Pacific cod fishery opens in state waters
Cordova Times - October 29, 2019
Commercial fishing for Pacific cod in state waters is underway in the Gulf of Alaska, with a total allowable catch of 936,965 pounds available to vessels with longline, pot or jig gear.
With Regular Flights Still Suspended, Unalaska Considers Emergency Declaration After Crash
KUCB - October 29, 2019
Unalaska may declare a state of emergency following a fatal plane crash on the island this month.
SE Alaska harvesters want no exemption for Tongass
Over 200 commercial fishermen want roadless rule to stay intact
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman - October 29, 2019
Commercial fishermen in Southeast Alaska are strongly opposing any exemption to the roadless rule for Tongass National Forest, saying that the region should be managed for fisheries, rather than logging ventures.
North Pacific Council Takes Up Amendment 113; Adak Cod Fishery Still Uncertain
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - October 29, 2019
Earlier this month, the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council asked for more information on ways Pacific cod could be managed for the community of Adak and its seafood processing plant, which represents about half of the town’s economy.
Amendment 113 to the Magnuson-Stevens Act was rescinded by a federal judge as a result of a lawsuit brought on by representatives of the largely Seattle-based trawl fleet. The judge agreed with the plaintiffs that the Amendment was poorly worded and encouraged the Council to make changes to comply with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and several of its National Standards.
The unanimous motion began the process by calling for a discussion paper “on management options available to promote conservation of [Aleutian Islands] AI Pacific cod and the sustained participation of AI fishing communities.”
The Council wants “an update to the June 2019 discussion paper, including changes to BSAI Amendment 113 to include the modifications approved by the Council in December 2018” as well as an update on the status of the Amendment 113 litigation, and a discussion of how Amendment 113 addresses the MSA’s National Standards, a point in the judges decision that has been contested by the government. The council also directed staff to submit “a thorough examination of options available under MSA 303A for Limited Access Privilege Programs and outside of 303A to meet these objectives.”
Steven Minor, a spokesperson for the Adak plant Golden Harvest Alaska, said the day after the vote, “Yesterday the Council took action to begin the process of restoring Amendment 113.
“We expect the Discussion Paper outlined in the Motion to be brought back at the December Council meeting. If the Council continues to give Amendment 113 priority, we believe that the Discussion Paper will lead to an expedited process similar to the current Mothership package, which could result in A113 being reimplemented by the 2021 season.”
The Mothership package is one of now two issues the Council is currently addressing about cod in the Bering Sea. The other is the BSAI Pacific cod trawl catcher vessel cooperative style-limited access privilege program. The stranded cod in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea was dropped from further discussion.
Opposition to providing the same protections to Adak as the rescinded AM113 does has changed, with two former plaintiffs now dropping their objections. But opposition remains on at least one front: there is less Pacific cod in the eastern Bering Sea than before, and any apportionment from any management program, regardless of who for or where they are located, should reflect that. AM113 set aside 5,000 mt of Pacific cod for Adak when certain conditions were met.
The current owners of the Adak plant have invested millions of dollars in the facility, equipment, and community infrastructure. It was sorely needed over the years when the plant went through a list of owners that included major seafood companies and cooperative entities created by fishermen themselves.
Now they are facing an uncertain future with the fishery starting early next year. The Council meets next December 2-10, 2019 in Anchorage.
Oregon State scientists tout ocean protection progress, give road map for more
Oregonstate.edu - October 22, 2019
CORVALLIS, Ore. – World governments and other leadership bodies are taking vital steps to protect the ocean but more progress is urgently needed, Oregon State University scientists reported today at the Our Ocean Conference.
Bill would protect yet undegraded fish habitat
Cordova Times - October 29, 2019
A California congressman is looking to protect essential fish habitat not yet degraded against future actions of the federal government through introduction of H.R. 4723, the Salmon Focused Investments in Sustainable Habitats (FISH) Act.
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