During a recent joint work session between the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly and Kodiak City Council a decision was made for both governing bodies to pass joint resolutions on approaches to local fishery management and regulations for the Central Gulf of Alaska trawl fishery. The borough assembly did so during last Thursday’s regular meeting and passed both resolutions.
First up for approval by the assembly was an overall approach to fishery management in the Kodiak region. Assemblywoman Chris Lynch said the approach was created by the Kodiak Fisheries Workgroup, which is comprised of three representatives from both the borough assembly and city council.
— (Borough Fishery Say 1 :35 “Over the summer the fisheries workgroup has been meeting and working very hard in preparation for the upcoming North Pacific Fishery Management Council meetings. In preparation we have decided to draft an overall approach to fisheries issues. The document and the five points were vetted through the Kodiak Fisheries Advisory Council. They were presented to the joint city council borough assembly work session and we decided to make the overall approach official so that’s what’s before us.”)
The five-point approach to fisheries management ensures impacts on community and revenue streams are considered in decision making. Assemblywoman Louise Stutes said there has been ample community involvement in drafting this approach.
— (Borough Fishery Say 2 :29 “I would just like to add that this had quite a bit of public input and it’s one of the few times these resolutions that we’ve brought all the fishing industry together, all of the different gear sectors and everything and this seems to be supported totally by our processors, our fishermen and it’s really a step in the right direction for this community and protecting itself and defending itself and its fisheries and I urge people to support this.”)
The resolution passed with no contention, as did the broad approach to management of the trawl fishery. During the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting next month the council will address bycatch issues attributed to the Pacific cod and Pollock trawling. The fishery council is attempting to find a solution to this problem, and one method on the table is holding individual boats accountable by putting a cap on bycatch. Kodiak is home to multiple gear types, including trawlers, and Lynch said the fisheries workgroup tried to take that into account when drafting the resolution.
— (Borough Fishery Say 3 : 50 “As previously stated the workgroup has met throughout the summer, we felt that it was very important to first of all take extensive comment from all fisheries groups and gear types as well as processors and have developed the goals for management programs. We’re taking the 30,000 foot approach so that we are being very cautious not to support specific gear types that our goal is to support the community. So it’s important to get in on the first reading of the prohibited species catch resolution that’s being written. This resolution will be attached to a cover letter that is being presented by both mayors and we felt that this would have more teeth if it was presented as such.”)
Next up, the city council will approve their end of the joint resolution and both mayors will attend the fishery council meeting during the first week of October to present the opinions of both governing bodies.