Not sure if anyone has been following any of the Board of Fish proposals. Proposals 44-56 aim to amend the shrimping regulations in numerous fashions, most notably the opening a commercial spot shrimp season in PWS.
The various proposals are to shorten the recreational season and split the season up so that commercial and sport shrimpers are not shrimping at the same time and/or looking to specify separate areas where commercial and sport shrimping can be done. A trawl fishery is also being proposed.
Some things to consider:
Speaking for myself – I’m a ‘recreational’ fisher with the primary of objective of filling up a freezer to feed the family over the winter. The tone of the proposals leads me to believe that recreational fishers are only out there to have fun and receive no benefit from the existing fishery. I believe this to be far from the truth.
Shrimp populations have been apparently increasing because of the ban on commercial shrimping in PWS that was implemented 20 years ago.
The present practices of subsistence and sport harvests have not adversely impacted the resource
Before commercial shrimping is allowed to re-commence in PWS, we need to make sure that it can occur without depleting and damaging this resource
Some of the proposals suggest that the commercial fishery be established in the absence of a management plan. This management plan should be developed BEFORE the commercial fishery is opened and should determine safe harvest yields and practices so that the resource is protected and not diminished like it was in the past.
The public, particularly sport and personal users, should have an opportunity to provide input to the planning process and the management plan.
Shrimp must be protected during the spawning period. It is unclear to me if the new commercial seasons will impact spawning.
It’s not my intent to open up a gripe session. If you have input, be sure to tell it to the ADF&G. Unfortunately, I will not be able to travel to Cordova to attend the public meeting…go figure on the location.