Monday, August 6, 2012

Board of Fish Proposal Books Released

The Board of Fisheries 2012/2013 Proposal Book was released last Friday on the ADFG/Board of Fisheries webpage. These stakeholder proposals would implement changes to finfish regulations for commercial and other fisheries in the Bristol Bay (BB), Arctic -Yukon – Kuskokwim (AYK) and Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands (AP/AI) regions, and sets the stage for the Board discussions that will shape our state-water fisheries, including pacific cod and salmon, for years to come.

Proposals are listed in the order they will be addressed by the Board, and for the AP/AI meeting beginning February 26 that means Pacific Cod (Pcod) will be first on the agenda. Some of the 2012/2013 proposals for Pcod in the AP/AI include: increasing state-waters Pcod GHL to 50 percent of the WGOA ABC; and, establishing a state-waters Pcod fishery in the Bering Sea. For salmon, there are three proposals to reinstate a June chum cap, and one proposal that would establish a June sockeye cap based on the projected BB run. There are 11 proposals that propose to change the North Peninsula commercial salmon fishery and 6 proposals that address the Southeastern District Mainland fishery.

ADF&G has submitted placeholder proposals for each regional meeting to allow for changes to the fisheries based on the new genetic studies soon to be published. The Western Alaska Salmon Stock Identification Project (WASSIP) study and the Southeastern District Mainland Genetic Stock Identification (SEDMGSI) study should be available for Board of Fish meetings and inform the salmon fishery discussions.

Public participation is an important piece of the Board of Fish process and submitting proposals is only one of several opportunities to participate. In the Aleutians East Borough, individuals may take part in local Advisory Committees (AC) in Nelson Lagoon, King Cove, False Pass and Sand Point. Also, any individual, group or local AC may comment on proposals. Written comment of up to 100 pages will be accepted until two weeks before the meeting in which a proposal is addressed, and will be included in the Board meeting materials. Written comments may be submitted after the two week deadline before a meeting, but should be no more than 10 pages, and must be submitted at the board meeting with multiple copies. Public attendance and testimony at Board meetings is absolutely essential. The AEB encourages residents from each community to attend Board meetings.

The Board will convene a Work Session October 9 - 11, 2012 and the Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands Finfish meeting of the Board will run from February 26th to March 3rd at the Sheraton in Anchorage. The draft Alaska Board of Fisheries 2012/2013 Proposal Book is available. Visit the link below. (Scroll to Page 164.)

The Aleutians East Borough Natural Resources team will continue to work closely with local fishermen in preparation for the upcoming Board of Fish meetings, including meetings in Sand Point at 9 a.m. on Aug. 21st (AEB office building) and at the King Cove Harbor House at 9 a.m. on Aug. 22nd.

Contact Ernie Weiss at (907) 274-7557 or for more information.