At a meeting chaired by borough assembly member Chris Lynch Monday morning, Theresa Peterson and Alexus Kwachka presented the proposal intended to help “build a construct that will protect the community into perpetuity,” Kwachka said.
Peterson, an outreach coordinator for the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, called the draft a “straw man” outline to get the discussion going ahead of the October NPFMC meeting in October. She said they looked at examples of CFAs and comparable plans in Kodiak and other communities to see what experience has proved.
“Not all of it’s good,” she said. “Some of it’s good, some of it’s bad.”
The presenters also noted that the tide of regulation would carry on with or without input from Kodiak.
“There’s no going back,” Peterson said.
Among the concerns of those exploring the plans are the potential flight of ownership and control of local resources to Outside interests and the loss of crew jobs that have affected some communities.
“We know of theses impact, so it’s time to try something different,” Peterson said.
Kwachka said Kodiak should build on the success of the pollock fishery and “anchor” the resource in the community.
“Nobody owns the fish,” he said. “This is a public resource.”
Peterson acknowledged that talk of CFAs had prompted “strong resistance” from the trawl industry. She said more direct dialog with that sector should be a next step in designing a plan that can represent the whole community.
City council member John Whiddon noted the work group has the option of not weighing in on the issue directly, and he predicted any board set to govern CFAs would become politicized.
“I personally don’t want to be a referee for this dispute,” he said.
Also at Monday’s meeting, members discussed possible adjustments to the group’s statement of goals and objectives. They agreed that some “wordsmithing” might be in order, but any substantial changes must come from the city council and borough assembly.
“These (goals) are very broad,” Lynch said.