Stability and Predictability
Senator Lisa Murkowski paid a visit to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council during the October meeting to discuss her efforts to bring stability and predictability to Alaska fisheries.
This is exactly what SEAGO is working to do with the Recreational Quota Entity (RQE), which will be up for a final Council vote in December. By allowing an RQE to purchase halibut IFQ, which is then allocated across the charter sector, we can create stability in and increase catch size for Southeast halibut charter captains and their clients. As the vote draws closer, SEAGO will be reaching out to YOU to join your voice with us in supporting this program.
Research, Strong Science, & Data
Research is an easy area to cut in times of fiscal instability, the Senator noted, but we cannot do that when the strength of the Council’s decisions rely on good, strong science and data.
Halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea / Aleutian Islands is a great example. The Council discussed implementing, and asked for further review of, an abundance-based system to determine the commercial fisheries’ halibut prohibited species catch limit. In other words, in times of higher abundance of halibut, bycatch could go up, in times of low abundance, it could go down. The availability of high quality data is a necessity for this concept to be a success. SEAGO will be following this program as moves forward to track its use of high quality data.
Electronic monitoring (EM) is one of the few places where Alaska sets the examples for the rest of the nation. The Council chose preferred alternatives and moved EM forward for public review this week so it can be used to estimate catch and monitor fixed gear vessels.
Testing of EM systems and video reviews show a high degree of function and accuracy in identification, and a beneficial supplement to human observer data. However, budgeting remains an important question for the EM and the Observer Program, while acknowledging that EM costs are likely to be efficient in the long-term.
Legislative Fisheries Transboundary Meeting
WHAT: Public hearing concerning transboundary mining issue
WHEN: October 12, 2016 from 10 am - 4 pm (with a noon-12:30 pm lunch break)
WHERE: Beltz Room 105 of the Thomas B. Stewart Legislative Office Building
206 4th St. Juneau, AK 99801
On the phone: 844-586-9085
WHO: The Alaska House Fisheries Committee. Alaska leaders and decision makers, including state legislators, Lt. Governor Mallott, and representatives from the Alaska congressional delegation, will be present. Anyone concerned with threats posed by Canadian mining on Alaskan waterways is encouraged to attend and testify.
For more information and a list of the event speakers, click HERE.
For more information on transboundary issues click HERE.