Board of Fisheries meeting begins in Anchorage

One of the biggest topics of the meeting is Proposal 140, which targets Area M, and is made to limit commercial fishing in the area.
Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 7:52 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has started the Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting at the Dena’ina center on Monday, discussing issues and regulations that deal with the Alaska Peninsula, the Aleutian Islands, and the Chignik areas pinfish.

One of the main points of discussion is the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands Management Area, or Area M, which is a commercial fisheries area. Proposal 140 targets Area M, and is made to limit commercial fishing in the area, to promote salmon populations and subsistence fishing in the state.

“With any state-managed fishery, there’s, there has to be expectations that it’s going to be managed in a way that’s going to, you know, minimize effects to non-target species and, you know, stocks that are bound for other areas,” said Jennifer Hooper, the program manager for the Association of Village Council Presidents Natural Resources.

Area M has commonly been referred to as an intercept fishery, meaning that fish from other regions of Alaska pass through as they migrate through the ocean, leaving them open to commercial fishing before reaching their spawning region.

“Coastal western Alaska, from Bristol Bay all the way up, you know, north past Bering Strait region, stocks are known to migrate through this area,” Hooper said.

The board will continue into Tuesday when public testimonies will be held, nearly half of the registered testimonies are to be on the matter of Area M. Proposal 140 is scheduled to be discussed by the board on Wednesday.