This (Friday) morning the Kodiak Island Borough Clerk sent an e-mail to the chairman of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, which is meeting in Anchorage, rescinding a letter previously sent by the borough mayor. Today’s letter, drafted at the direction of a majority of the assembly, says the position taken by Mayor Jerome Selby on a Tanner Crab closure proposition did not go through the proper public procedure and does not reflect the position of the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly.
Selby’s letter was sent last week, and reportedly presented to the council by a third party at the meeting this week. The fishery council will be deciding on whether or not to restrict or close areas around Kodiak to trawl and pot ground fisheries to protect Tanner crab stocks from becoming bycatch. Selby’s letter says the borough is opposed to any seasonal or annual closure areas in the Gulf of Alaska.
Because there were no public hearings or assembly discussion before the letter was sent to the fishery council, Selby came under fire at last night’s meeting from fishermen, such as Shaun Dochtermann and Daniel Miller.
— (Letter 1 38 sec "Mayor Selby, I’m really … of my rights and trust.")
Selby spent almost 20 minutes in the middle of the meeting defending his letter
— (Letter 2 37 sec "I’m having a little bit … on the sea lion issue.")
Selby also called for a rethinking of the borough’s fishery advisory task force, saying that it can rarely come to consensus with so many disparate fishing interests represented on it. He suggested perhaps having a panel made up of other interested citizens, who would hear from fishermen on issues and then try and reach consensus before advising the assembly.
Several assembly members said they were taken by surprise by Selby’s letter and the flood of phone calls they received. Both Jerrol Friend and Dave Kaplan said they were "blindsided" by it, and Sue Jeffery said she was taken aback.
In the end, four assemblymembers, Louise Stutes, Judy Fulp, Friend and Jeffery, indicated to Borough Clerk Nova Javier that a letter rescinding Selby’s letter be drafted and sent.