Monday, August 16, 2010

'Adak got whacked'

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council and its advisory committees begin a special meeting today at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage, and only one item of business is on the agenda: the federal government's new slate of commercial fishing restrictions to protect endangered Steller sea lions.

We're beginning to get a sense now of the significant pain the proposed Aleutian Islands closures will inflict on some industry players and communities.

For a taste of the concerns, here's a packet of letters the council received ahead of the meeting.

Among the worries:

• Millions of dollars worth of cod and Atka mackerel harvests could be lost each year.

• Vessels accustomed to fishing the Aleutians could be forced to crowd into other areas with plenty of boats and Steller sea lion worries of their own.

• Efforts to convert the former naval base on Adak, in the central Aleutians, into a civilian fishing town could be badly damaged, not only because of diminished deliveries of fish to the island's lone processing plant but also lost fuel sales to the fishing fleet. In the words of one fisherman, "Adak got whacked."

Deckboss must point out, however, that some interests support the government's proposed fishing restrictions, which could take effect after the first of the year regardless of whether the council endorses them this week.

What's more, some folks are asking for a wider trawling ban around one Steller sea lion haulout on St. George Island in the Bering Sea.


Anonymous said...

Economically speaking both Halibut and Crab keep the communities of St. George and St. Paul alive and well. St. George has the only SSL haulout in the State of Alaska that allows a pollock and cod ground fish trawl fishery within 3 nautical miles of a SSL haulout. In the case of St. George asking for this specific closure, there aren't any local vessels fishing pollock or cod in the winter or summer. What we are asking for is a little more protection to help out the dwindling SSL population and to reduce the amount of PSC around the Pribilof’s and for what was mistakenly overlooked by NMFS in the original Bi-Op. A closure from 0-3nm to 0-10nm in those two ground fish fisheries.

Anonymous said...

Unfished cod and other species are not "lost." They are banked. Banked fish reproduce and spread themselves into other areas, thus increasing the potential fishing in those areas. Don't be so short sighted. The pies is limited, even if our appetites aren't.

Anonymous said...

I believe "spill over" is the term you are looking for.

Anonymous said...

Next in line should be the CDQ and EEZ Fisheries they also do a lot of interceptions of salmon before they make it into their rivers of origin to spawn and repopulate. Those that are catching them DO NOT HAVE A RIVER SYSTEM to help them Return back to their healthy Numbers. ITS ONLY GREED