Dear AMCC Community,
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will be holding its next meeting in Kodiak, June 4-11. These annual meetings in rural communities are valuable engagement for both community residents and Council members. There are numerous occasions to engage in the policy arena during the meeting and evening workshops. The following events offer a venue to share our island stories and the value of the fisheries resource to our island communities.
Fishing Families Workshop – Monday, June 4, 5:15-7:15 p.m., Kodiak Convention Center
Hosted by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. Discussion focusing on interactions of fishing families and changing regulations, environments, and socioeconomic conditions in Alaska’s fisheries and fishing communities.
Informal Charter Meeting – Monday, June 4, 7-9 p.m., Fishermen’s Hall
Hosted by Andy Mezirow of the NPFMC, Kurt Iverson with the Regional National Marine Fisheries Service Recreational Sector, and Tyler Polum ADF&G sport fish area biologist. Status update on charter-related issues in the NPFMC process, expectations for charter halibut harvest over the next few years, process overview for charter halibut recommendations each fall, and discussion on Kodiak Charter operators future engagement. Potential discussion on Halibut Charter annual reporting requirements for CQE’s.
IFQ Outreach Session – Tuesday, June 5, 5-6:30 p.m., Kodiak Convention Center
Hosted by The Council
Public outreach session with open forum for stakeholders to give insight on the present state of the halibut and sablefish IFQ Program and provide direction for future actions that might be considered by the Council and its IFQ Committee. The Council is particularly seeking input on issues related to entry-level opportunities and rural participation in the fishery.
Community Reception – Wednesday, June 6, 6 p.m., Afognak Native Corporation Building on Near Island
Open to the public. Enjoy local seafood and commemorate Chairman Hull’s last meeting on the Council.
The Council meeting begins June 6 and the Council will convene for the entire meeting at the Kodiak Convention Center downtown. The meeting starts at 8 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. each day.
Council Meeting Agenda Highlights
Turning of the Tide report presentation by Dr. Courtney Carothers and AMCC’s Dr. Rachel Donkersloot – Wednesday, June 6
The report is a review of programs and policies to address access challenges in Alaska fisheries.
Tanner Crab, Gulf of Alaska groundfish effort and observe data – Sunday, June 10
The Council will be reviewing a discussion paper in regards to federal groundfish fishing effort and observer coverage in important Tanner crab habitat areas previously identified by a local knowledge mapping project on the east side of Kodiak Island. A segment of the identified areas was approved for 100 percent observer coverage in 2010 for a period of time before the implementation of the restructured program. The action was never implemented due to timing issues. The Council will consider potential next steps.
Community Engagement – Monday, June 11
The Council will have a discussion considering the formation of a community engagement and outreach committee structured to foster two-way dialog with rural communities and Native communities.
The full agenda can be found here.
Modernizing Fisheries Management Should Benefit All Sectors
By Shannon Carroll and Susie Zagorski for Fisherman’s News
For more than forty years, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has utilized a precautionary science-based approach to fisheries management. This approach has led to some of the most sustainably managed fisheries in the world. A key component to this success has been the use of exempted fishing permits (EFPs), which have incentivized innovation, improved sustainability, and developed lasting partnerships between industry and managers.
It is surprising, then, that some members of Congress are seeking to limit the use of EFPs. As introduced, Senate Bill S. 1520 — the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 — does just that by making the EFP process so onerous that it is unlikely to be used in any region. In doing so, S. 1520 will inhibit the ability of industry and managers to pilot new and creative improvements to managing fisheries.
Read the full story here.
Almanac on sale now!
If you haven’t purchased a copy of the Young Fishermen’s Almanac yet, get one while supplies last! They will be available to purchase in-person at AMCC events and online here.
Upcoming events – join us!
Kodiak Jig Rockfish Taco Night
Wednesday, March 21, 4-6 p.m., Kodiak Island Brewery
Suggested Donation: $5
Join AMCC, the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute for a taco feed! Meet new faces, see familiar ones, and enjoy beverages and locally caught rockfish tacos!
Stories Above the Bay
Friday, March 23, Noon to 1:30 p.m. at Best Western Kodiak Inn
Entertainment, Alaska-style. We are celebrating the Young Fishermen’s Almanac! Hear personal stories and poetry and enjoy art, all from Alaska fishermen. We will be serving some delicious Kodiak jig-caught rockfish chowder made by Monk’s Rock Coffee House. If you haven’t purchased a copy yet, the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Almanac will be available for sale!
Boat. Work. Break.
Wednesday, April 4, 6-10 p.m., 49th State Brewing Company
You’ve probably been working all spring. Take a night to relax and get to know your fellow Alaska fishermen, policymakers and marine advocates! Hosted by the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network and the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association for a night of stories, poems and film honoring the next generation of fishermen. There will be signups for skippers, policymakers and crew to be members of the apprenticeship program and/or the AYFN. Food will feature 49th State Brewing Co. fish tacos made with Homer longline-caught halibut.
Hiring Local Seafood Sales Coordinator
The Alaska Marine Conservation Council is seeking a fish-loving individual to serve as our Local Seafood Sales Coordinator. This part-time position is responsible for helping to scale up AMCC’s local seafood sales programs and promoting AMCC’s branded seafood hub (Catch 49). This position works closely with an array of fishing and processing partners, chefs, restaurants/breweries, other staff members, as well as marketing contractors.
For more information, please click here.
Latest Catch49 offerings
It’s almost that time of year… spot prawn season! Pre-order your Prince William Sound spot prawns today through Catch 49. Other exciting offerings coming up will be for Kodiak rockfish, Kodiak tanner crab, Norton Sound king crab, and Homer Pacific halibut.
Advocacy trip in Washington, D.C.
AMCC, the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, and six Alaska fishermen traveled to Washington, D.C., last month to advocate for programs like the Young Fisherman’s Development Act (YFDA). Jamie O’Connor, Danielle Ringer, Christopher Johnson and Matt Alward, along with AMCC staff members Shannon Carroll and Theresa Peterson were in attendance. This federal legislation would support our next generation of fishermen by providing grants to encourage training, education, and workforce development which are absolutely essential to ensure the continued health and prosperity of our fishing families and coastal communities.
We we fortunate to meet with Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, Congressman Young, and 14 different congressional offices and staff from across the country to share our thoughts on the YFDA, as well as the need for science-based management and accountability in all sectors of the fishing industry.
While we were there, we submitted 742 signatures AMCC had collected in support of the Young Fishermen’s Development Act and our MSA platform.
Young Fishing Fellowship update
Check out our current list of fellowship projects here.
Update from Deputy Director Shannon Carroll
If we want to support federal fisheries, we must first look at what the MSA is doing well. Currently, MSA allows regional fishery management councils to have flexibility when it comes to how their fisheries are managed. This means they can effectively use exempted fishing permits and partner with industry to reduce bycatch, habitat impacts, and implement ecosystem-based fishery management or quota banks. The MSA also provides rigorous standards to protect the long-term sustainability of our fisheries through science-based annual catch limits. The results are clear-since 2000, nearly 40 fisheries have been rebuilt across the country!
So, what should Congress prioritize during this round of reauthorization?
1. Consider the strengths of the current law. Regional flexibility has allowed the bill to remain responsive to changes over time. Maintaining science-based provisions of the bill will ensure healthy fisheries into the future and encourage accountability.