NPFMC Halibut Charter Issue

At the NPFMC meeting,  approximately 77 individuals or representatives of associations testified on the halibut charter issue.  There was a good showing of commercial fishermen testifying at both the Council meeting and in front of the Advisory panel.  We will need to repeat this at the October Council meeting when the final decision on the allocation between the commercial and charter industry will take place along with the rest of the elements in the catch sharing plan. 

During deliberations the State made the original motion which included maintaining the catch sharing plan with a few clarifications requested by staff that were agreed to by both the charter and commercial sectors.  Attached below is the original motion made by the state attached as a word document.  The motion ends on page 6 with the black line.  At the bottom of page 4 the bold and underlined text is providing directions to staff to describe in the analysis why the option had been developed the way it was.  The text came from a discussion amongst charter and commercial representatives while meeting to discuss the questions raised by staff that they wanted clarification of.

Ed Dersham as was expected put an amendment to raise the allocation ranges on the table which failed 6 to 4.  The charter industry was asking for an allocation option of fixed pounds of 2.7 Mlbs in 2C and 5.35 Mlbs in 3A during testimony.  Ed’s motion added an option under fixed percentage of 19.6% in 2C and 17.4% in 3A; and option under fixed pounds of 2.13Mlbs in 2C and 4.69 Mlbs in 3A; and 50% fixed/50% floating allocation of 19.6%/2.3Mlb in 2C and 17.4%/4.69Mlbs.  Voting for the motion was Ed Dersham, Dave Benson, Bill Tweit and Doug Meecum.  Voting against the motion was Denby Lloyd, Sam Cotton, Eric Olson, Roy Hyder, Gerry Merrigan and Duncan Fields.

Bill Tweit made a motion to add another alternative of allocation options that would have provided for a percentage allocation options that in years of lower biomass the allocation would be determined by the percentage of a combined commercial and charter catch but there would be a ceiling of 1.43 to 1.90 Mlbs in 2C and 3.65 to 4.15 Mlbs.  This motion failed with a vote of 7 to 3. 

Duncan Fields made a motion that failed on a 5 to 5 vote that would require commercial quota share holders from leasing their QS converted to charter fish (GAF) two out of three years or four out of five years.

Gerry Merrigan made a motion that added the Element 1 stairstep sub options to the main motion (page 6 of the motion) which passed.

The main amended motion passed unanimously.

State Halibut Motion 4.08

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NPFMC Finishes Monday Morning on Halibut Issues

THe NPFMC moved forward the package pretty much as it was with a few technical correction but nothing of substance and no changes in the allocation ranges.  Thanks to all the fishermen who came and testified or wrote in.  Will post the motion later when I have access to an electronic copy.

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ADFG Announces the 2008 Chinook All Gear Quota

(Juneau) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game today announced that under the guidelines of the abundance-based management system of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, this year’s all gear Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon harvest quota is 170,000 fish.  This is a decrease of 159,400 fish from last year’s quota, and is the lowest catch level since 2000.

Utilizing data on the strength of West Coast Chinook salmon stocks that contribute to Southeast Alaska fisheries, the Pacific Salmon Commission’s Chinook Technical Committee has determined that the 2008 Abundance Index for Chinook salmon in Southeast Alaska is 1.07. As specified in the 1999 Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement, this translates into an allowable all-gear catch for Southeast Alaska of 170,000 treaty Chinook.  Most Chinook salmon produced in Alaska hatcheries are not factored into the Abundance Index, and may be caught by harvesters in addition to the treaty limit.

Chinook salmon returns to many West Coast rivers from Oregon to Alaska have declined from the very high levels seen from 2003 to 2005.   While the factors affecting the abundance of Chinook on the West Coast are complex, it is widely recognized that unfavorable ocean conditions in 2005 and 2006 likely were a significant cause of the poor survival of Chinook in the early part of their four to five year life-cycle.  Some of these ocean conditions have moderated substantially and appear to be returning to a status more favorable to salmon populations.

The treaty Chinook salmon harvest will be allocated to sport, commercial troll, and commercial net fisheries according to the management plans specified by the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

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Division of Investment Lowering the Interest Rate

The Division of Investments will be lowering their interest rate for the next quarter by as much as 2%.  If you have a loan at a higher interest rate of 8%, contact the Division of Investments to see if refinancing would be worthwhile. 

The new interest rates will be:

Commercial Fish  8.00% 

CF Product Quality Improvement 4.00% 

Rural Development Initiative Fund – Bus loan  (state)  6.00% 

Small Business Economic Development – Bus loan (fed)   4.00% 

  1-800-478-5626 – Div. of Investments phone number.

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Halibut Charter Allocation up for Discussion at April NPFMC in Anchorage

Don’t forget to send in your testimony to the NPFMC by March 26th and make your plane and hotel reservations to go and testify.  If you need help writing testimony, call the SEAFA office at 586-6652.  SEAFA also has a price break on hotel rooms if you can go to Anchorage and testify.  Call us for the details.

The allocation/interim plan analysis is now available on the web at:

http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/current_issues/halibut_issues/Area2C3A_CatchShare408.pdf

 

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2007 Preliminary SE Enhanced Allocation Plan Information Released

The 2007 preliminary status of the enhanced allocation plan is that the gillnet gear group has been above their allocation range for the last four five-year rolling averages, prior to that they were within their range every rolling average but one where they were below, the troll fleet has been below their allocation range every year of rolling averages and the seine fleet is currently under their allocation range for the last three five-year rolling averages and prior to that they were within their range one five-year rolling average and above their allocation range for six five-year rolling averages.   The attachment below shows the graphs.

5 AAC 33.364 Southeastern Alaska Area Enhanced Salmon Allocation Mangement Plan was developed to provide a fair and reasonable distribution of the harvest of salmon from enhancement projects among the seine, troll and drift gillnet commercial fisheries, and to reduce conflicts among these users in the Southeast Area.  The Board of Fish established the following value allocations: 1.) seine – 44 to 49%; 2.) hand and power troll – 27 to 32%; and 3.) drift gillnet – 24 to 29%.

The evaluation of allocation percentage shall be based on five-year increments, beginning with 1985.

IF the value of the harvest of enhanced slamon stocks by a gear group listed in (a) of this section is outside of its allocation percentage for three consecutive years, the board will, in its discretion adjust fisheries within special harvest areas to bring the gear group within its allocation percentage.

2007 Preliminary RPT Graphs

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Harbor Fee Costs

Kate Golden a reporter at the Juneau Empire wrote an article on the Juneau Harbor system today (3/18/08).  In her article she published the costs for various harbours around Southeast Alaska for a 40 ft boat.  So how does your harbour stack up compared to the others.

 The annual moorage fee for a 40-foot boat costs $1,687 in Juneau, $1,280 in Petersburg, $1,040 in Ketchikan, $960 in Sitka, $720 in Hoonah, $640 in Haines, $600 in Wrangell, $480 in Skagway and $410 in Pelican.

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/031808/loc_258951066.shtml

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ADFG Spring Troll Meetings

Petersburg . . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the following schedule for the commercial troll public meetings to be held in towns around Southeast Alaska: Town Date Location Time Petersburg Thursday, April 10 City Council Chambers 10:00 a.m. 

Wrangell Thursday, April 10 Fire Hall 7:00 p.m. 

Ketchikan Monday, April 14 Fish and Game Conference Room 7:00 p.m. 

Craig Tuesday, April 15 City Hall 11:00 a.m. 

Hoonah Wednesday, April 16 U.S. Forest Service Office 10:00 a.m. 

Pelican Wednesday, April 16 City Hall 1:00 p.m. 

Juneau Wednesday, April 16 ADF&G Headquarters Conference Room 6:30 p.m. 

Sitka Thursday, April 17 Harrigan Centennial Hall 7:00 p.m. 

Meeting topics will include, but are not limited to, plans for the 2008 spring and summer troll fisheries, review of the 2007 troll season and the ongoing Pacific Salmon Treaty negotiations. The executive director of the Alaska Trollers Association plans on attending these meetings as well. Anyone with an interest in the troll fishery is welcome to attend these meetings. Plans for a meeting in Yakutat will be announced at a later date.  

 

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Governor Appoints 3 Board of Fish Members

March 12, 2007, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today announced her recommendations to the legislature for three vacancies on the Alaska Board of Fisheries.  Governor Palin is recommending the reappointment of John Jensen, of Petersburg, and Mel Morris, of Kodiak, and the appointment of William Brown, of Juneau, to the board. 

 

“I am pleased to advance the names of these three fine individuals to the legislature for confirmation,” Governor Palin said.  “They will bring unique knowledge, expertise and balance to the process, and I am delighted that they are willing to serve on this important board.” 

 

Jensen is a lifelong resident of Petersburg and a third-generation commercial fisherman who has participated in fisheries since 1965.  He has owned and operated many different commercial fishing vessels and has participated in fisheries in Southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet, the Gulf of Alaska, the Alaska Peninsula, Bristol Bay, the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, and Western Alaska.  Jensen currently serves as vice-chair of the board and is completing his second three-year term. 

 

Morris has been an Alaska resident for more than 50 years and currently resides in Kodiak.  His background includes experience as a fisheries biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, service in the U.S. Army and management of several fish processing companies.  He currently operates M&M Marketing.  Morris currently serves as chair of the board and is completing his second three-year term. 

 

Brown is a lifelong angler who has traveled extensively to experience new fishing opportunities.  He received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Colorado and spent many years as a professor of economics, most recently at the University of Alaska Southeast.  Brown owns and operates a reel repair business. 

 

The seven members of the Alaska Board of Fisheries are appointed by the Governor to conserve and develop the fishery resources of the state.  The board sets seasons, bag limits, methods and means for the state’s subsistence, commercial, sport, guided sport and personal-use fisheries, and it sets policy and direction for the management of the state’s fishery resources.  The board is charged with making allocative decisions, while the Department of Fish and Game is responsible for management based on those decisions.  All appointees are subject to legislative confirmation. 

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Halibut Charter Issue on the Agenda for NPFMC Meeting

The allocation catch sharing plan/interim plan will be discussed at the NPFMC meeting in April in Anchorage.  The agenda has halibut scheduled in the SSC (Science & Statistical Committee) for Tuesday April 1st, in the Advisory Panel on Thursday April 3rd and at the Council scheduled for 8 hours Saturday and Sunday April 5th & 6th.  We have arranged a reduced hotel rate.  Please call the office if you can go to Anchorage and testify and we can provide the hotel information and advice on when you should be in Anchorage.  Halibut charter issue is not being the first item discussed at the Council meeting this time so therefore can end up being discussed earlier or later than the estimated time provided on the agenda.

The agenda is posted on the Council website and meeting materials will start showing up on the website approximately March 17th.  Comments are due to the NPFMC by March 26th.

http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/default.htm

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