The North Pacific Fishery Management Council finished up the meeting season in Sitka, following the tradition to hold the June meeting in an Alaskan coastal community. The beauty of the region and the warmth of the Sitka community provided a meeting venue for fisheries management discussions that was truly spectacular. This was the last meeting for outgoing Council members Theresa Peterson and Buck Laukitus and the Alaska Longline Fishermen Association hosted a seafood extravaganza, beachside, bonfire reception which was quite fitting for the Alaskan fishermen. AMCC would like to express special thanks to the many groups who contributed to the event: Alaska Longline Fishermen Association, Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, Sitka Seafood Producers Cooperative, Sitka Sounds Seafoods, Icicle Seafoods, Oceana, Halibut Coalition, Ocean Conservancy, Silver Bay Seafoods, Sitka Salmon Shares, Alaska’s Own and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
In addition to the kind words and a ‘Boots on Deck’ photo capturing Theresa’s advocacy for active fishermen and resilient Alaskan coastal communities, Theresa was honored to receive the Bobby Storrs award from the Unalaska Native Fishermen’s Association (UNFA). UNFA created the Bobby Storrs award to honor the memory of a friend who was the original Bering Sea small boat lifestyle fisherman’s advocate. The award is given once a year to those who have raised awareness of the value of the small boat lifestyle, are active in finding solutions to preserve a way of life and support the backbone of our coastal communities, the small boat fishermen.
The Council meeting covered a broad scope of issues which included Bering Sea/Aleutian Island crab management, Gulf of Alaska cod and pollock seasonal allocation adjustments, approved action module work plans for the Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan and initiated an expanded discussion paper identifying mechanisms to develop an Access Pool for the halibut and sablefish fisheries that facilitates entry-level opportunity.