanner crab fishery opening from January 15 to January 3.
• ADFG Proposals 343 & 347 would amend the King & Tanner crab registration areas.
Adak Community Development Corporation has submitted seven other proposals, 350 – 356, to establish and manage a red king crab fishery near Adak, 171° to 179° west longitude.