Monday, February 1, 2021

Halibut Commission Finalizes Alaska Charter Angler Regs for 2021

Final Management Measures for Charter Halibut in Alaska

for Area 2C:
One-fish bag limit with size limit of less than or equal to 50 inches or greater than or equal to 72 inches.



For Area 3A:
Two-fish bag limit with one fish of any size and a second fish less than or equal to 32 inches, Wednesdays closed to retention of halibut, one trip per vessel and one trip per CHP per day (no annual limit). 

After a long week, the IPHC and our representatives on its advisory Conference Board worked hard to develop regulations for the 2021 halibut season and produced results for guided recreational anglers in Alaska.

Our thanks go out to ACA President Garrett Lambert, Homer Charter Association President Ben Martin, and Brian Ritchie representing the CATCH Committee for their participation on the Conference Board, and Forrest Braden, Executive Director of SEAGO. They stayed fully engaged with the Conference Board throughout the week, providing input and recommendations on the decisions.

We also want to thank past ACA President Richard Yamada, whose appointment to the Halibut Commission marked the first time in its history that a recreational fisherman represented the U.S. side in the international negotiations.




Wednesday, October 21, 2020

SECTION 12005 CARES ACT RELIEF FOR FISHERIES PARTICIPANTS










We received notice from the state that the public comment period for the draft Spend Plan for disaster relief to fisheries in Alaska has been extended: 


NOTICE - PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED 


SECTION 12005 CARES ACT RELIEF FOR FISHERIES PARTICIPANTS  

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has released the Section 12005 CARES Act relief funding draft spend plan for public comment. 

Public comments will be accepted until 6:00 pm (AKST) October 23, 2020. Please submit comments to dfg.com.caresact@alaska.gov

For additional information and resources regarding the CARES Act and COVID-19, see the Department's website for all CARES Act related information www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=hottopics.main

Contacts: 

Kari Winkle, (907) 465-6141, dfg.com.caresact@alaska.gov 
Rachel Hanke, (907) 465-6137, rachel.hanke@alaska.gov 

The relevant section of the Plan for Sportfishing Sectors is attached here:

Sport Fishing Charter Sector 

Must target marine or anadromous species 

  • Must be registered with the ADF&G as a guide, a business, or both for 2020
  • Lodge operators must offer guide services if they do not hold the guide/operator combined registration
  • Must be able to calculate average annual gross revenue from the eligible fishery business for 2015-2019

Applicants operating less than 5 years are eligible but must have operated in 2018 and 2019. Use years in operation to calculate average annual gross revenue 

Applicants must be able to document a greater than 35% loss when comparing March 1, 2020 – November 1, 2020 gross revenue to average annual gross revenue from 2015-2019 (or for years available) 

Payment calculation: eligible applicants holding a guide or operator registration will receive one share of available funds. Applicants with a guide/operator combined registration will receive two shares, see Table 3 below. Once all applications have been received, shares will be determined and payments for applicants will be calculated accordingly. 

Special considerations: businesses shall receive one additional half share (0.5) per guide employed and/or subcontracted. If you are registered as a combined guide/business, you do not get an additional half share for yourself. 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Survey for Alaska Charter Operators: Post Season Covid-19 Impacts & Outlook




We just posted an online survey for charter businesses in Alaska. We have done similar surveys and your responses helped win relaxed halibut charter regs and with making a case for disaster relief during the pandemic. 

This survey is for Alaska Charter Operators only.

The survey just takes a few minutes and is confidential. We're trying to gauge the financial impact of the pandemic, the travel mandates and loss of business. This helps when we talk to legislators and fishery managers about where we go from here.

Click here to take the survey.

Thank you,


Jim Martin

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

NOTICE OF SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING OF THE ALASKA BOARD OF FISHERIES



NOTICE OF SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING OF THE ALASKA BOARD OF FISHERIES


Notice is given that the Alaska Board of Fisheries (board) will hold a teleconference on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, from 2:30 – 4:30pm. The purpose of this special meeting is for the board to consider its 2020/2021 regulatory meeting schedule in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

This is a non-regulatory meeting. The board will not take oral public testimony during the teleconference. A live audio stream of the meeting is intended to be available on the Board’s website, which can be accessed at www.boardoffisheries.adfg.alaska.gov. Listen-only teleconference sites will not be provided given the need to social distance and avoid large gatherings.
Meeting materials will be posted on the Department of Fish and Game, Boards Support Section website here: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo&date=09-16-2020&meeting=tele. For information about the meeting or meeting materials, contact the Boards Support Section at (907) 465-4110.

The board previously accepted public comment from July 22 through August 31, 2020. However, additional written public comment may be submitted through September 11. Public comment received on or before this deadline will be posted on the Board’s meeting page prior to the meeting. Public comment may be submitted through one of the following means –
mailed to Boards Support Section, P.O. Box 115526, Juneau, AK 99811-5526,
emailed to dfg.bof.comments@alaska.gov, or
faxed to (907) 465-6094.

If you are a person with a disability who may need a special accommodation in order to participate, please contact the Boards Support Section at (907) 465-4110 no later than 12:00pm on Friday, September 11 to ensure that any necessary accommodations can be provided.


_____/s/_____________ September 2, 2020

Glenn Haight, Executive Director Date

Alaska Board of Fisheries




Halibut Rollover? Special IPHC Meeting Sept. 17th




IPHC Media Release 2020-027 Invitation to the 8th Special Session of the IPHC (SS08)

02 September 2020

SEATTLE – The IPHC is pleased to invite all interested parties to attend the 8th Special Session of the IPHC (SS08), which will be held on 17 September 2020 from 13:00-16:00 hrs.

The special session is to be held following requests from Canada for in-season regulatory changes as described below:

Commercial and recreational Pacific halibut fishery changes in response to COVID-19 for Area 2B: Commercial and recreational fisheries for Pacific halibut have experienced disruptions to fishing opportunities and markets, and are proposing sector-specific management responses for consideration by DFO and the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). The proposals are:
The commercial fishery is seeking a season extension, changing the closure from 15 November 2020 to 20 February, 2021;
The recreational fishery is seeking an underage carryover provision that would allow 10% of this year’s recreational TAC, if uncaught, to be added to the recreational TAC in 2021.

The meeting will be held via the go-to-meeting platform with a link to be added to the meeting page immediately prior to the session.

SS08 meeting page: https://www.iphc.int/venues/details/8th-special-session-of-the-iphc-ss08

IPHC Secretariat
International Pacific Halibut Commission
2320 W. Commodore Way, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98199-1287
206-634-1838 | www.iphc.int







Saturday, August 22, 2020

Kodiak fisherman agrees to pay $1 million fine, spend year in prison over false halibut, sablefish reports


From the Alaska Daily News:

"James Aaron Stevens submitted false records for 26 fishing trips from 2014 to 2017 during which he harvested more than 903,000 pounds of fish with a total approximate dock value of more than $4.5 million and an approximate market value of more than $13.5 million, according to a federal indictment filed Friday."

See also: "Why Fuglvog Matters to America"


Thursday, August 6, 2020

Rapid Testing Could be the Key to Reopening

We're hearing from Alaska fishing lodge owners and charter operators about the new rapid test and home testing kits. Guests can order a home testing kit and get results within the time frame required for flying into Alaska.

In case you haven't seen the latest health and travel mandates in Alaska, here they are:


Health Mandate 010: Interstate and International Travel


Updated: August 6, 2020
Expiration: Until Rescinded


Health Mandate 010 gives clear requirements for all travelers arriving in Alaska from another state or country. These new requirements go into effect on Tuesday, August 11, 2020. For more details visit: https://covid19.alaska.gov/travelers


For all travelers (resident and nonresident):
Complete a Travel Declaration Form and Self-Isolation Plan in the Alaska Travel Portal.
All travelers with negative results must still follow strict social distancing for 14 days after arriving into the state or until the traveler receives a second negative test result from a test taken 7-14 days after arrival.
The five-day pretest option is no longer available for any travelers.

For nonresident travelers:
  • Test 72 hours before departure.
  • Upload negative result into the Alaska Travel Portal or have results available to show screeners at the airport.
  • If still awaiting results by arrival time, travelers will need to upload proof of a test taken into the Alaska Travel Portal or show that proof of a test taken to an airport screener and self-quarantine, at their own expense, while waiting for results. The results must be uploaded into the portal when received.
  • If a nonresident arrives without a pre-test, testing is available for $250 per test. The traveler will be required to quarantine while waiting on results.
  • The 14-day quarantine option is no longer available for nonresident travelers.

For Alaska resident travelers:
  • Test 72 hours prior to departure, with the same rules as listed for nonresidents.
  • Testing at arrival remains available at no cost to Alaska residents.
  • The 14-day quarantine option is still available to Alaska residents.
  • Alaska residents traveling within the state will now have the option of free testing at the airport sites, to prevent bringing the virus into our small communities.
  • Proof of Alaska residency can be shown with one of the following:
  • Alaska driver’s license or state issued ID card.
  • Federally recognized Alaska Tribal identification card.
  • Active duty military ID card or active duty dependent ID card.
  • Employment verification letter on employer letterhead or school verification letter for in-person schooling stating traveler is moving to Alaska for employment or school.

There are two FDA-approved home-collection COVID tests:

  1. Pixel system from LabCorp
  2. Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit