AK Governor comments on bycatch review task force

Gov says: "We must do all we can to sustain our great fisheries and ensure that our resources are managed to benefit Alaskans first and foremost."

by | January 24, 2023

Filed Under Bycatch | Management

Plans to discuss “next steps” this week

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy gave his “State of the State” address to the Legislature on Monday, January 23, and the Bycatch Review Task Force work was highlighted in his speech.

“We know the administration is meeting this week to discuss next steps regarding bycatch in relation to the Task Force recommendations. I do not have a good idea at this time which of the initiatives they may choose to begin implementing, but we should be hearing something soon,” said Bycatch Review Task Force member and industry consultant, Linda Kozak of Kodiak.

Here is a link to the bycatch report.

Below are the governor’s comments regarding the bycatch task force:

“We’re also going to build on the work of the Bycatch Review Task Force and the Food Security and Independence Task Force. We know that some of our most valuable fisheries are in trouble. Halibut, Western Alaska salmon, and Bering Sea crab are vital not only to our economy, but to Alaska’s way of life. Fishing is the beating heart of Alaska. It’s provided food and shaped the culture of Alaska for thousands of years. It’s the largest source of private sector jobs in the state. It generates millions of dollars in revenue for our coastal communities. Anyone familiar with fisheries management knows how complex it can be among users, gear types, target species, and regions. Like the price of oil, Alaska has also experienced boom-and-bust periods in our fisheries. At the same time, we don’t have to accept that we’re mere bystanders at the mercy of forces outside our control. My budget puts additional resources into Western Alaska salmon research, and the Bycatch Task Force will provide my administration with additional management recommendations. We must do all we can to sustain our great fisheries and ensure that our resources are managed to benefit Alaskans first and foremost. These fisheries are also a major source of food security, and the Food Security Task Force is wrapping up its work now. As I await its final report and recommendations, we’re acting this year to invest in our existing producers.”

[LW comment: Nearly 80% of the value of ALL Alaska pollock, cod and other groundfish goes out of state, according to NOAA data. I suggest that’s a good place to start “managing to benefit Alaskans first and foremost.”]

Tagged as:

About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.


You May Also Like

Pin It on Pinterest