Gulf of AlaskaFish Radio
March 29, 2013

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Help craft catch share plans for Gulf groundfish. More after this —

The At Sea Processors Association donates one million fish meals each year through its Community Catch program. Learn more at www.atsea.org   

  You can now download ASMI’s quick guide to Alaska seafood on any mobile device. Cooking it, catching it, sustaining it – learn more at www.alaskaseafood.org  —

 A new plan is being crafted by federal managers for the Gulf of Alaska that will reduce bycatch in trawl fisheries – and it will very likely result in catch shares.

Cut: In the Central Gulf we’re limited to the trawl sector, but in the Western Gulf the fishermen have come forward and asked for consideration of a new management plan, a catch share plan that would encompass both the trawl and the pot fleet.  5

Theresa Peterson of Kodiak is with the Alaska Marine Conservation Council and a member of the North Pacific Council’s Advisory panel.

Cut: Catch share programs can certainly benefit the long term viability of the resource in a fishing community but only if there designed right and the long term health of the resource, the community and genuine bycatch reduction measures are built in up front. 3

Peterson says it’s really tough to add in local access or  community protections after a privatization plan hits the water.

Cut: Some of the lessons learned from past programs such as the rapid consolidation of ownership and reduced opportunities for crew and captains and the shore support workers, and the increased costs of entering into the fishery and potential for absentee ownership and quota leasing.  8

Peterson has been engaging with other fishing communities around the nation to see how they have adapted. For example, Fishermen at Port Orford, Oregon and Cape Cod, Massachusetts have formed community associations that secure access to the fish and then redistributed it to active fishermen in their port.  Gulf catch shares are a focus of ComFish next month in Kodiak.   AMCC is bringing people from around the nation to share their experiences. Peterson says the Gulf plans have huge ramifications for Kodiak where most of the groundfish catches are landed.

Cut: Hopefully we can all work together to craft a program that really looks towards what we want our fishing community to look like fifty years down the line.  14

See the ComFish line up at www.comfishalaska.com

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America. Check out Ocean Beauty’s new website at www.oceanbeauty.com    In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.    

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