An upcoming lineup of meetings includes the state Board of Fisheries, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the International Pacific Halibut Commission and on the lighter side, the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit.

From November 30 through December 6  the Fish Board will meet in Cordova to take up 79 proposals for commercial, sport, subsistence and personal use fisheries at Prince William Sound, including the Upper Copper and Susitna Rivers.

Also on November 30 through December 1, the  International Pacific Halibut Commission interim meeting takes place via webcast.

The public will an overview glimpse at the latest stock assessments. Also included is a first ever halibut study that details a full scope of halibut’s socioeconomic contributions to local   economies in the U.S. and Canada and vulnerabilities stemming from changes in the halibut stock.

Then, from December  8-16, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meets via Zoom. The agenda includes setting catch and bycatch levels for next year’s Alaska groundfish fisheries.

Also, after six years of discussion, the Council is poised to decide on how best to curtail halibut bycatch by bottom trawlers targeting flatfish in the Bering Sea.

Dubbed “Abundance Based Management,” options being considered would have the trawlers abide by the same rules that apply to all other users whose catches go up or down depending on the health of the halibut stock. Currently, the bottom trawlers have a fixed cap for bycatch at over four million pounds per year.

The Council is accepting public comments through November 30th.   As of yesterday, there were 577 comments, nearly all asking for better protections for the halibut resource.

Finally, the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit meets online from Dec. 6-9.

Topics aimed at early-career fishermen include the business of fishing, making your voice heard in fisheries management and fishing in the era of climate change. The summit is hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and all events occur in the early evening.