I just received the proposal book for the 2011 UCI meeting. There are lots of crazy proposals - in fact most of them have wrong information or misconceptions. However, the one that really sticks out is proposal 122 put in by the Alaska Board of Fisheries.
This proposal is to close statistical area 245-70 (which is a small strip of water on the west side of the inlet behind the island). The justification is that the Board in 2005 untented to close this area but the regulation did not do it. It further states that commercial harvest has been accumulated at the expense of Northern District escapements.
Now here is what is funny. This Board of Fish proposal is totally wrong and without merit but the Board put it in the book. First, at the 2005 meeting the 245-70 discussion was changed to an Area 2 discussion so the premise of the proposal is wrong. Second, not only did the Board in 2005 pass the Area 2 language but the 2008 Board of Fish reviewed the language and left it as is because it was correct. So now a third Board decides that the previous two Boards intent was different -even though the record is clear on this one and writes a proposal for a fourth Board of Fish to take up. Now is that not a hoot. Plus the third Board who wrote this proposal has already stated without any facts or data that all Northern District escapements have been damaged from not closing an area drift fisherman do not fish from a practical sense.
This is really pathetic and unfortunate. I think Mr. Fish may have been involved with this and his comments would be interesting. Just for the record Dan Coffey brought up the 245-70 discussion and he and a UCIDA representative changed the boundaries to the Area 2 limitations in the present plans.
The Board of Fish should not be putting proposals into themselves. This is a bad idea and the purpose of this post.
I am not trying to debate ND issues but process here.
The Board of Fish which meets in 2011 with new members now has a proposal from itself to pass which members of the 2011 Board did not put into the proposal book nor was there a debate on the merits of this proposal when it was put into the book. How can there be objective discussion of an issue when one Board says to another Board we know your intent and you got it wrong in regulation and the 2008 Board got it wrong in regulation during their meeting. What a sad state of affairs and why the Board of Fish process needs a complete examination and overall.
In fact this makes the State look bad. If the Board passes this for the reasons stated it says that the regulations were wrong for 6 years and that the review process failed on a key regulation that put ND escapements at risk. If they fail to pass it then it says the Board that put it in was wrong and not justified to do so. There can be no middle ground here and to further muddy the waters the court case UCIDA has over the Board process just got stronger by the Board's own admission
You gotta love this