Southeast Gillnet King Fishery

The first directed Chinook fishery on the Taku and Stikine kings occurred on May 7th. 

TAKU:  The Taku (District 11-B) fishery was open for 12 hours and harvested a preliminary estimate of 150 kings from 42 boats.  The pre-season US allowable catch of Taku kings is 6,703.  Another opening of 12 hours is scheduled on Monday, May 14th.

STIKINE:  The Stikine  ( District 8 ) fishery was open for 24 hours and harvested a preliminary estimate of 50 kings from 24 boats.  The pre-season US allowable catch of Stikine kings is 5,890. Another opening of 24 hours is scheduled to start on Monday, May 14th.

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Dungeness Task Force Agenda May 16, 2012

MAY 16, 2012, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tides Inn Conference Room, Petersburg, Alaska
Douglas – ADF&G Southeast Region office, 802 3rd Street, Douglas, Alaska;
Ketchikan – Ketchikan Employment Center Hemlock room, 2030 Sea Level Drive, Suite 220, Ketchikan, Alaska;
Sitka – ADF&G Sitka Area office, 304 Lake Street, Sitka, Alaska;
Wrangell – Wrangell Fire Hall, 4310 Zimovia Highway, Wrangell, Alaska

1) Review recent Southeast Alaska commercial Dungeness crab fishery performance and data. (Joe Stratman/Adam Messmer)

2) Review recent Alaska Board of Fisheries actions on Southeast Alaska Dungeness crab. (Forrest Bowers)

3) Discussion of Southeast Alaska commercial Dungeness Crab Management Plan. (Joe Stratman) –
a. Background
b. Implementation

4) Issues related to paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). (Michael Gentry, ADEC)
a. Plans for preseason PSP testing
b. Plans for inseason PSP testing
c. Process for implementing closure of PSP areas

5) Discussion of potential joint UAF/industry study of Dungeness crab molt timing.

6) Update on UAF Southern Southeast Sea Otter project. (Sunny Rice)

7) Update on UAF Southeast Alaska Dungeness crab fishery economics project. (Alice Smoker)

8) US Forest Service permitting of on-land crab pot storage sites within Admiralty National Monument. (Jim Case, USFS)

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Sitka Sound & West Behm Sac Roe Herring Fishery Closed

ADFG closed the Sitka Sound Sac Roe Herring Fishery on April 12th. The fleet harvested approximately 13,534 tons in 3 openings on March 31, April 2 & April 7th. This was only 47% of the 2012 season GHL of 28,829 tons. As of April 12th, the total cumulative spawn is approximately 54 nautical miles. The decision to close the fishery was based on the completion of hte major spawning in Sitka Sound, and vessel and aerial surveys conducted over the last several days have not identified a biomass of pre-spawning herring in the Sitka Sound area at this time.

The West Behm Canal was not opened for the 2012 fishery. There was 7.3 miles of spawn but the majority of the spawning took place in areas closed to fishing.

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Governor’s Board of Fish Appointments Confirmed

The Legislature met in joint session on April 10th to confirm the Governor’s Appointments. All appointee’s were confirmed except one Board of Game member.
Orville Huntington was confirmed as part of the consent agenda. Karl Johnstone was deliberated on separately. The following voted no against Johnstone being confirmed. Senators Stedman and Wagoner and Representatives Austerman, Chenault, Doogan, Feige, Gardner, Herron, Johansen, Seaton, Thomas, P. Wilson and T. Wilson

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NPFMC takes Action on Halibut CSP

Council Motion on Charter Halibut Catch Sharing Plan
April 2, 2012
The Council moves to amend its previous action on the charter halibut catch sharing plan (CSP) . This becomes a new preliminary preferred alternative:
The Council adopts the March 27, 2012, recommendation of the Halibut Charter Management Implementation Committee and the Advisory Panel to adopt the “2012 model” for determining annual charter halibut management measures under the CSP and removing the current matrix of management measures that are included in the current proposed rule. With this change, the Council also removes the target range around the allocations of +/- 3.5%.
The Council also adopts the unanimous recommendation of the Halibut Charter Management Implementation Committee and the Advisory Panel to use ADF&G logbboks as the primary data collection method. The Council recommends using an adjustment factor based on the five-year average (2006-2010) of the difference between the harvest estimates provided by the logbooks and the SWHS, with the adjustment factor reduced by the amount of harvest attributed to skipper and crew. The Council’s understanding is that applying this adjustment factor would result in the following changes to the CSP allocations:
Area 3A adjustment factor =15.4%
Area 3A current CSP allocation in Tier 1 = 15.4%
Adjusted CSP allocation = (15.4% * 15.4%) + 15.4% = 178%
Area 3A current CSP allocation in Tiers 2 through 4 = 14.0%
Adjusted CSP allocation = (14% * 15.4%) + 14% = 16.2%
Area 2C adjustment factor = 5.6%
Area 2C Current CSP allocation in Tier 1 = 17.3%
Adjusted CSP allocation = (17.3% * 5.6%) + 17.3% = 18.3%
Area 2C current CSP allocation in Tiers 2 through 4 – 15.1%
Adjusted CSP allocation = (15.1% * 5.6%) = 15.1% = 15.9%
The Council recommends revisions to the GAF program as follows:
• This revision would issue GAF in numbers of fish. Conversions of IFQ pounds to numbers of fish would be based on the average weight of GAF from the previous year.
• In the first year of the GAF program, the GAF weight to number of fish conversion factor is based on the previous year’s data or most recent year without maximum size limit in effect.
• Define leasing limitation from one IFQ share holder from 10% or 1500 pound whichever is greater , to 10% of IFQ holdings in 2C, and to 15% or 1500 pounds in 3A, whichever is greater
• Include a requirement for angler to mark GAF by removing the tips of the upper and lower lobes of the tail and GAF holder to report the length of retained GAF halibut to NMFS through the NMFS approved electronic reporting system.
• A complete review within five years of the start of the GAF program, taking into account the economic effects of both sectors.

The Council recommends consideration of a letter to the IPHC supporting the idea of separate BAWM accountability between the halibut sectors, and revising the preamble to the rule describing the method that the Council would expect to be used by the IPHC in setting catch limits.
The Council requests that the analysis be revised to incorporate the changes to the preliminary preferred alternative described above and include analysis of the following options for consideration to revise the charter allocations at lower levels of abundance:
Option 1: Area 2C
At a combined catch limit of <5 mlbs, establish the CSP allocation at the upper end of the original range proposed for the CSP (20.8%); at a combined catch limit of ≥5 – , <9mlbs, establish the CSP at the allocation at the upper end of the original range proposed for the CSP (18.6%).
At combined catch limits of≤9 mlbs, maintain the original target CSP allocation of 15.1%.
Option 2: Area 3A
At a combined catch limit of <10 mlbs, establish the CSP allocation at the upper end of the original range proposed for the CSP (18.9%); at a combined catch limit of ≥10 – , <20mlbs, establish the CSP at the allocation at the upper end of the original range proposed for the CSP (17.5%).
At combined catch limits of≤20 mlbs, maintain the original target CSP allocation of 14.0%.
Note: Under the 2012 model, the +/- 3.5% range around the allocation would be removed, and the Council would be annually recommending management measures that minimize the difference between the projected harvest and the target allocation , without exceeding the allocation.
With the above additions and revisions, the intent of the Council is to review the CSP analysis as a whole and take final action in the near future.

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Governor Announces Board of Fish Appointments

The Governor announced the reappointment of Karl Johnstone and the appointment of Orville Huntington of Huslia to replace Mike Smith.

The Board of Fisheries is responsible for conservation and development of the state’s fishery resources. This involves setting seasons, bag limits, methods and means for the state’s subsistence, commercial, sport, guided sport, and personal use fisheries, and it also involves setting policy and direction for the management of the state’s fishery resources. The board is charged with making allocative decisions, and the Department of Fish and Game is responsible for management based on those decisions.

Huntington, of Huslia, works as the wildlife and parks director for the Tanana Chiefs Conference. Prior to that, he served for 14 years as a refuge information technician at the Koyukuk/Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge Complex and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Huntington has also worked as a fire fighter, fisherman, and in the Laborer’s and Carpenter’s Union. Huntington holds a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He grew up living and still lives a traditional Native subsistence way of life in the village of Huslia. He serves on the Alaska Federation of Natives board of directors as a representative of Interior villages.

Johnstone, of Anchorage, is a retired Superior Court judge who served on the bench from 1979 to 1996, including service as the presiding judge of the Third Judicial District for the last four years of his career. He has enjoyed sport fishing and also worked as a commercial fisherman for salmon in Bristol Bay and herring in southeast Alaska. Johnstone, first appointed in December 2008, is the current chair of the board.

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Southeast Chinook Salmon Quota Announced

The all gear quota is reduced by 28,000 fish from last year.
2012 Treaty Chinook Salmon Allocations
All-Gear treaty quota       266,800
Seine                                           11,472
Gillnet                                         7,737
Set-gillnet                                  1,000
Troll                                        197,272
Sport                                          49,318

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SEAL BOMBS – You Need a Firearms Permit to Purchase

Don’t forget that you need an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Permit in order to purchase seal bombs.  It is illegal for seal bombs to be sold to you without having a copy of your permit.  Punishable by jail time.  The following link will take you to an ATF permit.  It takes time to receive this permit.  We have been in contact with Senator’s Begich office about this issue and put into legislation an exemption to allow fishermen to use seal bombs.  If you are concerned about this contact Sen. Begich’s office and let them know that you would like the exemption.

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Governor makes NPFMC Appointments

March 15, 2012, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell nominated Robert “Ed” Dersham and Howard “Dan” Hull for consideration by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for continued service on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). The governor also named Timothy Evers and Julianne Curry as alternate nominees.

“The fisheries resources in the North Pacific are of vital importance to Alaska, and each of these nominees possesses excellent management and conservation skills,” Governor Parnell said. “Mr. Dersham and Mr. Hull have served effectively on the council, and Alaska’s interests will continue to be well-served by these nominees.” 

Dersham, of Anchorage, is completing his first full term on the NPFMC, having served a partial term immediately prior. An active charter boat operator and lodge owner in Lower Cook Inlet for more than 25 years, Dersham retired from a career as a special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. He also served for nine years on the Alaska Board of Fisheries, worked as a consultant for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and served as a coordinating liaison between the Board of Fisheries and the NPFMC. Dersham earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Oregon.

Hull, of Anchorage, is completing his first term on the NPFMC. He is the owner of Hull Fisheries LLC, fishing for halibut and salmon out of Cordova. He is currently a member of the Alaska Sea Grant Advisory Committee and a former member of the Cordova District Fishermen United Board of Directors, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council Public Advisory Group, Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation Board of Directors, Prince William Sound Fisheries Ecosystem Research Planning Group, and United Fishermen of Alaska Board of Directors. In addition to his 30 year career in commercial fishing, Hull also worked as a research associate for the Institute of Social and Economic Research. He earned a master’s degree in marine affairs from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Dartmouth College.

Evers, of Ninilchik, is currently a member of the Advisory Panel to the NPFMC. A longtime charter operator, Evers owned Deep Creek Sport Shop, Big Valley Lodge and Cabin Rentals, and Fishward Bound Adventures. Evers is the founder and former president of the Deep Creek Charterboat Association, and served on the Central Peninsula Fish and Game Advisory Committee. In addition, he served five terms on the National Association of Charterboat Operators.

Curry, of Petersburg, is the executive director of the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association and a member of the advisory panel to the NPFMC. Curry participates in the commercial fishery of halibut, sablefish, salmon, herring, and crab. She is a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the United Fishermen of Alaska, and is the chair of the Petersburg Commercial Fishing Committee. A member of the Petersburg Marine Mammal Center Board of Directors, Curry earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northern Arizona University.

With jurisdiction over the one million square mile Exclusive Economic Zone off the coast of Alaska, the NPFMC has primary responsibility for groundfish management in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands, including cod, pollock, flatfish, mackerel, sablefish, and rockfish species harvested mainly by trawlers, hook and line longliners, and pot fishermen. Established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act, the council is one of eight regional councils dedicated to the oversight of the nation’s fisheries. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act, which was originally signed into law in 1976, empowers the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to choose the final appointees from applicants nominated by governors of coastal states.

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AMSEA Classes Offered

March 22, 2012 10 Hour Fishing Vessel Safety & Drill Conductor Class – NSRAA, Sitka AK

April 18, 2012 Upright & Watertight Stability Awareness & Damage Control Course – NSRAA, Sitka, AK

Call 907-747-3287 for more information or to register.

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