The group already has a list of 10 objectives but wants to determine where it will go next in terms of developing consensus, the role of public comment and how the group wants to be involved with policy development.
City councilman John Whiddon said it is important that the work group educate themselves on the issues. He referenced the size of Kodiak’s trawl fleet and asked whether people know how many of the 34 to 36 trawlers in Kodiak are locally based, the size of their crews and how much money they bring to Kodiak.
“I believe we’ve been focused on the (North Pacific Fisheries Management) Council’s trawl motion,” Whiddon said. “I don’t know that we’re prepared to discuss anything than the current motion. I don’t know if as a group we truly understand the economic impact of the trawl industry of Kodiak.”
“I don’t think it’s just an understanding of the trawl industry,” city mayor Pat Branson said. “I think it’s an understanding of what the fishing industry is to the community. The focus I believe is understanding fisheries as a whole and how it affects the community economically.”
The group also discussed whether or not it wants to build policy or monitor policy.
“How do we balance policy?” Whiddon asked. “How do we take it all and decide what is best for Kodiak? I believe we’re getting into a slippery slope if we start promoting … we’re not experts. If we’re going to get into the arena we have to have a clear process.”
Assemblywoman Chris Lynch and Whiddon agreed work on an outline for where the group wants to go, to be presented at a future meeting.
Whiddon also voiced his concern that the work group hasn’t been using fisheries consultant Denby Lloyd as much as it should.
“I think we’re underutilizing our consultant,” Whiddon said. “We need to review his agreement so we as a group can extract more information from him.”
The work group also discussed the process for distributing information such as draft letters. All draft letters will be required to go before both bodies before being sent out even if it means having to convene a joint work session to review them, the group determined.
“It’s important it doesn’t just go out with a mayor’s signature without being reviewed by both joint work group bodies,” Branson said.
The fisheries work group will next at 9 a.m. April 8 in the borough conference room.
Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at email@example.com.