Fish Radio
April 2, 2014             

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch … On the cusp of a catch share plan for Gulf groundfish.Kodiak trawlers

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Next week stakeholders and federal managers will begin crafting a bycatch reduction plan for trawl groundfish fisheries in the Gulf.  It will be some kind of catch share plan, and as the main delivery port for those fish, Kodiak residents are getting involved from the get go.

Duncan Fields of Kodiak is a member of the North Pacific Council charged with creating the new plan.   He compared it to a chess game –

   You have multiple moving pieces and every time you move a piece, it impacts all other pieces on the board. You have your queen and your king– they might be your primary policy goals – but you know, if you can get that pawn to the other end of the board that becomes a queen and sometimes the little components of a catch share or rationalization program can become equally as important as the big components.  

 The big question is how you win, collectively, as a community.  That comes down to defining the goals and objectives early on.  And being more inclusive is a primary goal says Nicole Kimball, who represents the State on the Fishery Council.

  We need to recognize the interests and investments and the dependence of all sectors, so there shouldn’t’ just be a vessel based program or just focused on processor interest or the community. It needs to be all three.  

 She is hearing loud and clear from Kodiak that the program should not be a permanent giveaway. Kimball says the Council will explore many kinds of limited duration and allocative quotas, some never tried before.   

    Whether it’s quotas for the target species, bycatch species, whether its quotas only used in a coop structure, looking at the ability to allocate quotas that limit the duration of that allocation and reallocate it after some period of time based on vessels’ performance in achieving the Council’s objective, which is reducing bycatch.  No one has really done this, it’s uncharted territory, but everyone has talked about it. And so now we are going to take a serious look at whether that might be appropriate.  

 Learn more this month at ComFish –

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 104 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities.  In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.