The Alaskans-First Fishing Act
By LAINE WELCH
March 23, 2015
(SitNews) – 7 times is the appeal for developing some momentum on a measure that aims to give individual use (PU) fisheries a top priority over commercial and sport users. As it stands now, the three fisheries all are on equal footing in the eyes and actions of state managers.
The top priority shift has been introduced throughout each of the last seven legislative sessions by (now) Senator Expense Stoltze (R-Chugiak), however has never made it past a first hearing – up untilpreviously.
“It just took Sen. Stoltze, the expense sponsor, chairing the hearing committee himself,” quipped Dave Theriault in his Juneau Resources Weekly.
The measure (SB 42) is dubiously called “The Alaskans-First Fishing Act” and it worries salmon, without saying so straight. It “directs the Board of Fisheries to position restrictions on sport and industrial fisheries prior to putting restrictions on personal use fisheries when the harvest of a stock or species is restricted to achieve an escapement goal.”
The problem is driven primarily by the salmon needs of users at the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers, and the popular Chitina dipnet fishery at Copper River.
Legislators stated PU fisheries “require more securities from commercial fishermen.”
“I’m more considerate to those in streams who see industrial fishermen taking tonnage where we’re limited to poundage,” stated Sen. John Coghill (R-North Pole).
The PU priority got a friendly reception by lawmakers in a very first Senate hearing 2 weeks ago. Stoltz stated that the Board of Fisheries would still hold the authority to set fish allocations; he called a PU preference “an extra tool for managers.”
A lot of messages sent to lawmakers recently were in favor of the shift in fishing concerns – of almost 70 posted to the legislative web site, just four were opposed.
The United Fishermen of Alaska’s position on the PU problem has actually continued to be the same for 7 years: the legislature needs to leave prioritization of fishery allowances to the Board of Fish and management to the Department of Fish and Video game.
The PU expense is now on its method to the Senate Resources Committee. A replicate law has been submitted in the Houseyour home by Rep. Mark Neuman (R-Big Lake).
Fishy costs to enjoy
An expense to restrict all Alaska salmon seiners to a maximum 58 feet in length has been offered by Rep. Dan Ortiz of Ketchikan.
A brand-new law submitted by freshman Rep. Dave Talerico (R-Healy), would pull the plug on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and exempt Alaska from the firm’s capability to manage and limit carbon emissions. Talerico submitted the expense two months after relinquishing Usibelli, the state’s just active coal mine, where he worked since 1974.
The EPA is set to finalize brand-new policies limiting carbon emissions in June, and will certainly prepare a plana prepare for Alaska if the state fails to do so. Fifteen other states have actually filed comparable laws to slow or combat the EPA’s strategy to decrease carbon limits.
The measure breezed through Alaska’s Senate Energy and Resources Committees and is on its way to Finance.
Rep. Talerico also has actually proposed increases to fishing and hunting licenses for both individuals and non-residents by up to HALF.
ComFish is coming!
Kodiak is rolling out the red carpet for unique visitors who are concerning ComFish in early April. Lt. Guv Byron Mallott, ADFamp; G Commissioner Sam Cotten and Commercial Fisheries Director Jeff Regnart will certainly hold an open meeting the afternoon of April 2.
Another emphasize on Saturday, April 4: see those fillet knives fly in a “fish off” among Kodiak’s fastest fish cutters, arranged by Ocean Beauty Seafoods. Each of Kodiak’s seven processing companies will certainly field a specialist who will cut into stacks of halibut, flounders and other types. Each occasion is timed and then judged based upon the cutting quality of the fillets. The leading winner gets round journey airline tickets to Anchorage.
It’s the 36th year for the ComFish trade showexhibition and policy forum, hosted by the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce. Dates are April 2-4, and many of the events will certainly be video streamed as they happen. See the total lineup of occasions and participants at www.comfishalaska.com
Governor Walker has made his selections for 2 upcoming jobs on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The NPFMC supervises fisheries in federal waters (3-200 miles from shore), which each year produce almost 85 percent of Alaska’s seafood harvests. Walker’s suggests reappointment of fisherman Dan Hull of Cordova, who has actually been a council member since 2009. He also called sport fish charter operator Andrew Mezirow of Seward.
Other names on the list include commercial fishermen Buck Laukitis of Homer and Paul Gronholdt of Sand Point, sport fish reps Richard Yamada of Juneau and Art Nelson, director of the Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association.
The last decision is made by the US Secretary of Commerce, who typically accepts the Guv’s leading suggestions.
By the time you read this, Alaska’s first roe herring fishery at Sitka Audio might be simplypractically over. The 8,712 heap quota is down by half from in 2013 and the lowestthe most affordable Sitka catch because 2003. That, combined with historically low herring prices, has less boats fishing and they are doing so as a co-op.
Blustery weather kept manythe majority of Alaska’s halibut boats off the water for the March 14 start of that fishery. Only 52 landings were made by March 20, totaling about 395,000 pounds. No reputable word on costs until more poundage crosses the docks, and the very first fresh landings constantly fetch inflated costs. Nevertheless, reports from the West Coast and Canada listed initial wholesale costs coming in greater than the previous three March openers. Seafood.com reported $8.05 for 10/20s; $8.25-$8.50 for 20/40s, and $8.50-$8.75 for 40 ups.
Anyone interested in weathervane scallops need to register with Fish and Game by April 1. The scallop fishery, which was restricted to about four boats until 2013, is now an open gain access to fishery in waters near Yakutat, Kodiak and Dutch Harbor. Prince William Noise is closed to scallops this year.
This year marks the 25th year for this weekly column that concentratesconcentrates on Alaskas seafood market. It started in 1991 in the Anchorage Daily News, and now appears in over 20 papers and internet siteswebsite. A daily spin off Fish Radio airs weekdays on 30 radio stations in Alaska. My goal is to make all peopleeveryones consciousknowledgeable about the economic, social and cultural significance of Alaskas fishing industry to our state, the nation and the world.
Laine Welch copy; 2015
Laine can be reached
at msfish [AT] alaska.com
SitNews copy; 2015
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