Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Official Board of Fish Teleconference Summary.

Official Board of Fish Teleconference Summary
Southeast King Salmon Sport Fishery
April 28, 2008
Summary of Actions
The Alaska Board of Fisheries (board) met by teleconference on April 28, 2008 to consider possible emergency regulations regarding sport fishing for king salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska. Six of seven board members were in attendance (Morris absent). Public listen-only sites were available in Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, and Juneau.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game recently announced a 48 percent reduction in the Southeast Alaska king salmon harvest quota for the 2008 season. The board considered possible adjustments to the sport fishing regulations beyond those announced by the department in a April 9, 2008 Emergency Order, including modifying the date of a salmon derby, allowing for in-season adjustment to regulations, and modifying the number of allowable lines for charter boats.
The board adopted a finding of emergency based on the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare as provided for in Alaska Statute 44.62.250.
The board adopted an emergency regulation to apply to the 2008 season that would 1) allow retention of king salmon 28 inches or greater in length during the period of July 15-Sept. 30 by resident anglers, and 2) allow charter boats to use up to six lines in May and June. In addition from July 15 through September 30 nonresidents may only retain king salmon 48 inches or greater in length.
The board noted that a key consideration from a resident fishing perspective was that prohibiting the retention of king salmon 28-inches or greater after August 1 for residents would essentially close an important fishing opportunity. The action taken was intended by the board to allow for continued sport fishing opportunity for king salmon in marine waters for unguided sport anglers, consistent with board finding #1993-142-FB. It was understood that a week-long reduction in non-resident fishing would make up the difference to allow an additional two months of resident fishing time in terms of conservation savings.
The board also noted that a key consideration from a charter fleet perspective was avoiding a reduction in the number of lines allowed per vessel from six down to four, particularly during the months of May and June. It was understood by the board that an additional week of non-resident fishing restriction in July would make up the difference in conservation savings that could be achieved by a reduction in the number of lines to four.
The board addressed the allocation criteria, the sustainable salmon fisheries policy, and discussed costs to the public. The board clarified its intent to delegate to the Commissioner the authority to adopt the emergency regulation permanently. The emergency regulation will sunset on September 30, 2008.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

More Emergency Orders on the guided sportfishermen.

Is this a sign of things to come?

This emergency order modifies lingcod sport fishing seasons, bag and possession limits and, for non-resident and guided anglers only, establishes minimum and maximum size limits and annual limits for lingcod in the marine waters of Southeast Alaska.
The Alaska Board of Fisheries modified sport fisheries regulations for lingcod in Southeast Alaska in response to indications in the directed lingcod commercial fishery of a widespread decline in abundance.
To read the whole EO click below.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It seems the state is ok with a 1 fish limit.

All correspondence with Sarah and her minions about the impending doom associated with a one fish limit is simply ignored. Perhaps its because commissioner Denby S. Lloyd has a long history of working with the commercial fisheries and Deputy Commissioner David Bedford served as Director of The SE AK Seiners Association and the governor is a setnetter,
No wonder the department thinks that the one king salmon limit is adequate for recreational anglers and a 1 halibut limit should be just fine also. They have history to draw on that says 1 fish is a good regulation that is easy to enforce. A 1 fish limit in area 2C is only the beginning. They will not allow a 1 fish limit in 2C and a two fish limit in 3A for very long. It can only be effective if 3A and 2C are both 1 fish areas so one area does not have an advantage over another and shifts angler effort to that area.
All interested parties need to come together and demand a solution to this nonsense before the halibut sportifshing charters are forced out of business by a totally biased process.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Charter fleet to lease halibut quota shares.

AP story in the Anchorage Daily News.

JUNEAU -- The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is trying a new way to fix allocation disputes between the charter and commercial halibut fleets.
Charter boat operators are wary of relying on commercial fishermen, who would have to choose to lease their quotas to charters, he said. When prices are good, there might be no quota to lease because fishermen would use it themselves, Bierman said.
But commercial fishermen argue that the charters shouldn't be getting fish for free that they have to pay for.
"From the commercial side, we think it's a really good thing, because (charter boats) are obviously going over their allocation," said Kathy Hansen, executive director of the Southeast Alaska Fishermen's Alliance.
Under the plan, the council would impose gradually stricter regulations on charter operators if they exceeded their limits.
The Department of Fish and Game says charter boats have exceeded soft guideline harvest limits for the last several years.
Tiered restrictions on charter boats would only be triggered if they exceeded their allocations. Less severely, charter boat employees could be forbidden from taking fish; more severely, clients could be limited to a one-fish bag limit.
After years of a two-fish bag limit, charter boats were restricted to a smaller-size second fish last year. Charter captains have said that any reduction in the two-fish bag limit would severely hurt their business, because clients come up expecting two fish.