Kodiak Daily Mirror - Fisheries subcommittee moves closer to taking position on individual boat accountability
Fisheries subcommittee moves closer to taking position on individual boat accountability
by Nicole Klauss
Jul 24, 2012 | 98 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The room was packed as the Kodiak city and borough fisheries subcommittee met with industry leaders during a Monday morning meeting.

The subcommittee is working to address an agenda item on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s October agenda.

NPFMC plans to take up a fishery management structure that would hold individual boats, rather than fishery sectors — trawlers, jiggers or seiners — for their behavior in the central Gulf of Alaska.

“As governing bodies our focus is an economical outcome,” councilmember John Whiddon said. “I don’t see us having an adversarial position at all, but we also don’t want to be dictated to. We’re on the side of Kodiak.”

The trawl group in attendance Monday is also putting together its own problem statement to address the action.

“We feel that trawl and groundfish is a major contributor to health and the economy in Kodiak,” said Bob Krueger, president of the Alaska Whitefish Trawlers Association in Kodiak.

Julie Bonney, of the Groundfish Data Bank, has been attending the fisheries subcommittee meetings and taking back the information to the trawl group so it can create a program that dovetails with what the fisheries subcommittee is doing.

“It’s in the common interest of us to find common ground prior to October to be more effective,” said city councilman Terry Haines.

Since the last meeting, the fisheries subcommittee generated a document that outlines its approach to action by the NPFMC.

The drafted document lists the overall approach of the work group, the overarching purpose and nine goals for management programs. One goal is to provide effective controls on prohibited species catch to provide for balanced and sustainable fisheries and healthy processing and harvesting sectors. The other goals relate to providing increased opportunities for fishermen and processors, maintaining the economic strength of Kodiak’s waterfront and minimizing the adverse economic impacts of consolidation.

During the Monday meeting the group reviewed the document, and borough assembly member Louise Stutes suggested involving the Kodiak Fisheries Advisory Committee.

“I’m comfortable with this as far as we’ve taken it,” Haines said, agreeing with Stutes.

The group decided to ask KFAC to meet in early August to review the document and provide input about the goals listed.

At the next meeting, the fisheries subcommittee will discuss the feedback from KFAC and prioritize the goals list. The fisheries subcommittee will meet next at 9 a.m. on Aug. 27 in the Kodiak Island Borough conference room.
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