An informational two-hour presentation on bycatch in Alaska’s fisheries is set for Monday, November 15, in Anchorage. No public comments will be taken but people can attend, call in to listen or watch it online. The meeting is convened by the House Fisheries Committee, chaired by Representative Geron Tarr.

The goal for this meeting is to get everyone on the same page, so to speak, so it was important to us to talk to both state and federal regulatory folks so that people could hear directly about what’s happening fishing wise, what’s happening in terms of research, what’s known and unknown so that we all hear and receive that same information and then in a follow up hearing we want to hear from individual stakeholder groups.

Presenters include Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang, Deputy Commissioner  Rachel Baker,  Dave Witherell, Director of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council and Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator of NOAA Fisheries in Alaska.

Tarr says the hoped for outcome is to “get everyone on the same page” before looking into specific fisheries and species.

I hope that gives us a strong foundation to then take the next steps and hear from folks and think about ways that the legislature may be involved. One area where I can think there’s a need is additional research because we have a lot of unanswered questions. And that may be something that the Legislature wants to consider in the upcoming budget conversation.

Many say the issue has been studied to death for decades and Tarr said she recognizes people’s impatience.

It is possible that people will feel like things have been studied too much and it’s time for action. And that may be an outcome.

Alaskans are proud to say our fisheries are managed for sustainability for future generations, Tarr says, and the State needs to be responsive to that call.

So for me, we need to know what we know and what we don’t know, and then if there is a call to action we need to respond to that and figure out what role the state will play. 

The bycatch hearing is set for Monday, Nov. 15 from 10-noon. Find the numbers to listen in or watch at and on Facebook and Twitter.

To watch online: 

From Anchorage call 907-563-9085

From Juneau or outside Alaska call 907-586-9085

From other Alaska areas call toll-free 844-586-9085.

Questions? Contact or call 907-465-6007.