The North Pacific Fishery Management Council wrapped up its weeklong meeting in Kodiak Tuesday. The last day consisted mostly of setting the agendas for upcoming meetings and tasking council staff with producing reports on various topics. The council also said goodbye to one member who will be leaving due to term limits. And they did it all with a little bit of humor. KMXT’s Casey Kelly reports.
Chairman Eric Olson says he’s happy with how the meeting in Kodiak turned out. The council had an agenda packed with issues important to the local community, and despite being about a day and a half behind at one point, they were able to catch up and finish the meeting on time.
(Olson 1 :34s “…really valuable to me.”)
Duncan Fields, who is from Kodiak and sits on the council, was also pleased with the meeting, but admits to feeling a little tired.
(Fields 1 :17s “…seven days of work.”)
One of the last actions taken by the council was a move suggested by Fields to postpone initial review of two items that would limit the amount and scope of fishing effort in the Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries. Instead of taking that up at the council’s October meeting, it’s been moved back to December.
(Fields 2 :24s “…of Alaska groundfish.”)
The council also said goodbye to John Bundy, who has served the maximum nine consecutive years allowed by term limits. Bundy, who will continue to serve as the council’s vice chair until his replacement is sworn in at the October meeting, is the president of Seattle based Glacier Fish Company and one of two council members appointed based on the recommendation of the governor of Washington state. He became the butt of some jokes during his final meeting.
(Bundy 1 :21s “…very nice, I thought.”)
Olson, who many in the public credit with running a very respectful and inclusive meeting, says keeping things light is one of his goals every time the council gets together. He says members even had fun with some of the colorful phrases thrown out there during public testimony, playing a version of Kodiak buzzword bingo that included such sayings as “quagmire,” “shooting elephants with BB guns” and “buyback my back.” Olson says it’s all in the name of fun.
(Olson 1 :27s “…the tension a little bit.”)
Although the council won’t meet again until early October in Anchorage, several committees including the crab committee will meet throughout the summer.
I’m Casey Kelly.