Kodiak’s Fisheries Work Group is honing in on a plan of attack for fish politics this week. In October the North Pacific Fishery Management Council moved forward with a proposal for managing Gulf of Alaska trawl bycatch. The hope is to analyze a set of alternatives before the next council meeting in April, and folks in Kodiak are working to weigh in on that.
Assemblywoman Chris Lynch sits on the fisheries work group and said there will be a meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss the council’s management actions.
“So we’re working on developing a list of key points for discussion. And we’re going to start to present that stuff this coming week. And it’s merely a starting point for how the community wants us to move forward. What now the alternatives are – now we need to decide what’s best for the community as part of those alternatives and what we want our say – how we want the council to review all this.”
Lynch said they will discuss the alternatives on Wednesday and see what should be added in terms of Kodiak’s fisheries.
“There’s a section for allocated species and they listed the species and now we need to decide to we want to include any secondary species. The next one is sector allocation of the prohibited species being caught – so that’s concentrating on the Chinook salmon and the halibut and there was a percentage given as to what percentage of this should be caught or not and we need to make sure that this works for everybody. Voluntary onshore co-ops – that’s another thing that’s being discussed and we need to know how processors and harvestors thing that’s going to work.”
She said they will also look at Community Fisheries Associations, or CFAs, or alternatives to that structure.
The hope is that anyone with stake in Kodiak’s many fisheries will attend Wednesday’s meeting and at the very least let the work group know how involved they’d like to be in the process.
“What we’re going to start out doing is trying to develop a roundtable sort of what groups want to be involved what groups want a say in what’s being presented – do you want your group to do a presentation – that’s the kind of information we’re looking for because we have from now until April – while it seems far, it’s really close based on the kind of meeting schedule we have – we want to know who wants to be at the actual table because having an actual fisheries work group meeting and not having people interact with us is not going to be helpful from this point on.”
The Fisheries Work Group will meet Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. in the borough conference room. It is open to the public and the agenda and packet information is available on the city’s website.