Board of Fish Faces Full Agenda in Sitka

Robert Woolsey/KCAW

The Alaska State Board of Fisheries opened a 10-day meeting in Sitka this (Monday) morning.

On the agenda for the board are 107 proposals for changes in management to Southeast Alaska’s herring, salmon, and groundfish fisheries.

There are 16 proposals alone on Sitka Sound herring, from a variety of concerned stakeholders, including the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and commercial herring seiners.

There are also proposals this year to allow the harvest of black cod in pots in state waters. Previously, all fishing for black cod has been done using gear called a longline, which has individual hooks. The pot proposal is an effort to combat predation by sperm whales on longline gear.

There are also proposals concerning the harvest of lingcod and rockfish, including a proposal to require sport fishermen to release some species of bottomfish only after first returning them to deep water.

The Board of Fish does not tackle each of the 107 proposals individually. Instead, a stakeholder group called the “Committee of the Whole” consolidates similar proposals. Committee work is expected to take up at least three mornings this week.

The board is scheduled to meet in Sitka through March 3.

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