Fish Names Needed

March 18, 2022

By Laine Welch


The Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) is minus one member as it wraps up its meeting cycle through April 2, and two more seats become vacant in June.


The BOF is meeting through March 22 in Anchorage to address nearly 160 management proposals for Southeast and Yakutat subsistence, commercial, sport and personal use fisheries.


A day-long hatchery committee meeting is set for March 23, followed from March 26 through April 3 by shellfish issues at Cook Inlet, Kodiak and the westward region, the Arctic and shrimp management at Prince William Sound.   


Governor Mike Dunleavy has yet to appoint someone to fill the seat of Indy Walton of Soldotna who resigned from the BOF in December after serving just three months. By Alaska law, Dunleavy was required to name a replacement within 30 days of a seat becoming vacant.


Members Israel Payton of Wasilla and Gerad Godfrey of Eagle River do not plan to continue on the BOF, according to board director Glenn Haight. 


Currently, only one of the seven Fish Board seats is held by a member from a coastal region – John Jensen of Petersburg – and none is from the commercial fishing sector.


“Yep - the body that regulates pretty much everything to do with commercial fishing in state waters doesn't have a single commercial fisherman on board. None. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Amazing,” commented the Fish Ticket by Alaska Boats and Permits in Homer. 


Insiders say there is a power struggle between legislators and industry stakeholders who want more commercial fishing representation on the BOF, while the governor wants more sport fishing voices.


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