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Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Alaska "Fundamental Shift” Coming to NPFMC as Native Voices Become Part of the “Way We Do Business” by Peggy Parker - November 7, 2022 The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council approved a new, dedicated seat on their Advisory Panel for a Native Alaskan at their October meeting. They are now asking for Alaska Native Tribes and tribal groups to send nominations in by February 3, 2023. “The Council has received consistent and increased engagement from Alaska Native Tribes and communities in its process and wants to ensure Tribal perspectives are included and represented on its Advisory Panel,” the statement from the council explained. “The Council’s intent is to consider applicants for this seat every three years, with three terms as the maximum, like many other Advisory Panel seats.” “There are no particular educational or professional requirements,” according to the website. “However, experience in fisheries, commercial or subsistence, and training in a related western scientific field and/or being considered a Local Knowledge and Traditional Knowledge expert would be preferred.” The appointment will be announced on February 9, 2023 with the new member's term starting at the April meeting. This is a milestone in a ripening movement to bring Alaska Native knowledge, experience, and culture into management of the resources they fundamentally depend on. Those resources include marine mammals as well as fish, crab, and salmon; plant life in the ocean and on the tundra, birds and caribou. In short, their environment. The story behind the Council’s action began years ago as residents of Bering Sea communities, many subsistence hunters and fishermen, saw changes to the ocean that impacted their food security and way of life. Participation in management decisions of the resources they relied upon was not easy. Cultural barriers including language and frames of reference (subsistence use of the resource versus commercial or sport management), along with systemic racism and geographical remoteness created wide chasms that only recently have been narrowed by efforts on both sides. Mellisa Maktuayaq Johnson, an Iñupiaq born and raised in Nome, Alaska, has seen the struggle and advancements up close. Johnson, a tribal member of Nome Eskimo Community, is the Indigenous Communication and Engagement Specialist for the US Inter-Agency Research and Policy Committee (IARPC). From 2018 to 2022, she was the Executive Director of the Bering Sea Elders Group. She has sixteen years experience with tribal health, currently works with the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Tribal Consortium (AYK TC) as a Government Affairs and Policy Director, and is an Air Force Veteran. She was also newly appointed to the Council’s Advisory Panel. At the October meeting of the AP, Johnson made the motion to create two Native-designated seats to the panel. Her motion, after a spirited and at times difficult discussion among panel members, passed by two votes. When the motion was discussed by the Council a few days later, Council member Andy Mezirow introduced a motion for one seat, not two as the AP recommended. His motion came during a time when amendments to the the Magnuson-Stevens Act have called for two seats on the Council itself to be designated for Native Alaskans. It is also not two months into Congresswoman Mary Peltola’s partial term to finish Congressman Don Young’s term. Young died unexpectedly in February. Peltola won the special election to serve out the remaining few months of his term, and she in running in tomorrow’s mid term elections to serve another two years. She has publicly supported the idea of dedicated Native seats on the federal fisheries management council in Alaska. Mezirow referenced this language in the draft bill in Congress during his statement on the motion. “While we lack the authority to make it happen, as one council member, I hope to see the day that we can welcome Native Alaska tribal seats to join us here. I’m sure this would be a better process for it.” “We’ve made room at our tables in various committees to include Alaska Native perspectives,” Mezirow said. “It’s time to ensure that this perspective is permanently included in our Advisory Panel.” Other council members agreed. Council co-chair Bill Tweit acknowledged that designated seats on the AP is a break from tradition, and hoped “..we don’t start creating others without similar consideration.” He also noted the seismic shift in thinking this has triggered. “For us, it represents a pretty fundamental shift in how we do business, how we view the world, and how we view our own role in the world, relative to others,” Tweit said, adding he would support the motion. “I will be wholeheartedly supporting it,” said Angel Drobnica, another council member. “And thanks to all the testifiers for sharing your voices and perspective. I thank Ms. Johnson for her leadership on this as well. This action will very much enrich our process.” “It’s been amazing public comment we’ve heard not just today but for years,” said Council chair Simon Kineen. “Thank you Ms. Johnson for bringing this forward and for making the Advisory Panel a more welcoming place.” Kineen then asked if there were any objections to the motion. After a pause, he said “I thought not. Motion passes unanimously.” Environment/Science Researchers investigate impact of road salt on salmon A group of researchers in Metro Vancouver is starting a 5-year study to see if salt is harming salmon CBC News by Rafferty Baker - November 7, 2022 Chris Wood, an adjunct professor in the zoology department at UBC, points to a spawning salmon in Stoney Creek. Wood, his fellow scientists and dozens of volunteers are beginning a five-year study to investigate the effect of road salt on salmon in creeks around Metro Vancouver. (UBC) Labeling and Marketing Alaska Seafood Marketing’s All Hands on Deck meet this week National Fisherman by Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute - November 6, 2022 The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute will host its annual All Hands On Deck meeting in Girdwood, Alaska, and virtually online during November 9-11. Pacific Seafood Processors Association 1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119 Phone: 206.281.1667 E-mail:; Website: Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. *Inclusion of a news article, report, or other document in this email does not imply PSPA support or endorsement of the information or opinion expressed in the document.


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