Salmon and halibut and king crab, oh my!

AK Board of Fisheries, Halibut Commission, NPFMC face challenging agendas.

by | November 29, 2022

Filed Under Uncategorized

Busy lineup of Alaska fish meetings begins with Bristol Bay

The Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) began its meetings that focus on Bristol Bay today (Nov. 29) and will continue through December 3 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage.

The BOF will take up 52 management proposals for the region’s subsistence, commercial, sport and personal use fisheries.

One issue that’s sure to dominate the agenda is an Action Plan to address Nushagak River Chinook salmon – which could have widespread implications for the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.  In October, the AK Dept. of Fish and Game  recommended that the Board of Fish designate Nushagak king salmon as a stock of concern.  At a work session last month, the Board of Fish agreed.

Find BOF meeting information and all of the proposals, comments etc. HERE

Fishermen will get a first glimpse at potential halibut catches for 2023 at the interim meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) set for November 30 – December 1. The meetings will be held virtually and is open to the public.

The status of the Pacific halibut stock and the harvest decision table for 2023 is scheduled to be revealed on Wednesday (Nov. 30) starting at 11:15 – 12:30 (Pacific time).

For 2022, the IPHC set total coastwide halibut removals at 41.22 million pounds, a 5.7% increase from the previous year. That includes catches by commercial, sport, and subsistence users in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California and Alaska.

Find the IPHC agenda HERE

Register for the IPHC Zoom link HERE

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council meets at the Anchorage Hilton from December 5 – 14.

The Council will set catch/bycatch limits for 2023-2024 groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. It also will review a “discussion paper” on salmon bycatch.

First up on the NPFMC agenda beginning on Thursday, Dec. 8 is an emergency petition from Bering Sea crabbers requesting a six month closure in two areas to protect Bristol Bay red king crab. Public comments are being accepted through December 5.

The NPFMC also must decide in December on its plans to rebuild Bering Sea snow crab stocks. They will consider two alternatives.

According to the draft rebuilding plan “no measures to modify Eastern Bering Sea snow crab bycatch management in the groundfish fisheries are included in this rebuilding analysis.”

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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.


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