Kodiak Fisheries Could be Threatened by a Proposition Submitted to the Alaska Board of Fisheries

Fishing boat going out to sea. (Photo: Gruscana/ Oscar’s Dock and Boats of Kodiak/flickr)

Mitch Borden/KMXT

A recent proposal to the Alaska Board of Fisheries asks it to limit the amount of salmon fisherman can catch in the Kodiak area. That’s according to Heather McCarty, the fisheries analyst for the City of Kodiak and the Kodiak Island Borough.

At a joint work session between the assembly and the council, she detailed how the Upper Cook Inlet Drifters Association submitted Agenda Change Request #11, or ACR #11, to the board of fisheries. McCarty says it urges the board to change its schedule for its annual meeting so it can consider setting caps on Kodiak.

Borough Mayor Dan Rohrer says these limits wouldn’t be good for the region.

“The word that comes to my mind is catastrophic”

Heather McCarty says the proposal is inspired by a recent study that shows salmon from the Cook Inlet mix with salmon from Kodiak. Fishermen in the region can’t tell the difference, so they harvest Cook Inlet fish. McCarty says that’s not surprising.

“This is not new information, this fishery has had a mix stock aspect to it as long as it is being managed and it is being managed as a mixed stock fishery in some places.”

If the proposed caps were instated, McCarty says ACR#11 would affect a lot of people.

“It also has this trickle down effect to the processors, the processing workers, and thus the whole community.”

McCarty presented a letter she drafted for the Kodiak Salmon Work Group to the joint work session. It asks the fisheries board to reject ACR#11. Members of the city council and the borough assembly offered their support for the letter and gave some suggestions on how to word it.

Both the council and the assembly have to approve the letter before they can submit it. The deadline is in early October. The Alaska Board of Fisheries will decide later that month if it’ll approve ACR#11.

 

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