As you are likely aware, the Alaska Board of Fisheries met on October 16 to consider two Agenda Change Requests (ACRs) to limit hatchery production in the state. UFA worked closely with many other groups to get the word out about these ACRs and requested that members submit written comments opposing the adoption of these two ACRs.
I attended the meeting as and was pleased to see it was well attended by members of the public, mostly commercial fishermen who flew in from Cordova. This shows great unity and commitment by these fishermen as public comment was very limited.
There were three hatchery presentations by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Staff, and if you have the time, I highly suggest you take a look at them.
Hatchery Oral Reports
During the short Committee of the Whole section where limited public comment was allowed, a few fishermen were given the chance to voice their opposition for the ACRs. Ken Jones of Cordova asked that those in the room who support hatcheries please stand up and show solidarity. I will attest that in my seven years working with the Board of Fisheries, this was a very impactful moment to see nearly the entire room rise together in support. It spoke volumes to the members of the BOF and sent a clear message to those who oppose hatcheries that this topic will not be without battle.
After the committee of the whole process ended, the board moved forward with deliberations of the two ACRS. ACR 1 failed 1-6 with the BOF’s newly elected chairman Reed Morisky being the only member in support of the ACR. ACR 2 failed 2-5, with board members Reed Morisky and Orville Huntington voting to support it.
Unfortunately, the failure of these two ACRs does not end the hatchery debate. The BOF scheduled another Hatchery Committee Meeting for March 8, 2019, one day prior to their statewide meeting in Anchorage. This Hatchery Committee Meeting will accept written comments which will be due on February 20. They will also be taking public comments and hearing more reports from ADF&G. We will keep you notified as more information about the meeting comes out and you may also check the BOF meeting pageas they will post new information as it arises.
In the meantime, if you want to read more about hatcheries, ADF&G put out several written reports prior to the meeting.
If you have any questions about how to get involved, please feel free to contact me. Thanks and have a good weekend.
Executive Director, UFA
Members of the Public stand to show support for Hatcheries at the October 17, 2018 Alaska Board of Fisheries Meeting