Image Credit:  Craig Medred


 The state Board of Fisheries voted unanimously on Monday to not double up its meeting cycle to include two Alaska regions and instead advance them by one year.

The board regulates commercial, sport, subsistence and personal use fisheries in state waters, meaning out to three miles.

It would normally be wrapping up a roster this month that included 275 proposals for Southeast, Prince William Sound and statewide shellfish.  But the ongoing Covid pandemic curtailed those plans. Boards director Glenn Haight explains the new line up.

“Starting in October of 2021 it will do its work session followed by Prince William Sound meeting in November and December and the Southeast finfish and shellfish meetings in January and then in March do its statewide all shellfish meeting.”

Then in October of 2022 the Fish Board’s work session will be followed by a 2 day P-cod meeting and then fishery issues for Bristol Bay and Chignik, the Bering Sea, Arctic-Yukon- Kuskokwim and Alaska Peninsula regions.

The doubling up faced push back from the public and regional advisory committees. Fish Board member Abe Williams said it was important to abide by that feedback.

“  I think it was an admirable thing that the BOF was trying to do to get back on track in regard to the pandemic we’re dealing with. Recognizing the headwinds and navigating through the comments, I think it’s important that we listen to the constituents.”

Seafood Auction

The double up also would have cost an additional half million dollars in a supplemental budget, said AK Dept. of Fish & Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang.

Overall, it was a complicated call, says Glenn Haight.

“It was a tough decision for the governor’s office and the legislature given what the budget is, so it was a decision we had and the board acted on it.”

Haight advised that the call for proposals for Bristol Bay, Chignik and regions further west that were due on May 10 of this year also has been extended.

“So for anyone out there fastidiously creating proposals for those meetings to turn them in this May, no need to hurry as you’ll have almost a full year.”