Letter asks for Commissioner advocacy
for bycatch caps at North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting
SITKA- Today, five members of the Alaska Legislature’s
Bush Caucus sent a letter to Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Vincent-Lang requesting his advocacy for the reduction of halibut bycatch caps
at next month’s North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Halibut fishermen lose a portion of their annual allocation of halibut every year due to
the currently high bycatch caps. Tying halibut bycatch management to abundance and lowering caps would bring immense benefit to rural and coastal Alaska communities. Sustainable, rigorously-managed fisheries
will leave the state’s economy mores stable in the long term. When coastal and rural communities thrive, Alaska’s economy is stronger.
“Millions of pounds of halibut are discarded as bycatch every year. The health of our halibut stocks means we must reduce bycatch. Alaska’s representation
on the North Pacific Council should advocate for this goal,” said Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Sitka).
When NPFMC meets this week, Alaska’s representatives from ADF&G will have the opportunity to push for abundance-based management of halibut bycatch. The Alaska
Legislature’s Bush Caucus, a group representing rural and coastal Alaska, strongly encourages ADF&G representatives to advocate for the reduction of halibut bycatch caps.
September 29 letter to ADF&G Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang, signed by House Speaker Bryce Edgmon,
Kreiss-Tomkins, Representative John Lincoln, Representative
Dan Ortiz, and Representative Tiffany Zulkosky.