King and Tanner Task Force Meeting

The King and Tanner task force is meeting January 26th & 27th.  Fishermen in Juneau may go to the Douglas ADFG King conference room and list to the meeting.  The meeting starts at 7:00 pm on the evening of the 26th and 8:30 am on the 27th.

2010 KTTF Agenda

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2010 Gillnet Sac Roe Herring Quota

The Seymour Canal  gillnet herring GHL for 2010 is 657 tons.  There will be no fishery at KahShakes or West Behm Canal. Hobart Bay winter bait fishery has a quota of 345 tons and any portion not taken in the winter fishery is allocated to the gillnet sac roe fishery.   For more information about the biomass and year classes see the ADFG news release: http://documents.cf1.adfg.state.ak.us/AdfgDocument.po?DOCUMENT=21774

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DOT Proposed Regulation Changes

The Department of Transportation has published proposed regulation changes for commercial vehicle safety regulations.  The proposed regulation is available HERE.  Among other things, these regulations specify that commercial fishermen are not subject to commercial vehicle safety regulations when engaged in intrastate commerce as long as their vehicle and load does not exceed 26,000 lbs.
These proposed regulation changes are in response to the feedback the administration heard this summer from fishermen about these regulations. Please note that the deadline for comments is 5:00pm on March 5, 2010.
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Energy Use in Fisheries Symposium Planned

November 14-17, 2010 in Seattle there will be an upcoming symposium titled “Energy Use in Fisheries:  Improving Efficiency and Technological Innovations from a Global Perspective”

This symposium will address both the direct and indirect effects of global energy costs on the seafood harvesting, processing and marketing sectors.  The desired outcomes will include a set of alternative strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of commercial and recreational fishing fleets, the associated financial gain to these industry participants, examples of the government’s role in reducing its imprint, and a set of metrics to measure the level of energy reduction or improved environmental efficacy of different fuel types used by fishing fleets. 

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Halibut & Sablefish Quota Share Holder Survey

We received the following information about a survey that is being conducted of Halibut and Sablefish quota share holders. 

The Alaska IFQ halibut and sablefish fisheries are an important fisheries management program not just for Alaska, but the entire world. Lessons from this fishery have shaped and will continue to shape the design of quota programs around the globe.

We greatly appreciate your assistance in answering this short survey on crew makeup in the current halibut and sablefish fisheries. Comparatively little data are available regarding crew and their connection to regional economies. With your help this survey will fill in some of those missing pieces. Results from this survey allow us to measure the economic impact of the quota share holders and crew on different communities throughout the North Pacific.

The survey is funded by the Alaska Sea Grant Rapid Response Program, and led by Glenn Haight, Fisheries Development Specialist with Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program. The survey was designed and will be analyzed by Alexander Kotlarov, a PhD student with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, working under the guidance of Dr. Keith Criddle.

The survey includes 14 short questions that you will probably be able to answer from memory. We understand that your crew levels may fluctuate with fishing season and year; we are looking for answers that best reflect conditions during the 2009 fishing year.

The survey has been sent to a stratified random sample of halibut and sablefish quota share (QS) holders. You are one of only a few persons that will be surveyed as a QS holder in an area with a particular size vessel, thus your response is important to ensure that our survey results are representative of each component of the fleet.

All responses will be treated confidentially. All confidential data will be destroyed upon completion of the survey. Only aggregate responses organized by IFQ category, vessel size, and size of QS holdings will be reported. Aggregate responses will not be published for any grouping if there are fewer than 3 responses.

Upon completing the survey, if you enter contact information, you will be entered in a prize drawing.

You may complete the survey on paper or online, but you will only be awarded one entry into the drawing whether you enter by mail, online, or both.

With sufficient response, the survey will be complete by March 31, 2010. Prize drawings will occur on March 31, 2010.

Online Survey

Printable Survey[pdf:341kb]

Prize Drawing Information

Thank you for taking the time to assist in this important survey. All survey respondents have the option to provide their names for a prize drawing to take place on March 31, 2010.

Each name will be entered only once. Only one prize per person.

The Grand Prize Winner will select $100 worth of fishing gear of his/her choice.

Other prizes include –
· Petro Star clothing and gear.
· Xtra Tuff boats from Harri’s Commercial Fishing & Plumbing Supply in Juneau Alaska
· Your choice of select Alaska Sea Grant fisheries publications.
· Alaskan Brewing Company hat

Good luck!!

For More Information

Glenn Haight, Fisheries Business Specialist
glenn.haight@alaska.edu
907-796-6046  http://seagrant.uaf.edu/map/fishbiz/ifqsurvey/index.html 

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Gillnet Task Force Meeting Notes

The document below is a copy of the gillnet task force meeting notes that go with the gillnet presentations that were posted in December.

2009 Gillnet Task Force Meeting Notes

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Superior Court Issues Decision on Chitina Dipnetters Lawsuit

The Alaska Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fund and the Chitina Dippnetters Association filed a lawsuit against the State of Alaska, Board of Fish and ADFG.  The court granted summary judgement to the State of Alaska, Board of Fish and ADFG for all counts but it remanded back to the Board of Fish with instructions to define the term “subsistence way of life” as used in the subsistence criteria regulation using an objective standard supported by law; then provide the plaintiffs an opportunity to supplement the record in light of that definition and then for the Board to reapply the subsistence criteria using the new definition of “subsistence way of life”.  The court decision goes on to explain that in the deliberations of the board, the individual board members admitted to using subjective and personal opinions on the definition of “subsistence way of life”. 

We will post the court decision as soon as we get a good copy of the decision.  You may view the court decision on Wesley Loy’s blog the “Deckboss”

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Pre-Filed Legislation

There was two fishery bills in the batch of pre-filed legislation.  Rep Harris did not submit legislation on DOT transportation issues since DOT is in the process of making regulation changes.  The next batch of pre-filed legislation is due by Jan. 15th.  Legislature convenes Jan 19th.
 

HB 266 “An Act providing for a priority for a fishery that is restricted to residents when fishing restrictions are implemented to achieve an escapement goal”
http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=HB%20266&session=26
 

HB 268 “ An Act relating to management of salmon and other fish stocks and salmon fisheries and to the use of funds received by an enhancement facility from the sale of fish”
http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?session=26&bill=HB+268

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NMFS Issues Press Release on Charter Halibut Limited Entry Program

NOAA Fisheries has announced a new fishery management program passed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council that limits the number of charter boats in the guided sport halibut fishery in Southeast Alaska and the central Gulf of Alaska.

“The new program will stabilize the guided charter fishing sector, maintain access to the fishery for businesses that participated in recent years, and allow access for others who can obtain transferable permits,” said Alaska’s Acting Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries, Doug Mecum.

“The guided sport charter halibut sector in these areas has been growing steadily and exceeding harvest levels set to protect the halibut population. This new program adds incentive for fishermen to conserve the halibut population over time,” Mecum added.

Sport charter halibut businesses will have to obtain a permit from NOAA to be able to have clients legally catching halibut in Southeast Alaska and the central Gulf of Alaska. NOAA Fisheries will publicize the 60-day permit application period, which likely will begin in early February 2010.

Charter halibut guides will be required to carry their new permit on board starting February 1, 2011.

Under the new program,

  • permits will be issued to qualifying individuals or businesses that documented fishing trips during a qualifying year (2004 or 2005) and the recent participation year, 2008;
  • halibut charter business operators are required to have a charter halibut permit on board to fish for halibut;
  • charter halibut permit holders are subject to limits on the number of permits they can hold and on the number of charter boat anglers who can catch and retain halibut on their charter boats;
  • newcomers can enter the charter halibut fishery by acquiring a transferable permit;
  • permits will be issued to community quota groups representing specific rural communities;
  • permits will be endorsed for fishing only in a specific International Pacific Halibut Commission management area;
  • permits will be required for charter halibut vessel operation only in International Pacific Halibut Commission regulatory areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska) under this program.

Details of the program are being published in the Federal Register and can be viewed at: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/halibut/sport.htm.

Unguided or independent sport fishermen and subsistence fishermen are not affected by the new charter halibut limited access program.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission sets harvest levels within regulatory areas along the coasts of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California. In Alaska, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council allocates the harvest between fishing sectors within the Commission’s regulatory areas and NOAA Fisheries develops regulations to implement those harvest levels.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries previously reduced the allowed take of halibut to one per day per charter angler in Southeast Alaska. The new limited access program for sport charter halibut fishing operators is another step towards controlling charter halibut fishing in Southeast Alaska and the central Gulf of Alaska. An expected next step under development by NOAA Fisheries is to establish an allocation of halibut between the charter and commercial fishing sectors and allow fishing quota to flow between the sectors.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit www.noaa.gov. To learn more about NOAA Fisheries in Alaska, visit alaskafisheries.noaa.gov or: www.afsc.noaa.gov.  http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2010/charterhalibut010410.htm

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

SEAFA hopes all our members have a “safe” and prosperous New Year

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