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North Pacific Fishery Management Council Meeting in Nome Next Week

Pacific Cod. Photo: NOAA.

Next week the North Pacific Fishery Management Council will meet in Nome. Meetings begin Monday June 2nd and run through Tuesday June 10th. All meetings are open to the public, except executive sessions of the Council.

The NPFMC manages fisheries in federal waters around Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Items being discussed include chinook and chum bycatch by pollack fisheries, CDQ cod harvests within halibut fisheries, and revising licenses and maximum catches in crab fisheries.

The meeting is a forum for discussion and collecting public comment. No decisions are expected to be made during the sessions.

Tyler Rhodes is the Chief Operating Officer for the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation. He said NSEDC will be paying particular attention to the discussion around relaxing cod harvests for CDQ halibut fisheries.

“Currently,” Rhodes said, “cod can be harvested when fishermen are out seeking halibut. So they’re allowed to harvest a certain amount of cod along with the halibut. But there is a proposal before the Council that would allow a little more flexibility for the fishermen to harvest cod directly.”

Rhodes said with the meeting begin held in Nome, the region has a great opportunity to voice their input on fishery management in the Bering Sea and throughout the North Pacific waters.

“Often the Council meets in places like Anchorage, Seattle, sometimes Portland. So it can be difficult for people to make it to those meetings,” Rhodes said. “So to have this meeting in our own backyard, per say, is a good opportunity for residents to see a.) the process and b.) voice their opinions on measures.”

The sessions will be spread across three locations: the Mini Convention Center, the Nome Elementary School, and Old St. Joe’s.

For details on submitting written comments and providing public testimony and to view an agenda of the meeting, visit the NPFMC website.