Local News

Suit filed over fisheries observer program

A small cruise line with ties to the conservation community in Southeast Alaska has filed a lawsuit over the federal fisheries observer program, saying that too many chinook and halibut will go uncounted when new rules take effect in January.

The Boat Company filed documents in Alaska District Court on December 21, challenging the restructured monitoring program developed by the National Marine Fisheries Service for federal waters off the coast of Alaska.

Earlier this fall, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced plans to move forward with a controversial rule expanding its on-board observer program to include smaller vessels in the halibut and black cod fleets. On-board observers have been a part of the large-boat trawl fleet for years.

In a news release issued this afternoon (12-27-12), Boat Company president Hunter McIntosh states “Fishery stakeholders expected that the restructured program would improve coverage of fisheries that remove the largest volumes of halibut and Chinook salmon as bycatch. Instead, NMFS developed an expensive and inefficient program that diverts observer coverage from trawl vessels to smaller vessels that use lower impact, selective fishing gear.”

The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, which represents many Alaskan hook-and-line fishing boats, spent the past two years testing an electronic monitoring system, which they claim is a more cost-effective, and more efficient, program than human monitoring.

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Education, not politics, at core of McNichol’s campaign

Jennifer McNichol remembers taking the Iowa Tests when she was in grade school. While the state has some way to go to refine its assessment methods, she says testing is "a fact of life" and not "a political statement." (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)
Jennifer McNichol understands that schools are under pressure from cutbacks in local and state budgets, but this incumbent school board candidate finds that education is worth standing up for. more

Sitka XC boys place first, girls second at Region V race

The start of the 1A/2A/3A boys race.  (KCAW Photo/Emily Russell).
The Sitka boys cross country team took home first place at the recent Region V race (09/24/16), with Mt. Edgecumbe coming in second. The girls finished second behind Petersburg, and Mt. Edgecumbe girls placed third. more