Executive Director: Groundfish Forum was pleased to bring Lori Swanson on as Executive Director in January 2006. Prior to this position, Lori was the Special Projects Coordinator for Groundfish Forum. Lori also worked for NET Systems (a trawl gear designer/ manufacturer) and as a deckhand, observer and joint-venture representative on foreign fishing operations.
Alternative Compliance and Safety Agreement (ACSA): The Coast Guard finalized this initiative in 2006 with extensive consultation with Groundfish Forum and other associations, vessel owners and operators from the head & gut (H&G) fleet. The goals of the initiative are to improve safety in the H&G fleet in a reasonable and practicable manner, allowing the H&G fleet to continue production of its historically important fish product lines, and integrate certain aspects of fishery management with vessel safety by taking into account the H&G fleet’s need to meet future retention requirements.
Bycatch Teleconferences: Bi-weekly bycatch teleconferences continued throughout 2006 during the fishing seasons between Groundfish Forum members and other head & gut (H&G) industry participants to help the vessels control their prohibited species catch (PSC) so they could fish as much of their target species as possible.
Advisory Panel (AP) of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council): Lori Swanson continued to represent the head & gut (H&G) sector on the AP throughout 2006.
Pribilof Island Collaborative (PIC): Lori Swanson continued to participate in the PIC which focused on issues addressing fur seal decline, habitat issues and halibut and crab decline around the Pribilof Islands. The PIC held its last meeting in November 2006.
Bering Sea Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Pacific Cod (Pcod) Allocations: In April of 2006, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) finalized Amendment 85 which revises allocations of BSAI Pacific cod among the various fixed gear, trawl gear and jig gear sectors. The action also apportions the trawl vessel sector allocations between those vessels that are eligible under the American Fisheries Act (AFA) and those that are not. Groundfish Forum worked for recognition of the H&G sector’s historical dependence on Pcod.
Improved Retention/Improved Utilization (IRIU): Dorothy Lowman, Natural Resource Consultant hired in 2005, continued facilitation of a cohesive position between the Head and Gut (H&G) fleet on Amendment 80 (IRIU) issues throughout 2006. At the June 2006 North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) meeting in Kodiak, local vendors and City Council joined forces with the H&G fleet to present testimony about the importance of the H&G fleet to the local communities in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. At that meeting, the Council took final action on Amendment 80, which provides specific groundfish allocations to the Non-AFA Trawl Catcher Processor sector (H&G sector) and allows the formation of cooperatives.
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for Pacific Cod and Flatfish: Groundfish Forum and other members of the industry who fish for Pacific cod and flatfish in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and Gulf of Alaska (GOA) hired the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) and Moody Marine to begin the process of assessing these fisheries for the pre-assessment phase of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which has developed an environmental standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.