Alaska Charter Association

To Protect the Rights and to Conserve the Resources of Alaska's Sport Fishery
ACA News April 2016

North Council Decision on RQE:

RQE Passes to Public Review

April 10, Sunday, Anchorage:  The North Pacific Fishery Management Council passed the RQE (Recreational Quota Entity) on to its next step, public review, today.  This charter industry proposal has taken eight years to get to this point and will tentatively be scheduled for final action in December.  When implemented, this will allow guided anglers a mechanism to return to traditional bag limits.  Creating a common pool of funds for the guided angler sector will provide the ability to purchase IFQ quota from the commercial fishery to use, together with IPHC allocation, as a new basis upon which to set annual guided angler bag limits. 

Council member Andy Mezirow was instrumental in working with other council members to support this action.  He passes on his thanks, along with the ACA, for all the public comment letters received by the Council and the many members of the charter fishing industry that took time out of their schedules to come to Anchorage and testify in person.  It was nice to see young, second-generation charter operators at this meeting.  The angling public that uses charter services also showed up, which helped give a perspective the council rarely hears.

On the downside, commercial fishing interests, seeing they could not stop the RQE from going forward, lobbied council members to add stricter transfer limits to be added to Mr. Mezirow's original motion for an RQE.  Ranges that go down to half a percent annual cap on transfers, 7 percent total cap on transfers, prohibitions on purchasing any blocked quota shares, aim to cripple the RQE by making it harder to find quota to purchase.  We will be soliciting charter sector support in December, to help ACA lobby for less transfer restrictions.  The motion as amended and passed unanimously can be read here: Motion


Testimony Counts

Please pass on my sincere appreciation to the Alaska Charter fleet for sending in so many great comment letters. Looks like there are ten times more charter related comments than long liners. 

This is a really important part of the process. If we can get some good public testimony to the Council and Advisory Panel, we should be able to move forward. I follow the industry's directions, and without directions, it can put me in an impossible place to help. This time I have what I need to do my job.

When this industry speaks with one voice, to this Council, we can improve our situation dramatically.  I know some have lost hope of getting anything from this Council. I would ask them to stay involved for another 6 months. Lets get the RQE through the Council process and get it working in our favor, so we can stop some or all of the restrictions we have been experiencing over the last few years.

Again thanks for taking the time to get involved or for motivating others to get involved.

Sincerely,

Andy Mezirow
North Pacific Fishery Management Council Member

Seeking Former Charter Captains Who Have Left The Industry

Dr. Phil Loring of the University of Alaska Fairbanks is seeking out halibut charter operators who have left the business, or have thought about leaving the business, as a part of an ongoing research project that seeks to understand how fishers are impacted by, and respond to, regulatory changes. Dr. Loring is hoping to do short interviews either in person or by phone. They will take roughly 30 minutes or more. If interested please contact Phil at  ploring@alaska.edu. Phil will be in Sitka on May 18,19, and 20, and in Homer on May 22, 23, and 24. If these dates are not good for you, Phil will be happy to speak with you by phone.  Please contact ACA at info@alaskacharter.org for more information.


Do you find most of your time is being spent in damage control brought on by regulations that continue to decreased fishing opportunities for your clients and you don't have time to attend important meetings that may further impact your future? You need an organization like ACA to inform, educate, and represent you at these important fisheries meetings. Please help support us with your $150 membership. Please join us Today! 
 

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