UFA urges postponing fisheries meetings

A fishing vessel approaches Cordova Harbor. (June 17, 2020) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Members of the Alaska Board of Fisheries are to hold a special virtual meeting on Monday, March 8 to schedule meetings for the 2021-2022 cycle, but United Fishermen of Alaska is urging postponement of all such meetings for one year.

UFA has asked that the state’s fisheries board wait another year until it is safe to hold in-person again hold in-person meetings.

Doubling meeting cycles creates a huge inequity between regions, weakens the public process that the fisheries board is known for and places an overly burdensome demand on the public to reach an understanding of and comment on twice the number of proposals in one cycle, UFA said in an email to its membership on Monday, March 1.

UFA also objects to the doubling up of the meeting cycle for several other reasons, including the extra costs of individuals to attend twice the meetings in one cycle and the unfunded burden on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s ability to work through proposals and attend all of these meetings.

The deadline for public comment on the new meeting cycle approved by the fisheries board was March 1.