Alaska Charter Association

To Protect the Rights and Conserve the Resources of Alaska's Sport Fishery
ACA News: November 2017
 

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone-

I am very thankful to all of our renewing ACA members! The response to our call to renew has been better than ever. 

To all of you who have perhaps lost the renewal notices in the holiday rush, here's another reminder to invest in the future of your business and support the work. 

When you sit down to a nice meal on Thursday with family and friends after renewing your ACA membership, you'll be thanking yourself. The turkey will taste more delicious than last year.An extra serving of sweet potato pie is a well-deserved treat.

Last year a charter captain -- a guy who reads every issue of this newsletter but never joined ACA -- saw the family dog jump up like a thirsty timberwolf and re-allocate the big brown turkey just as it about to hit the dinner table. 

Don't let that happen to you.

-Jim Martin, Executive Director
Alaska Charter Association

P.S.:

December North Council Meeting Dec. 4-12 in Anchorage

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will meet the week of December 4-12, 2017 at the Hilton Hotel, 500 W. 3rd Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska.

Recreational Charter Fishing  is once again on the agenda at the North Council, with a slate of issues at stake:

  • Options for management and regulation of guided halibut fishing for 2018 - final action. The Council will be setting a range of options for next year's management regulations. When the Halibut Commission meets in January, they will decide how many fish each region is allowed to catch. At that point, the Council can set the final halibut regs for 2018.
  • Charter Halibut Permits: Discussion Paper on Latent Capacity. Many people in the charter fishing industry are worried that there is too much potential fishing effort that is not being used now, but if it were to be used in the future, it would result in shorter seasons and more restrictions because of the extra fish caught. The Council is considering ways to head off this potential for unused permits suddenly entering the fishery.
  • RQE permit ownership caps. There is interest in looking at the Recreational Quota Entity, which was approved last year, as a way to buy back commercial halibut quota to supplement the guided angler fishery for halibut, as a pool of funds to buy back Charter Halibut Permits to "right-size the fleet to the fishery." 
  • Potential registration of boats rented to clients for halibut fishing - discussion paper. Let's hope this is the high water mark for creative ways the Council can restrict recreational halibut fishing. What's next, limiting the number of rental cars at Ted Stevens International? The Council is considering having some sort of registration of rental boats available to self-guided anglers for halibut...if we keep going down this road we will have a special allocation to red-headed stepchildren and another one for grandpa-guided anglers...
  • The Council's letter to Sen. Sullivan on Magnuson-Stevens. On a positive note, NPFMC Executive Director Dan Hull submitted a letter of detailed comments on the range of legislation being proposed in Congress to Reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act. It goes into great detail on the many ideas being discussed in D.C. to improve the federal fisheries law, and the Council did a very good job overall in its recommendations.

Some highlights of the week's meeting schedule:
  • Charter Halibut Management Committee: Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 9am-4pm - Room TBD 
  • Scientific and Statistical Committee: Dec. 4-6, 2017 8am-5pm - King Salmon/Iliamna 
  • Advisory Panel: Dec. 5-9, 2017 8am-5pm - Dillingham/Katmai
  • Council: Dec. 6-12, 2017 8am-5pm - Aleutian Room

ACA reps will be in attendance to provide input on the decisions. Issues we're eyeballing include the mixing of guided and unguided limits of halibut on live-aboard operations, boat rentals registration and floating lodges - it looks, to many of us, fishery managers are splitting the recreational sector into many little chunks, each with its own rules, allocations and regulations.   

To see the full Agenda and Documents (download PDF): click here

Submit comments to  npfmc.comments@noaa.gov  by November 30, 2017

(For the Charter Halibut management items, see C1, C2, and C3 on the agenda. For the Council's comment letter on the Magnuson-Stevens Act, see B1.)

If you are unable to attend the meeting, you can listen online here.

 
IPHC Interim Meeting Nov. 28-29 in Seattle

"The 93rd Session of the IPHC Interim Meeting (IM093) will be held 28-29 November 2017 at the Grand Hyatt Seattle in Seattle, Washington. New this year, the meeting will require attendees to pre-register. Please follow the Interim Meeting registration link ( https://iphcim093.eventbrite.com).

"All of the staff presentations and discussion will be open to public attendance. These public sessions will also be webcast for those unable to attend in person. The meeting agenda, meeting documents, and webcast information will be posted at the IPHC website (http://www.iphc.int/meetings-and-events/interim-meeting.html) as they become available. The webcast recordings and the meeting presentations will also be posted on the website following the meeting."


NACO report on new drug testing regulations:

DOT IMPLEMENTING EXPANDED OPIATES TESTING JANUARY 2018

On Friday, the Department of Transportation let us know that January 1, 2018 is the official date set by the DOT to begin testing for hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone as part of the DOT opiates panel. This was expected for October 1st, but, due to the comments received on the proposed rule, the DOT delayed implementation to consider all comments. That has been done and the expanded panel will become part of the testing on January 1, 2018.

This is a significant change in the testing program in that these drugs, all available by prescription, will now be considered when a test is performed. Heretofore, abuse of these drugs was not a consideration of DOT testing since the tests specifically tested for heroin, codeine, and morphine. This means that DOT employees who are being prescribed these drugs need to consult with the prescriber to make sure the prescriber agrees that the employee will be able to complete his/her safety-sensitive duties while taking the medication. It is also imperative to inform employees of this date so that, if there are those abusing these drugs, they have ample warning to cease the abuse before the testing regulation becomes effective.

This rule will apply to the following agencies: Federal Motor Carrier (FMCSA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Railroad Administraction (FRA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG)

To read the full report on the final rule in the U.S. Federal Register,  click here.

  • Because you find most of your time is being spent in damage control brought on by regulations that continue to decrease fishing opportunity for your clients.
  • Because you have no time to attend important meetings that may further impact your future. 
  • You belong to the Alaska Charter Association.
If your dreams include flying scales and full fish totes, you 
need the Alaska Charter Association to inform, educate, and fight for you 
at these important fisheries meetings. 

It's easy