Feb 7, 2010
Good Morning All-
We are due to start again this morning at 8 AM AK time.
Yesterday afternoon was interesting, at least from my point of view, to listen to how each BOF Board Member worked to both get questions answered but also to get his thoughts and/or issues out and onto the public record.
As frustrating as this might be to many fishermen or those who try and watch, in my opinion it is one of the things that Alaska seems to get mostly ‘right’.
The public is involved basically at all steps of the process. The proposals can be submitted by anyone from staff to just the general public, even out of state people are able to.
If you feel there needs to be a change in or a new fishing regulation you can get involved.
They are not screened or gone through before being published and distributed to the public.
Then as we get ready for the meeting, every three years for your area, there is an opportunity to submit comment of support or concerns to be included.
Many times this is evidence to back up a proposal or disagree.
Then during the meeting time you can come and go through giving public testimony. Submit more written comments (RCs), discuss in a committee that is set up by part of the board and all those who are interested in a group of proposals.
A few more back and forth times and you get to where we are yesterday and today, deliberations and voting.
I am hoping that some of the Yukon area people, or those who work with that part of the state, will comment on yesterday before I jump in a do a recap.
Today we should be dealing with a group of proposals that deal with the area JUST south of Bristol Bay Area and could be pretty hot, at least in the audience :-) Although they will restrain themselves at least until they get out in the hall way as you can’t be disruptive. Quickest way to be asked to leave!!
Overall the main concern seems to be the ability for village fishermen to fish pretty much ‘in their front yards’ and not HAVE TO travel up to hundreds of miles because of a management style that allows the fish to be intercepted before they can get into their ‘home’ or terminal rivers.
Not only our area villages but also one south of us and then still another one that is technically in the Area M territory feel their fish are being intercepted before they get to their terminal rivers.
This is a case of economics of who can afford to continue to live in their villages, children not being able to participate in something families have been doing for generations, and families that are struggling in all sorts of ways due to the changes in their villages.
Businesses that are closing up, homes being sold and all the issues that come with a village that is losing members.
We will not even get into the good management practices many feel this style is not following, the issues of is it REALLY true that our runs are sustainable, and finally if fishing as we know it is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
I will check in just before 8 AM.
Thanks for checking in and being interested, it is appreciated.
~ Victoria Briggs