The Board of Fisheries will meet online on March 8 to decide when, where and how to fit in a double slate of meetings upended by the Covid pandemic.

The Board would normally in March be wrapping up a roster of  275 proposals for Southeast, Prince William Sound and statewide shellfish in March. But those regions are likely to be bumped to next winter or mixed in with already scheduled meetings for other regions this fall. Glenn Haight is Boards director –

“So we currently have the work session in October and then that’s followed immediately by the Pacific cod meeting, which is for Alaska Peninsula, Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea and Chignik. So those are currently slated for this coming October. And then we have Bristol Bay, that will happen in December. It’s possible you could put in a Prince William Sound or Southeast meeting in November, and then continue on into January with some of the other ones. So it’s just a matter of putting things in the right places so people have a chance to react to them and we have time to do all those factors that go into it.”

The call for fishery proposals for Bristol Bay, the Alaska Peninsula, Chignik, the Arctic, Yukon, Kuskokwim and Bering Sea regions has been extended from April 10 to May 10.

“The board did not reopen the call for proposals for Southeast, Yakutat, Prince William Sound and shellfish statewide. So what we currently have for proposals is what the board will take up next year. There was a note though, that if there are some conservation issues or if there’s other kinds of pressing matters, people from those regions can submit an agenda change request in August and the board will review those agenda change requests at their work session.”

Seafood Auction

 Agenda change requests are due by August 23.

 And comments for the special March 8 meeting are accepted through March 2.

Meanwhile, four of seven Fish Board members are yet to be confirmed by the Alaska legislature even as they are making decisions.