Thirteen Applicants on Governor’s Desk for Two Possible Alaska Council Seats

SEAFOODNEWS.COM By Peggy Parker – February 12, 2016

There are eleven voting members on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, six of which represent Alaska. The majority bloc of Alaskan votes will see at least one new face this year because three-term member Duncan Fields will be stepping down in June.

Fields, from Kodiak, has served three consecutive three-year terms, the maximum allowed. David Long of Wasilla, whose first term also expires this year, could be reappointed. Long has worked in many Alaska fisheries as a skipper and fleet manager.

Whether Governor Walker has one or two new appointments to make, he will have more than a dozen applicants, from Sand Point to Sitka, to choose from.

Alan Austerman may be the most well known. Born and raised in Kodiak, he served as Majority Leader of the State House, and as a first-term Senator, before becoming the Fisheries Policy Advisory to Governor Frank Murkowksi.

Linda Behnken of Sitka has been the executive director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association for 18 years and has been fishing for over 20. She was a Council member in the mid 1990s, has been appointed to fish management panels including the National Science Foundation’s IFQ Review Panel and was part of Governor Walkers’ Fisheries Transition Team.

Julie Bonney is the executive director of the Alaska Groundfish Data Bank of Kodiak. She is intricately involved in management initiatives that have helped shape the current management structure in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and Gulf of Alaska.

Ed Dersham, a former charter skipper who has worked on projects with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and served eight years of the Alaska Board of Fish, also served two terms on the Council. Dersham was replaced by Andy Mezirow in 2015. Even for members who have termed out, once they are off the council, they may reapply and serve again.

Theresa Peterson of Kodiak has served on the Council’s Advisory Panel for several years, and is the Kodiak Outreach Coordinator for the Alaska Marine Conservation Council. She has a family owned and operated fishing business, in the commercial halibut and salmon fleet and as a set net operation on Kodiak Island.

Art Nelson is also on the Council’s Advisory Panel, appointed just last year. He is the executive director of the Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association, based in Anchorage.

Buck Laukitis from Homer is a commercial fisherman and past president of the North Pacific Fisheries Association. He has also been on the Board of Trustees for the Homer Foundation since 2005.

Paul Gronholdt, of Sand Point, represents the Aleutian/Pribilof Islands on the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference. He is also a commercial fisherman. Both Gronholdt and Laukitis were named as alternates by Governor Walker when he reappointed Dan Hull for his third term; Hull now serves as Chairman of the Council.

Rhonda Olivia Pitka, is chief of Beaver, an Athabaskan village north of the Yukon River and just south of the Arctic Circle. Pitka participated in a roundtable discussion with President Obama during his visit to Alaska last year.

Jim Sepel is a retired Coast Guard commander and Juneau resident who owns a marine surveying firm. Sepel served on the Alaska Boating Safety Advisory Council under former Governor Parnell.

Rebecca Skinner is an attorney from Kodiak who serves on the Borough Assembly and the Southwest Alaska Municipal Council.

Emilie Springer, a Homer native and longtime salmon fisherman, holds a bachelor’s from Stanford University and a master’s in marine affairs from the University of Washington. She was in the doctoral program at UAF department of anthropology.

Jed Whittaker has been active in Alaska’s Green Party and on various fishing and community-related programs.

The deadline for additional applicants is February 15, 2016. The Governor is expected to make his recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce in mid-March. The Secretary will announce the appointments no later than June 27.

Peggy Parker, Science and Sustainability Editor
SeafoodNews.com 1-781-861-1441
Editorial Email: Editor@seafood.com
Reporter’s Email: peggyparker@seafood.com

Copyright © 2016 Seafoodnews.com

Story Posted: 2/12/2016 2:16:47 AM
reprinted with permission

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Salmon Study Mooring Buoys at Little Port Walter

The National Marine Fisheries Service, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey and Rutgers University will be deploying temporary ocean moorings in Southern Chatham Strait near LPW. The moorings are part of a research effort to assess the use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) for conducting fisheries research and studying the outmigration of juvenile Chinook salmon.

Twenty-four reference moorings will be deployed; three will be placed approximately 3 kilometers north of LPW, three will be placed approximately 3 kilometers south of LPW, and eighteen will be near the mouth and within the Port Walter area. The moorings will have yellow or orange buoys and will be clearly labeled “NOAA RESEARCH”.  All moorings will be a minimum of 200 meters apart and at least 50 meters from the shore. The moorings will be deployed between March 16 and March 26, 2016. All equipment associated with the study will be removed completely no later than December 15, 2016.

See document below for more information about the project and for a map of the locations of the mooring buoys.

LPW Salmon Study – mooring buoys 2.10.16

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ASMI Report and Presentation about Report

ASMI Alaska Seafood Impacts Final Dec2015 2.5.16 - Report

ASMI Feb2016 slides 2.5.16 - Presentation with 6 slides summarizing the report

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BLACKCOD ALMANAC 2016

Blackcod Almanac 2016

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King and Tanner Task Force Meeting Jan 29, 2016

The following powerpoint presentations were given at the King and Tanner Task Force Meeting.

GKC KTTF 2016

RKC Mark Recapture Update KTTF 2016

SEAK Commercial RKC presentation

SEAK Commercial Tanner Crab Presentation

2015-2016 Tanner stock status data packet for distribution

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IPHC Adopted Catch Limits

The IPHC adopted the season dates of March 19-Nov 7, 2016

IPHC adopted catch limits 1.29.16 compares the 2015 and 2016 blue lines, the 2015 harvest and the advice provided by the IPHC conference board and Processor Advisory Group to the Commissioner and adopted catch limits.

 

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NEW COAST GUARD LIFE RAFT REQUIREMENTS

New Requirements – Starting on February 26, 2016, all Commercial Fishing Vessels operating more than 3 NM from the Baseline, regardless of size or number of persons onboard are required to carry a Survival Craft that ensures that no part of an individual is immersed in water. Starting on November 1, 2016, all Commercial Fishing Vessels operating within 3 NM that are 36’ or greater or operating with 4 or more people on board are also required to carry a Survival Craft that ensures that no part of an individual is immersed in water.

The minimum acceptable Survival Craft for these vessels will be a USCG approved Inflatable Buoyant Apparatus. This new requirement will also apply to vessels that are currently not required to carry a Survival Craft (i.e. vessels under 36’ in length that carry less than 4 persons onboard) that operate between 3 and 12 NM from the Baseline and all vessels currently required to carry survival craft. The USCG approved Survival Craft(s) that comply with the new regulations taking effect on February 26, 2016 and November 1, 2016 include: an Inflatable Buoyant Apparatus or a Liferaft containing a SOLAS A pack, a SOLAS B pack or a Coastal pack, as approved under 46 CFR Subchapter Q.

Skiff Exemption Program – The Coast Guard Seventeenth District (Alaska) currently issues Survival Craft Exemption letters that allow Commercial Fishing Vessels to meet their Buoyant Apparatus/Life Float requirement with a suitable “skiff”. These letters will become invalid for vessels operating more than 3 NM from the Baseline on February 26, 2016.

To view Full Marine Safety Bulletin click

MSIB_Survival_Craft_Requirements_04Jan15 SDG (003) 1.13.16

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Supreme Court REVERSES DECISION on SETNET BAN Initative

The Supreme Court REVERSED the Superior Courts decision to put the setnet ban initiative on the ballot.  Their conclusion was that the initative would allocate the salmon resource to other users and therefore would significantly narrow the legislature’s and Board of Fisheries range of freedom to make allocative decisions.  Thereby effecting a prohibited appropriation via initiative.

http://www.courtrecords.alaska.gov/webdocs/opinions/ops/sp-7073.pdf

 

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Sablefish Quota Set at NPFMC December meeting

NPFMC Adopts Sablefish Allowable Biological Catch (ABC) Limits
(Listed in Tonnes)
Region                      2015 ABC            2015 Catch           2016 ABC
Western GOA                1,473                         1,012                         1,272
Central GOA                 4,658                        4,570                          4,023
West Yakutat                1,708                        1,802                           1,475
South East Outside      2,682                        2,822                           2,317
Total GOA                   10,521                       10,206                        9,087

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Sablefish

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