Coast Guard to be in Sitka for Dockside Exams and for Herring Fishery


JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard has developed a multi-pronged approach to improve the safety of fishermen participating in the 2007 Sitka Sound Sac Roe Herring Fishery.  The opener is slated to begin sometime in the next week or two, pursuant to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s (ADF&G) assessment of herring stocks.  Collisions between fishing vessels have occurred in the past during this fishery in which approximately fifty purse seiners compete in a limited area for the few hours the nets are allowed in the water.

In preparation for the opener, teams of Coast Guard Fishing Vessel Examiners have deployed to Sitka to conduct free dockside safety exams to participating vessels.  Examiners award decals to vessels that are able to demonstrate full compliance with federal safety regulations. 

When Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) declares the fishery open, a Coast Guard cutter will be on scene to respond to vessel casualties or incidents that involve negligent or unsafe navigation.  Teams from the cutter will also board fishing vessels to check for safety violations.  Fishing vessels that have recently earned decals as a result of dock-side exams will be less likely to face Coast Guard boardings during this opener and throughout the 12 months the decals are valid.

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