Today, March 2nd, is the final day to comment on how the Board of Fisheries can best conduct a Covid-toppled meeting schedule.

The board will meet on March 8 to decide when, where and how to fit in a double slate for two Alaska regions.

The Board would normally be wrapping up a roster that included 275 proposals for Southeast, Prince William Sound and statewide shellfish this month. It’s being proposed to bump those meetings to next winter or mix them in with an already scheduled line up 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.”

Seafood Auction

Meanwhile, United Fishermen of Alaska has come out against the double up, saying it creates a huge inequity between regions and weakens the strong public process the board is known for. UFA also claims it puts too much demand on Advisory Committees and makes it impossible for Fish and Game staff to adequately prepare and participate.

UFA, which represents over 35 Alaska and Seattle-based fishing groups, is asking that the Fish Board push all the meetings back one year until it is safe to meet in person.

UFA encourages fishermen to submit comments and select the “March 8, 2021 Sunset Provisions & Future Meeting Dates 3/2/21” meeting option.

Comments are due by midnight tonight (March 2).

Find links to comment here