Friday, January 7, 2022

Governor Dunleavy Announces Alaska Bycatch Review Task Force Members

January 7, 2022 (Anchorage) – Today, Governor Mike Dunleavy released the list of eleven Alaskans who will serve on the Alaska Bycatch Review Task Force. The mission of the task force is to better understand the unintended bycatch of fish such as halibut and salmon caught in both State and federal waters. The two remaining seats on the task force will be non-voting seats filled by members of the Alaska Legislature.

“While Alaska’s healthy and sustainable fisheries are an example for the entire world to follow, bycatch has remained a contentious issue of concern of all Alaskans,” said Governor Dunleavy. “The 11 Alaskans who stepped forward to serve on the Alaska Bycatch Review Task Force represent key stakeholder groups and are recognized for not only their knowledge of fisheries, but their commitment to sustaining the resource for generations of Alaskans to come.”

The Governor’s appointees are:

John Jensen, Chair – Mr. Jensen has over a half century of experience in Alaska’s commercial fishing industry. He is serving his seventh term on the Alaska Board of Fisheries and was appointed to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council in 2018.

Tommy Sheridan, Vice-chair – Mr. Sheridan will hold the public member seat on the task force and fills the role of vice-chair. He is the owner of Sheridan Consulting and is a member of the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission.

Brian Gabriel – Mr. Gabriel has served as mayor of the City of Kenai since 2016 and previously held a seat on the city council for six years.  

Linda Kozak – Ms. Kozak occupies the halibut fisher seat in addition to running a fisheries consulting service. She also serves on the board of United Fishermen of Alaska.

Raymond May – Filling the salmon fisher seat is Mr. Raymond May. He owns and operates a commercial fishing vessel out of Kodiak Island, and is a council member for the Native Village of Port Lions.

Erik Velsko – Mr. Velsko will occupy the seat reserved for a crab fisherman. He has worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska since 1997 and is a member of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council Advisory Panel.

Mike Flores – Mr. Flores has owned and operated a sport fishing charter business in Ninilchik since 1994. He is also a board member on the State of Alaska’s Big Game Commercial Services Board.

Stephanie Madsen – Ms. Madsen is the Executive Director for the At-Sea Processors Association.

Ragnar Alstrom – Holds the Community Development Quota (CDQ) representative seat on the task force. Mr. Alstrom is the executive director for the Yukon Delta Development Association.

Kevin Delaney – Mr. Delaney is the founder of Delaney Outdoors, a fisheries consulting firm he opened in 2010. He was the director for the Division of Sport Fish, Alaska Department of Fish and Game from 2005 to 2010.

Duncan Fields – Mr. Duncan fills the seat reserved for an organization representing Alaska Natives. He is a long-time resident of Kodiak Island and owns a consulting firm that represents two Native corporations.  

Governor Dunleavy has tasked the group to study the following areas:

  • Determine what impacts bycatch has on fisheries.
  • Evaluate and recommend policies informed by a better understanding of the issue of bycatch of high-value Alaska fishery resources.
  • Ensure State agencies are leveraging available resources to better understand the issue of bycatch.
  • Utilize the best available science to inform policy makers and the public about these issues. 

     

    Click here to read the Bycatch Administrative Order.

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    Media Contact: Jeff Turner jeff.turner@alaska.gov (907) 310-4961

     

Friday, March 26, 2021

Nelson Lagoon Dock Closure 2021


 

NELSON LAGOON DOCK CLOSURE    MAY 1 — JULY 15, 2021
The Aleutians East Borough will be conducting repairs on the Nelson Lagoon Dock.
The dock will be closed for use May 1 through July 15, 2021.
For more information please contact Anne Bailey at (907) 274-7580
or at abailey@aeboro.org

flyer http://www.aebfish.org/nlgdockclosure2021.pdf

Thursday, February 25, 2021

ADFG Update on Section 12005 CARES Act Funding

 

CARES Act Update

 

For Immediate Release: February 25, 2021

Spend Plan Approved – Section 12005 CARES Act Funding

(Anchorage, AK) – On May 7, 2020, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced allocations of Section 12005 CARES Act fisheries assistance funding to all costal states and territories. Alaska will receive $50 million of the $300 million available for this assistance program. The spend plan provides eligibility criteria for participants in each of the sectors, which are seafood processing, commercial harvesting, sport charter, subsistence, and aquaculture. The spending plan will allocate 100% of available funds as direct payments to fishery participants in eligible sectors. While all sectors have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, available funds will only cover a portion of the losses incurred by affected fishery participants.

On February 25th the state received approval on the state’s draft spend plan, with required changes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) The approved spend plan is available on the Department of Fish and Game’s home page www.adfg.alaska.gov.

To receive approval from NOAA on the spend plan, the state was required to change residency requirements for commercial harvesters. The spend plan draft submitted by the State of Alaska allowed all nonresident commercial harvesters to apply to Alaska for relief if they held Alaskan permits. The state was notified by NOAA during the review process that only nonresident commercial harvesters who do not reside in a state that received a Section 12005 allocation could be eligible in Alaska.

Applications for all sectors, except subsistence, will be made available on the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission webpage on March 1st www.psmfc.org/cares-act-the-coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act. NOAA is currently working with US Fish and Wildlife Service to identify subsistence users across Alaska. Once they have completed this task, subsistence will be come available. Completion date is unknown at this time.

For questions or inquiries related specifically to Alaska’s Sec. 12005 CARES Act Fisheries Assistance relief please email AKCares@psmfc.org or call toll-free: 1-888-517-7262. If you have the ability to email, you may receive a quicker response due to the large volume of calls anticipated to be received.

 

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ADF&G CONTACT:

Kari Winkel, (907) 465-6141, dfg.com.caresact@alaska.gov 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Alaska Board of Game delays consideration of Southwest Alaska game proposals; Board of Fish to consider future meeting schedule changes next week

The Alaska Board of Game met today in Work Session via webconference, the first agenda item in the afternoon was rescheduling of meetings for the 2020/2021 Board of Game meeting cycle. The Board decided to delay all future in-person meetings of the Board for one year, due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns, and to move the entire cycle forward one year. 

The Board of Game was scheduled to meet January 22nd through the 29th 2021 in person in Wasilla to consider game proposals for Central and Southwest Alaska, including game management units (GMU) 9 & 10. That meeting is now postponed for one year, until January 21-28, 2022. The call for proposals will be re-released for public input. The Board of Game will hold a special teleconference meeting March 18th 2021 to address only pressing issues.

Current game proposals in GMUs 9 & 10 of interest to Aleutians East Borough residents: 

  • Proposal 25: Review the management findings for Unimak caribou and determine objectives 
  • Proposal 26: Determine customary and traditional uses of the Unimak Island caribou herd 
  • Proposal 28: Remove the resident bag limit of one brown bear every four years in Unit 9 
  • Proposals 33 through 50 propose varying solutions to nonresident harvest of Emperor geese in game management units 9, 10 & 17. 

The current Alaska Board of Game proposal book for the 2020/2021 cycle can be found here

The Joint Boards of Fish and Game Committee had met on January 19 to review options for meeting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Committee members agreed that in-person meetings are the real strength of the Board process, but in-person meetings are currently extremely problematic due to COVID-19. 

The Alaska Board of Fisheries is scheduled to consider any changes to their meeting schedule at a special meeting on January 25th at 1pm, to be livestreamed here

Board of Fish currently scheduled meetings that may be impacted: 

  • Statewide All Shellfish March 5-10, 2021 
  • Prince William Sound Finfish and Shellfish March 30-April 5, 2021 
  • Southeast and Yakutat Finfish & Shellfish April 17-29, 2021 
  • Alaska Peninsula, AI,BS & Chignik Pacific Cod October 22-23 , 2021 
  • Bristol Bay Finfish November 28-December 4, 2021 
  • Arctic / Yukon / Kuskokwim Finfish January 8-12, 2022 
  • Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Island/Chignik Finfish February 18-23, 2022 
  • Statewide Finfish and Supplemental Issues March 11-14, 2022

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

PPP and EIDL application information IMPORTANT!

Sharing this info on behalf of SWAMC 1/12/21 Southwest Alaska! The U.S. Small Business Administration announced last Friday that the next round of Paycheck Protection Program borrowing will begin Jan. 11, but there will be a catch. Select lenders will have exclusive access to accept PPP applications for first-time borrowers on Monday, January 11 and for second-time borrowers on Wednesday, January 13 using what the SBA is calling “community financial institutions.” The SBA defines those as Community Development Financial Institutions, minority deposit institutions, certified development companies and microloan intermediaries, and Alaska has none participating in the State. The SBA has not yet announced a timeline by which other mainline financial institutions will be invited to participate, but It is assumed to be on or possibly before January 18 and both first time and second time borrowers may apply through these mainline financial institutions. As long as the PPP funds are spent to keep employee and compensations levels maintained, they can be used for other eligible expenses including lease payments, mortgage interest, worker protection costs, utilities and other business needs. IF you spend at least 60% directly on payroll costs, the loan qualifies for full loan forgiveness. The PPP Loan has a 1% interest fee and there are no payments due for the first 10 months. The EIDL Loan has a 3.75% interest rate with a 30 year term, can be forgiven in some circumstances and offers an advance grant (no payback) of $10,000.00 on receipt of a complete application. Even if you don’t qualify for the EIDL Loan, you keep the 10K with no payback. The following links will take you directly to the application rules and process for Northrim Bank, First National Bank of Alaska, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citibank who are all ready to participate when allowed by the SBA. They all walk you through the eligibility/application process and have a FAQ link as well. Please choose your provider now and get ready for the rollout before it happens. The application process for PPP and EIDL loans will be open until March 31, but the money should go fairly fast. Please be ready! https://www.northrim.com/coronavirus/loan-relief-and-aid-programs https://www.fnbalaska.com/business-solutions/fuel-your-business/loan-relief-programs https://www.wellsfargo.com/biz/paycheck-protection-forgiveness https://about.bankofamerica.com/promo/assistance/latest-updates-from-bank-of-america-coronavirus/small-business-assistance https://online.citi.com/US/JRS/pands/detail.do?ID=paycheck-protection-program Shirley Marquardt Executive Director SouthWest Alaska Municipal Conference (SWAMC) 3300 Arctic Blvd, Suite 203 Anchorage, AK 99503 (907) 562-7380 Office (907) 538-9088