Oct. 3, 2012
Bristol Bay Red King Crab
Season Opens October 15th -
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have completed analysis of NMFS trawl survey data for Bristol Bay red king crab. The 2012/2013 total allowable catch (TAC) is based on abundance and biomass estimates from the ADF&G length-based analysis model.
The Bristol Bay red king crab mature female abundance is over the threshold of 8.4 million crab and the effective spawning biomass (ESB) is over the threshold of 14.5 million pounds. The 2012 Bristol Bay red king crab ESB is estimated to be 44.2 million pounds.
The ESB estimate is less than 55.0 million pounds but greater than 34.75 million pounds, therefore a 12.5 percent exploitation rate is applied to the estimated mature male abundance of 9.6 million crab. The TAC for the 2012/2013 season is 7.853 million pounds and is apportioned as follows:
Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) 7,067,700 pounds
Community Development Quota (CDQ) 785,300 pounds
Total 7,853,000 pounds
The 2012/2013 Bristol Bay red king crab fishery will open on October 15, 2012 at 12:00 noon and will remain open through January 15, 2013.
The Bristol Bay red king crab fishery will not open in waters enclosed by 167° W longitude to 168° W longitude and 57°30’ N latitude to 58°30’ N latitude (ADF&G statistical areas 675730 and 675800) to protect Pribilof blue king crab. Blue king crab were captured during the 2012 survey in this area.
Saint Matthew Island Section Blue King Crab
Season Opens October 15th -
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have completed analysis of 2012 NMFS trawl survey results for the Saint Matthew Island Section. Area-swept estimates and model estimates indicate that the mature male biomass is above the threshold for a fishery opening.
The federal acceptable biological catch (ABC) for this stock is 2.028 million pounds of total male blue king crab mortality. To account for projected bycatch mortality and to avoid exceeding the ABC, the 2012/2013 Saint Matthew Island Section blue king crab total allowable catch (TAC) is 1.630 million pounds, apportioned as follows:
The 2012/2013 Saint Matthew Island Section blue king crab fishery will open at 12:00 noon on October 15, 2012 and will remain open through February 1, 2013.
Fishermen are reminded that all state waters surrounding Saint Matthew, Hall, and Pinnacle Islands are closed to commercial fishing.
Bering Sea Tanner, Pribilof Red & Blue King Crab Fisheries to Remain Closed Again This Season
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have completed analysis of NMFS trawl survey data for the eastern Bering Sea Tanner crab stock. The 2012 area-swept survey estimate of mature female Tanner crab biomass in the Bering Sea District is 19.7 million pounds, below the harvest strategy threshold for mature female biomass of 21.9 million pounds; therefore the Bering Sea District Tanner crab fishery will not open during the 2012/2013 season.
The Pribilof District red and blue king crab fisheries will also remain closed. Details here.
Fishermen are reminded that incidentally taken Tanner crab may not be retained during either the Bristol Bay red king crab or Bering Sea snow crab fisheries.
For further information contact ADF&G in Dutch Harbor at (907) 581-1239 or in Kodiak at (907) 486-1840.
AEB Fishermen Gear Up for Major Issues at Council, BOF Meetings
AEB Fishermen met recently in Sand Point and King Cove to discuss several hot button issues that are expected to have major impacts on Area M in the future, including groundfish rationalization, the observer program, the WASSIP genetic studies and the Alaska Board of Fisheries proposals. AEB Natural Resources Director Ernie Weiss and Fisheries Consultant Sam Cotten led the meetings, which took place on Aug. 21st in Sand Point and Aug. 22nd in King Cove.
Central Gulf of Alaska trawl bycatch tools discussion is on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC or Council) Meeting Agenda in October 2012, and is expected to prompt calls for Groundfish Rationalization. However, any new program isn’t expected to be finalized until at least three years from now. In the meantime, there are many unknowns about the proposed program, and fishermen have the opportunity to examine a variety of options. The question for fishermen to examine is which tools are needed in order to obtain optimum yield while avoiding bycatch.
Fishermen in Sand Point and King Cove discussed several possible ways to protect the communities if the rationalization program is inevitable, including forming co-ops and transferability of bycatch. In the case of co-ops, boat owners would be allowed to have first right of refusal and the ability to lease out their quota share. Those who lease out their share would share in the profit and the burden with all the boats in the community that are 58 feet and under. But there are challenges.
“What about lease rates?” Sam asked the group during the Sand Point meeting. “Should the government establish limits on lease rates? That’s an issue that’s come up. The whole problem with rationalization is it creates a false economic basis. For example, other programs have had price controls, sideboards and the need for community protection measures.”
Another idea mentioned was issuing individual bycatch quotas, which would provide individual accountability. However, if more than one fisherman delivers to the same tender, it’s difficult to tell who the fish belong to.
Other concerns include what might happen if the Central Gulf is rationalized and the Western Gulf remains the same. In that case, some fishermen worry that the Western Gulf could become the dumping ground for all of the other boats. Sam and Ernie plan to look into how to protect one area if it doesn’t participate in the rationalization program.
Sam explained that Council staff recently released a paper on rationalization which discusses several programs that are in effect around the country. This would give fishermen an opportunity to examine other models to see what might work best in Alaska.
Fishermen also discussed a committee formed by Kodiak whitefish trawlers and processors. The committee plans to come up with a plan to present to the Council in October.
Sand Point Mayor Martin Gundersen said it’s important to understand how to harness the rationalization program if it does come into play. He suggested establishing a committee within the Aleutians East Borough communities.
“We don’t want to see a community die because someone, who owns a large quota, leases it out, and all of the people in the community suffer,” Mayor Gundersen said.
“People tend to automatically associate the term rationalization with quotas, like with the halibut or crab program. But you can prevent consolidation,” Sam explained. “There are several different ways to design it. If it’s going to happen, I know that Ernie and I are going to work towards making sure it doesn’t harm the communities.”
Several fishermen expressed concerns that if small boat fleets don’t survive, communities won’t survive. Many are also concerned about how the proposed program would affect the next generation of fishermen. Overall, no one at the meetings said they favor rationalization. But all expressed the need to protect the traditional fleets and the communities. The overall goal of rationalization is to avoid bycatch while still obtaining optimum yield.
Sam mentioned that another tool to deal with prohibited species catch (PSC) might be to reconsider the season dates. That would allow fishermen to fish when bycatch numbers are low and target species are aggregated.
“We were shut down the last time we tried this,” said Sam, “But this is a new arena.”
Several fishermen expressed concerns that if small boat fleets don’t survive, communities won’t survive.
Sam mentioned that another tool to deal with PSC might be to reconsider the season dates.
Fish News Published by the Aleutians East Borough Sept. 10, 2012 Page 4
The Observer Program is another major issue on the horizon. Currently boats between 58 and 125 feet are required to have 30 percent of their trips observed. NMFS hopes to have 30 percent coverage under the new program, which goes into effect January 1, 2013, and includes boats 40 feet and above. NMFS will determine who will take an observer and for how long. The government will pay for the program during the first year. After that, fishermen will pay 1.2 percent of their gross on observed fisheries. The government’s plan will be to classify boats by size in order to get a representative sample.
An announcement regarding the Groundfish Sector Split, which began earlier this year, is expected to be released soon. This topic was also discussed during the meetings. The trawl sector received the bulk of their allocation during the A season. However, some allocation in the B season may not be harvested due to PSC limits being hit. Therefore, at some point, the National Marine Fisheries Service is going to roll over the unharvested allocation to catcher vessels in the jig, longliner and pot fleet. This will be the first time that this has ever happened.
Pacific Ocean Perch (POP) is a potential problem for pollock fishermen. Sam said after talking to officials in Juneau, he was asked to remind people that POP could pose serious issues for the pollock fishery. Currently, there’s no limit on POP. But when it hits the over fishing limit (OLF), fishermen have to stop fishing. Officials with ADF&G said in the recent past, it has been very close to the OFL. Therefore, it’s important to avoid them to prevent the pollock fishery from being shut down.
The Board of Fisheries (BOF) Proposals were also discussed during the meetings. The meetings for the Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands Finfish are scheduled for February 26 – March 3, 2013 at the Sheraton Hotel in Anchorage. Sam and Ernie said there are several proposals from northern areas that would oppose Area M, including some that would reduce fishing time, establish a chum cap and require gillnets to be smaller.
NMFS is expected to announce soon that some of the allocation in the trawl sector’s B season will be rolled over to catcher vessels in the jig, longliner and pot fleet.
Board of Fish meetings for the Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands Finfish are scheduled for Feb. 26 – March 3, 2013 at the Sheraton in Anchorage.
Fish News Published by the Aleutians East Borough Sept. 10, 2012 Page 5
The work session is scheduled for October 9 – 11, 2012 at the Egan Civic & Convention Center in Anchorage. Topics include Agenda Change Requests (ACRs), cycle organization and stocks of concern.
Ernie mentioned that the Borough isn’t planning to take a position on proposals where AEB fishermen are divided. However, the Borough will take a position on any proposals that attempt to shut down the June fishery.
Some fishermen mentioned that maintaining the status quo for the June fishery should be a huge priority for the Borough and the communities.
Several fishermen expressed concerns that the AK Peninsula/AI Finfish Meetings (Feb. 26 – March 3, 2013) happen at a bad time because they occur right in the middle of the cod fishery and Area M wouldn’t have full representation. Ernie suggested that this could be an opportunity to put in an Agenda Change Request (ACR) because of this issue. (It was submitted.) The deadline for comment on ACRs is Sept. 27, 2012.
There are three proposals on cod. One of them was submitted by the King Cove Advisory Committee (AC), another by the False Pass AC and a third by a group from Sand Point. Another issue would move more fish into state waters and takes them out of the rationalized fishery.
Sam explained that he and Ernie have invited all of the Board of Fisheries members to the AEB communities through the executive director. The goal is to allow board members who have never visited the area before to familiarize themselves with the fisheries and the issues within the communities.
Fishermen in both communities expressed frustration over the July fishing schedule. Several proposals to the Fish Board address those concerns. One of the proposals calls for the same amount of hours but rearranged in a way to make it more convenient and cost-effective for fishermen.
The final draft of WASSIP (Western Alaska Salmon Stock Identification Project is expected to be completed by the end of this month. An initial presentation of the data will be provided during the BOF workshop Oct. 9 – 11, 2012.
The Borough doesn’t plan to take a position on BOF proposals where AEB fishermen are divided. However, the AEB will take a position on any proposals that attempt to shut down the June fishery.
Fish News Published by the Aleutians East Borough Sept. 10, 2012 Page 6
Upcoming Fish Meetings:
Oct. 9 – 11, 2012 – Egan Civic & Convention Center, Anchorage – BOF Work Session
Oct. 3 – 9, 2012 – Anchorage Hilton, North Pacific Fishery Management Council – NPFMC October 2012 Meeting Agenda
Nov. 27, 2012 – 9 a.m. – noon – Silver Cloud Inn, Seattle – AEB Fishermen’s Meeting
Feb. 26, March 3, 2013 – Anchorage Sheraton Hotel – BOF – Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands Finfish
Aleutians East Borough
10AM Tuesday August 21, 2012 AEB Office, Sand Point, Alaska
9AM Wednesday August 22, 2012 Harbor House, King Cove, Alaska
Ernie Weiss, AEB Resources Director
Sam Cotten, AEB Fisheries Consultant
will be in attendance.
Topics to include:
Board of Fish proposals & upcoming meetings
NPFMC agenda items
CHIGNIK AREA STATE-WATERS PACIFIC COD JIG SEASON OPENING
ADF&G has announced that the Chignik Area state-waters Pacific cod (Pcod) season will open to vessels using jig gear at 12:00 noon Friday, June 29th following closure of the Central Gulf of Alaska parallel Pacific cod jig gear B Season. At the time of the June 29th state-waters season opening, all state-waters of the Chignik Management Area (Kupreanof Point to Kilokak Rocks) will open to Pacific cod fishing under state rules, including waters of the Chignik Area west of 159° W. long. adjacent to the federal
Western Gulf of Alaska Area. Approximately 511,000 pounds of Pcod are available for harvest for the remainder of the state-waters season.
Vessel operators participating in the parallel Pacific cod season must deliver their catch prior to fishing in the state-waters season. A super exclusive vessel registration issued by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is required for all vessels targeting Pcod during the Chignik Area state-waters season.
For more information, contact ADF&G in Kodiak at 907-486-1840.
Preparing for NPFMC and Board of Fish Meetings
By Ernie Weiss, AEB Natural Resources Director
A major focus of AEB’s Natural Resource Department will continue to be on the upcoming meeting agenda items for both the State Board of Fisheries (Board) and the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (Council, or NPFMC). Actions of the
￼The Chignik Area state-waters Pcod season will open to vessels using jig gear at noon on Friday, June 29th.
Council and the Board during meetings from October 2012 through March 2013 will have considerable impacts on our fisheries and fishermen.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) release of the Proposal books this August will set the stage for the Pcod and salmon cycle of meetings beginning with the October Work Session of the Board, and moving through the regional Finfish Board meetings beginning in December. The Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands meeting of the Board will be held at the Anchorage Sheraton, February 26th through March 3rd, 2013.
Two genetic studies coordinated by ADF&G will be released this year, and should inform the Board’s decisions on salmon issues. The Western Alaska Salmon Stock Identification Project (WASSIP) final reports are scheduled to be released by September, and the Southeastern District Mainland Genetic Stock Identification (SEDMGSI) report will be provided to the Board by December 2012.
Federal sector splits, implemented January 1st of this year, have changed the landscape for state-water Pacific cod fishermen. Both the Board and the Council are expected to discuss revisions to the Pcod fishery. The Council is expected to begin discussions on a rationalization program for all groundfish in the Central Gulf of Alaska.
The Council meeting agendas for October and December meetings are still being drafted, but will certainly include action on the new Steller sea lion EIS process, a ‘bycatch tools’ discussion (GOA rationalization), and crab agenda items including community provisions and Right of First Refusal (ROFR). The AEB Natural Resources Dept. is involved in several meetings this summer concerning all of these issues.
At the June meeting of the NPFMC in Kodiak, the Council voted to reduce halibut bycatch in the GOA by 15% for trawl vessels and hook & line catcher vessels over 3 years. The Council then moved forward on a ‘Comprehensive Bycatch Plan’, which will be on the October agenda and will include discussion of a catch share plan, or rationalization of Central GOA groundfish trawl fisheries.
Western GOA fishermen will need to consider how they wish to be involved in this potential action.
The AEB will be working with the Gulf of Alaska Coastal Community Coalition (GOAC3) to prepare for some of these issues this summer and fall as appropriate. The Natural Resources team is planning fishermen meetings in Sand Point and King Cove for late August 2012, and we plan to use all available technology including video-conference to work with the region on fisheries issues. Our area fishermen have some important decisions to make in the coming months regarding potential policy changes, and the Natural Resources Department will be sharing the latest information and working closely with fishermen to best protect and enhance the fisheries of the Aleutians East.
Late Summer Fishermen’s Meeting in the AEB Planned
With the many important fishery issues to be addressed at upcoming NPFMC and Board of Fish meetings, the Natural Resources Department would like to schedule two fishermen’s meetings in King Cove and Sand Point for late August.
The tentative schedule for these meetings is:
King Cove, Friday August 24th at 10 a.m. Sand Point, Monday August 27th at 10 a.m.
We will connect with the other AEB communities by teleconference during one of these meeting times, or schedule a separate meeting time for the smaller sites.
The above meeting schedule assumes AEB Natural Resources Director Ernie Weiss and Fisheries Consultant Sam Cotten fly from Anchorage to Sand Point round trip and travel via the ferry Tustumena in and out of King Cove.
￼AEB Natural Resources Director Promotes Cold Bay Airport Live Crab Initiative at ASMI Forum
￼￼￼AEB Natural Resources Director Ernie Weiss discussed the Cold Bay Airport live crab initiative at ASMI’s forum this week.
￼A packed audience turned out for a forum hosted by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute on exploring new seafood export opportunities. The forum was held yesterday (Tuesday, June 27, 2012) at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. AEB Natural Resources Director Ernie Weiss discussed one of the most exciting topics: the possibility of shipping live crab from the Cold Bay Airport to Asia.
Last year, Cold Bay shipping company G&K, owned by Gary Ferguson, shipped more than one million pounds per year of seafood products for Peter Pan Seafoods, based in King Cove, through the Cold Bay Airport to Anchorage. The seafood includes fresh and frozen salmon, roe, cod milt and frozen crab. Ernie said this market could be expanded, providing a new market for fishermen, resulting in increased pricesand revenue for the Borough and the City of Cold Bay.
“We really don’t want to compete with Anchorage. We want to partner with Anchorage,” said Ernie. “The Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers is currently shipping live crab out of Dutch Harbor via Anchorage to Asia. However, the extra stop adds time, fuel and crab dead loss. We’re hoping to ship crab directly from Cold Bay where the crab is picked out of the water to save some of that dead loss. It’s not the distance that’s the major factor. It’s more the time on the ground and the handling of the crab. We’d like to open up a market where crab and other fresh seafood could be shipped in good condition to Asia.”
Ernie said before that happens, several hurdles need to be overcome. They include getting empty China-bound freight planes to stop in Cold Bay. Another would be to hire a customs regulations agent who is based in Cold Bay. Infrastructure will also need to
be completed, which includes establishing a terminal apron, completing dock improvements, installing a dock crane, having
live crab tanks or holding pens and frozen/cool storage facilities.
During the past few years, discussions have been in the works between the Aleutians East Borough, the State of Alaska and other organizations, such as the Alaska Crab Coalition, APICDA, Aleutia and the Alaska
Seafood Marketing Institute, to work out the logistics.
Cold Bay is a regional hub, providing air service connections between the lower Alaska Peninsula and Anchorage. The Cold Bay Airport, with its 10,415-foot main runway and 5,125-foot crosswind runway, has the fifth longest runway in the state and the third longest non-military runway. It also serves as a major refueling stop and weather diversion stop for some flights en route to the Aleutian Chain, as a search and rescue base for the U.S. Coast Guard, as a regional medevac hub and as an alternative emergency landing airport for many transpacific flights.
Local, industry and state officials believe the time has come to move this initiative forward. The State of Alaska expects China to be its top export customer in the years to come, overtaking Japan. Cold Bay’s world-class airfield, which is so critically close to crab fishing grounds, presents an ideal opportunity to expand on seafood export opportunities directly from the Aleutians to Asia. AEB will keep readers posted on this exciting initiative as it gains momentum.
Appointments Made to North Pacific Fishery Management Council
The U.S. Commerce Department has reappointed Alaskans Dan Hull and Ed Dersham to new three-year terms on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Newcomer Craig Cross of Washington, who currently serves on the Council’s Advisory Panel, was appointed to his first term. Cross also lived in Akutan for a period of time.
He is the political liaison for Aleutian Spray Fisheries, which operates a fleet of fishing vessels that catch and process Alaska pollock, Pacific cod, opilio and Alaska king crab.
Reminder: WASSIP Informational
Meeting Scheduled for
10 a.m. Friday, June 1, 2012 in Sand Point
Video-conference to King Cove. Audio link to other participating Aleutians East Borough (AEB) communities:
Akutan, Cold Bay, False Pass, Nelson Lagoon
A Young Fishers Program presentation by the AEB Natural Resources Department in cooperation with the Aleutians East Borough School District (AEBSD) and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G)
ADF&G is coordinating with the Western Alaska Salmon Stock Identification Project (WASSIP) signatory groups to organize informational meetings in the various fishing regions to re-introduce the WASSIP program in anticipation of reports that will be released in September 2012. WASSIP signatories include Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Aleut Corporation, Aleutians East Borough, Association of Village Council Presidents, Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association, Bristol Bay Native Association, Concerned Area M Fishermen, Kawerak, Lake and Peninsula Borough, Tanana Chiefs Conference, and Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association.
WASSIP is a comprehensive program to sample commercial and subsistence chum and sockeye salmon fisheries in coastal marine
areas of western Alaska, from 2006 through 2009. This unprecedented genetic sampling study includes salmon fisheries from Chignik Bay to Kotzebue Sound, stretching over 3,000 km of shoreline. During the four years of fishery sampling, approximately 320,000 samples were collected and some 156,000 samples will have been analyzed by the ADF&G Gene Conservation Laboratory to detail stock composition of fishery harvests.
Those who plan to attend and participate in the meeting include: Eric Volk with ADF&G, Denby Lloyd, member of the WASSIP Advisory Panel; Pat Martin, CAMF’s representative on the WASSIP AP; AEB Natural Resources Director Ernie Weiss; and AEB Fisheries Consultant Sam Cotten.
The Young Fishers Program is a collaborative effort of the AEBSD Career & Technical Education program and the AEB Natural Resources Department. Earlier this year, as part of the AEB Young Fishers program, the AEB sponsored two students and an AEBSD teacher/chaperone to attend the Alaska Sea Grant Young Fishermen’s Summit in Juneau. The Summit covered topics of interest to Alaska fishermen, including methods for participating in fisheries regulatory and legislative processes. AEBSD video and audio links to AEB communities for this informational meeting in Sand Point is a continuation of the effort to involve young fishers in the fisheries regulatory process.
Following the WASSIP informational meeting, Alaska Peninsula Salmon Fishery Manager Aaron Poetter will hold the 2012 AEB June Salmon Pre-season informational meeting, and will also be available to answer questions about the AEB/ADF&G Southeast District Mainland (SEDM) genetic salmon sampling study. Other area fisheries consultants and processing representatives have been invited and may attend the meeting. The meeting will be held in Sand Point at the AEB offices, video linked to the school in King Cove. Other site locations will be announced when determined.
For more information www.aebfish.org or contact Ernie Weiss at eweiss [at] aeboro [dot] org.
￼￼￼WASSIP’s 4-year genetic sampling study includes chum and sockeye salmon fisheries stretching from Chignik Bay to Kotzebue.
Prices Paid to Copper River Commercial Fishermen Drop for Sockeye
According to the Cordova Times, commercial fishermen were being paid about 90 percent less for sockeye in the second opener (May 21st) compared to the first one (May 17th). During the first opener, fishermen made about $4 per pound. However, in the second opener, the Cordova Times reported that prices ranged from $2.10 to $2.25 per pound, with one processor offering $3.25. Kings
brought in about $6 during both openers.
Western Alaska Salmon Stock Identification Project Informational Meeting
with ADF&G & WASSIP Advisory Panel Members
10AM Friday, June 1, 2012
Sand Point, Alaska
2012 AEB June Salmon Pre-season meeting
With ADF&G staff Aaron Poetter
Immediately following the WASSIP meeting
AEB Fisherman’s Meeting immediately following the pre-season meeting
Meetings will be video-conferenced to King Cove School, audio linked to other participating Aleutians East Borough communities, Akutan, Cold Bay, False Pass, Nelson Lagoon.
For more information contact Ernie Weiss at eweiss [at] aeboro [dot] org or (907) 274-7557
May 18, 2012
Copper River Salmon Season in Full Swing
Commercial fishermen are busy trying to net a healthy chunk of change as they haul in the well-known Copper River salmon. The season began yesterday morning. However, some fishermen reported that the run was off to a slow start.
According to a MSNBC/KTUU news story, a fisherman reported hearing someone on the radio quote the price of king salmon at $6.50 per pound. The salmon caught yesterday was processed in Cordova later that day and then shipped off to Seattle at 2 a.m. this morning.
FREE Safety Training Scheduled for Commercial Fishermen in King Cove and Sand Point
Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will offer a fishing vessel safety and drill conductor course in King Cove on Sunday, May 27th, and a second course at the Sand Point School on Tuesday, May 29th. These courses are 1-day, 10-hour training sessions focusing on the U.S Coast Guard training requirements for commercial fishing ￼vessels. They are available FREE to commercial fishermen, thanks to funding from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Alaska Department of Commerce and Community Development and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Please register in advance by contacting AMSEA in Sitka at 888-508-3287, toll-free. More information and online registration is available at www.amsea.org.
Council to Take Final Action on GOA Halibut PSC during June Meeting
Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Halibut PSC (Prohibited Species Catch) will be one of the major issues during the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s meeting in Kodiak next month. The Council is planning to take final action during its meeting, scheduled for June 6th – 12th in Kodiak. The Council is scheduling 20 hours on this topic. Visit the following link for more information: GOA Halibut PSC . Other items:
Final Action on Pribilof BKC Rebuilding Plan.
The Council amended the agenda earlier this week, removing the BSAI crab
Visit the following link for more information: June 2012 Council Agenda
AEB’s Natural Resource Director Nominated to NPFMC’s Steller Sea Lion Mitigation Committee Aleutians East Borough Natural Resources Director Ernie Weiss has been appointed to serve on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Steller Sea Lion Mitigation Committee. Ernie was notified earlier this month that Council Chairman Eric Olson approved his nomination to the Committee. Ernie is also a member of the Council’s Advisory Panel.
The Council recently reconvened the Steller Sea Lion Mitigation Committee (SSLMC). The Committee’s objective is to develop an alternative or alternatives for consideration in the environmental impact statement (EIS) for
Steller sea lion mitigation measures in the western and central Aleutian Islands. The first meeting of the SSLMC will be held at 9 – 11 a.m. on May 31, 2012 via teleconference. Larry Cotter will serve as chairman.
U.S. and Russia Team Up to Begin Largest Survey Ever on Abundance of Ice Seals
Click Here to view the PDF File: Fish News – April 9, 2012
Click here to view the PDF file: ADF&G
Or Read the text version below:
CLOSURE ANNOUNCED FOR THE SOUTH ALASKA PENINSULA AREA
STATE-WATERS PACIFIC COD POT SEASON
EMERGENCY ORDER 4-GF-09-12
The South Alaska Peninsula Area state-waters Pacific cod season will close for all vessels using
pot gear at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, March 22, 2012. Inseason catch estimates indicate the pot gear
guideline harvest level (GHL) will be attained at the time of the closure.
Fishermen are reminded that all pots must be unbaited and doors open at the time of the closure.
Pots may be legally stored in waters deeper than 25 fathoms with doors open and bait
containers removed for seven days following the closure. Operators are required to be at their
unloading destination within 48 hours of the closure.
For more information, contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Kodiak at (907) 486-
March 14, 2012
2012 South Alaska Peninsula Area State-Waters Pacific Cod Jig Season Opens March 19th
The Western Gulf of Alaska (WGOA) parallel Pacific cod (P.cod) season will close to jig gear on Saturday, March 17th at 12:00 noon. According to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G), the state-waters P.cod season for vessels using jig gear will open 48 hours later in the South Alaska Peninsula Area on March 19th at 12:00 noon unless delayed by weather. For vessels participating in the WGOA parallel P.cod jig fishery, all P.cod must be delivered prior to participating in the South Alaska Peninsula Area state- waters season.
Jig vessels may not operate more than 5 mechanical jig machines with more than 30 hooks per line. Jig vessels are allocated 15 percent of the total South Alaska Peninsula GHL or 2.3 million pounds.
All vessels participating in the South Alaska Peninsula Area state-waters Pacific cod season may not exceed 58 feet in overall length. Vessel operators must obtain an exclusive state-waters vessel registration from ADF&G prior to participating in the state- waters season.
As a reminder, vessels may not participate in a state-waters P.cod season and any other P.cod season at the same time. Vessels registered for the state-waters season must invalidate their state-waters registration before that vessel may participate in any other P.cod season.
The state-waters season opening for jig vessels will be delayed for 24 hours if the National Weather Service (NWS) 48-hour marine weather forecast for Area 155 issued at 4 a.m. on March 19th contains gale force wind warnings (35 knots or higher). If the jig gear season opening is delayed and the following day’s 4 a.m. 48-hour forecast again contains gale warnings, the season opening will be delayed an additional 24-hours. Season opening delays may continue on a rolling 24-hour basis for up to seven days beyond the initial opening date. After seven days, the jig season will open regardless of the NWS marine weather forecast for Area 155.
For more information, contact the Alaska Department of Fish & Game in Kodiak at (907) 486-1840. You can also contact in season management staff at the National Marine Fisheries Service at (907) 586-7228 for more information on fishing outside of state waters.
March 7, 2012
2012 South Alaska Peninsula Area State-Waters Pacific Cod Pot Gear Season Opens Today
The National Weather Service marine weather 48-hour forecast for Area 155 issued at 4 a.m. today (Wednesday, March 7, 2012) did not contain gale warnings. Therefore, according to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G), the South Alaska Peninsula Area state-waters Pacific cod season opening for pot vessels will open at 12 p.m. today (Wednesday, March 7, 2012). Participants are advised that the master of each vessel is ultimately responsible for the safety of the vessel.
ADF&G will manage the 2012 South Alaska Peninsula Area state-waters Pacific cod pot season based on in-season reports from participating vessels. Reports will be taken daily starting at 9 a.m. by dispatch (7894), phone (907-486-1840), or email (mark [dot] stichert [at] alaska [dot] gov).
For more information, contact ADF&G in Kodiak at 907-486-1840.
You are reading FISH NEWS, published quarterly by the Aleutians East Borough to help keep the lines of communication open among Alaska’s commercial fishing interests. If you would like to have FISH NEWS delivered to you via e-mail subscription, send an e-mail message to ltanis [at] aeboro [dot] org . For more information about our fisheries, our people, and our communities, please visit us at www.aleutianseast.org, www.aebfish.org and check out our blog at http://aebfishblog.blogspot.com/ .
Fish News Published by the Aleutians East Borough March 7, 2012 Page 1
Highlights from the NPFMC Meeting in Seattle
By Ernie Weiss, AEB Natural Resources Director
The North Pacific Fishery Management council (NPFMC or Council) is moving swiftly through the agenda items during the meeting in Seattle this week, while taking a full 8 hours on the halibut prohibited species catch agenda item. The Council motion on this agenda item is to move the document forward and to release the (environmental assessment/regulatory impact review/initial regulatory flexibility analysis (EA/RIR/IRFA) for public review while incorporating some suggestions from the Scientific and Statistical Committee.