Friday, July 13, 2018

Another emergency petition aimed at South Peninsula fishermen - this time from CRAA

The Alaska Board of Fisheries meets at the Egan Center July 17th to decide six emergency petitions.  Three of these petitions propose to shut down the South Alaska Peninsula salmon fisheries. You can read all of the petitions including from the BBNA, the Chignik AC and the Chignik Regional Aquaculture Association that would close down the Area M South Peninsula fisheries, at this link.
You can submit comments at the Board of Fish website by clicking the 'Comment on Emergency petitions' button and writing your comment to the Board. The deadline to submit comments for the emergency petitions meeting has been extended until July 16th. There will be no opportunity for public comment at the July 17th meeting. You can find the fifth revised meeting notice here.


There is a regular Board meeting scheduled in February to discuss Chignik and South Peninsula salmon fisheries. The Board should deny the BBNA and Chignik petitions and address the concerns at the upcoming February 2019 Board meeting.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Comment period on five emergency petitions to the Board of Fish extended until July 16th

The Alaska Board of Fisheries meets at the Egan Center July 17th to decide five emergency petitions. Two of these petitions propose to shut down the South Alaska Peninsula salmon fisheries. The deadline to submit comments for the emergency petitions meeting has been extended until July 16th. There will be no opportunity for public comment at the July 17th meeting. You can find the fourth revised meeting notice here.
You can read the petitions by BBNA and the Chignik AC that would close down the Area M South Peninsula fisheries at this link.
You can submit comments at the Board of Fish website by clicking the 'Comment on Emergency petitions' button and writing your comment to the Board by the extended deadline of July 16th.
There is a regular Board meeting scheduled in February to discuss Chignik and South Peninsula salmon fisheries. The Board should deny the BBNA and Chignik petitions and wait to discuss the concerns at the upcoming February meeting.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Aleutians East Borough Letter to ADFG Commissioner Cotten 06/20/18


On June 18, 2018 ADFG Sand Point released Commercial Salmon Fishery Announcement #5 an Emergency Order that slashed 48 hours from the 88 hour openings beginning June 20th for seine and drift fishermen and June 22th for set net. Although there was no explanation accompanying the original announcement, it became clear the fishery managers were taking the action as an emergency measure to help the failing Chignik first run of Sockeye salmon. Commissioner Sam Cotten  held a teleconference on the 19th to answer stakeholder questions, and on June 21st ADFG released the Emergency Order including justification for the action. On June 20th Mayor Alvin D. Osterback considered AEB options. The letter that follows is the AEB's initial response to the Emergency Order.

June 20, 2018

Commissioner Sam Cotten
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Commissioner Cotten,

The recent emergency management action taken by ADFG to restrict fishing on the South Peninsula was designed to address a failing first Chignik sockeye run. However, data from the WASSIP study suggests that very few Chignik fish will be conserved by restrictions proposed in some areas.

The table below shows numbers of Chignik fish harvested in each of four South Peninsula areas in the last third of June (Appendix D1-D3)[1] and the Chignik run size, for 2006, 2007, and 2008 (Tables 3-5)[2]. The figures are derived by multiplying estimated harvest numbers for each district in the last part of June, by the mean Chignik stock proportion in that fishery period for that year. If one divides that Chignik harvest number by the Chignik run size, the result is a harvest rate estimate for that fishery location and period on Chignik fish. In Shumagin, Unimak, and Ikatan, the harvest rate on Chignik fish is 1% or less for June 20-30. This means that for a Chignik run of 100,000, roughly 1,000 might be saved if no fishing occurred in these areas. In Unimak and Ikatan, the harvest rate is more like 0.5%, saving less than 500 fish.

(numbers in thousands)
2006
Chignik Harvest Rate
2007
Chignik Harvest Rate
2008
Chignik Harvest Rate
Chignik Run size
2,300

1,650

1,500

Shumagin catch of Chignik sockeye
18.1
0.008
14.3
0.009
17.0
0.011
Dolgoi catch of Chignik sockeye
88.1
0.04
8.8
0.005
6.77
0.005
Ikatan catch of Chignik sockeye
4.0
0.002
0.85
0.001
3.84
0.003
Unimak catch of Chignik sockeye
-
-
0.79
0.000
4.9
0.003

We suggest that the department adopt a more targeted and meaningful strategy that still provides some positive impact on the Chignik run, by restricting the Dolgoi area only. We know from the WASSIP study that a higher proportion of Chignik fish is harvested here. Clearly, actions in Unimak and Ikatan, will provide little impact on the troubled Chignik run. This would help alleviate substantial negative impacts on coastal communities of the South Peninsula. 

Sincerely,

Alvin D. Osterback, Mayor


[1] Stock Composition of Sockeye Salmon Harvests (WASSIP), 2006-2008.  ADFG Special Publication No. 12-22
[2] Harvest and Harvest Rates of Sockeye Salmon Stocks (WASSIP), 2006-2008.  ADFG Special Publication No. 12-24