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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Alaska For The First Time Since The Start Of The Pandemic, Unalaska Drops Local Risk Level To 'Low' KUCB by Maggie Nelson - June 10, 2021 The City of Unalaska has dropped its coronavirus risk level to "low" for the first time since the State of Alaska confirmed its first cases of the virus last year. Fully vaccinated OBI Seafoods worker tests positive for COVID-19 in Dillingham KDLG by Brian Venua - June 11, 2021 People who are vaccinated against COVID-19 can still test positive for the disease, though those cases are rare. Multimedia Release: Coast Guard partners with Alaska Army National Guard, Civil Air Patrol for Marine Safety Task Force Bristol Bay deployment U.S. Coast Guard sent this bulletin at 06/14/2021 07:50 PM EDT ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Coast Guard Marine Safety Task Force (MSTF) members partnered with Alaska Army National Guard and Civil Air Patrol flight crews today in Anchorage for a Bristol Bay marine safety deployment in support of the region’s 2021 commercial salmon fishing season. Environment/Science Businesses call for long-term salmon protections in Bristol Bay, Alaska Seafood Source by Brian Hagenbuch - June 11, 2021 A group of more than 200 businesses and industry associations sent an open letter to the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden and the U.S. Congress yesterday asking for lasting protections in Bristol Bay, Alaska, home to world’s largest sockeye salmon run. FYI’s Young Fishermen’s Summit set for Dec. 7-9 Cordova Times - June 14, 2021 Alaska Sea Grant will host the 2021 Young Fishermen’s Summit, three days of networking and skill-building, from Dec. 7-9 in Anchorage. Pacific Council Executive Director Announces Retirement This Year by Susan Chambers - June 14, 2021 Change is coming to the Pacific Fishery Management Council. After five years of leadership, several years of deputy director leadership and a career in West Coast fisheries, Executive Director Chuck Tracy is planning his next adventure: retirement. "My last five years as ED have been the most challenging of my career, and I hope I have been at least an adequate accomplice in all the Council has engaged in during that time," Tracy said in an email to Council members, colleagues and staff earlier this month. He plans to cap 20 years of Council service with his retirement at the end of this year. Tracy said a formal announcement and draft recruiting materials are included in the Council's June briefing book for the closed session portion of the meeting. The Council will consider the next steps for hiring a new director later this month and during the September and possibly November Council meetings. Tracy succeeded Dr. Don McIsaac in 2016. During his tenure, he led the Council through tough problems such as the interaction of salmon with Southern Resident Killer Whales, the trawl groundfish catch shares program review, commercial halibut fishery transition from international management to federal management, implementation of deep-set buoy gear in the highly migratory fisheries, roller coaster salmon seasons, relaxed groundfish rockfish conservation area boundaries for the trawl fleet and changes to essential fish habitat, stock assessments showing successful rockfish rebuilding, and much more. Last year, 2020, was a challenge for all regional fishery management councils as the COVID-19 pandemic created havoc. Like other Councils, PFMC staff worked from home or with limited office hours. Tracy and the Council tech staff were able to make an almost seamless transition to virtual meetings during 2020. "I have certainly enjoyed my job and found it very rewarding," Tracy said in his email. "Most rewarding has been the relationships and camaraderie of people like you and the rest of the Council family, and all that we have accomplished together. My thanks to you all for that." Tracy has a degree in biological oceanography from Humboldt State University with additional graduate level work in estuarine ecology. He has been with the Council since 2001, following several years of service with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, focusing on interjurisdictional fisheries issues, including Columbia River sturgeon research and salmon management. Before becoming the deputy director, he was the staff officer responsible for coordinating Council activity on salmon fishery management. While it's likely Tracy is planning some travel and more fishing adventures in his retirement, he has three more Council meetings before his retirement is official. "I look forward to working with Council leadership on moving forward with the process of hiring a new executive director," Tracy said.

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