Public comment important to Board of Fish as they approach AYK meeting

by Angela Denning-Barnes on January 4, 2013

Proposed changes to fish regulations in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta will soon be taken up by the Alaska Board of Fisheries. The board will consider proposals and then change fishing laws and procedures if they want. Public comment is an important part of the process, says Monica Wellard, Executive Director of the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

The meeting is scheduled Jan. 15-20 at the Sheraton Hotel in Anchorage. The board will be considering 70 proposals about Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim fin fish issues. The proposals have been submitted by the general public, fishing organizations, local Fish and Game Advisory Committees, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

KYUK news will be going over the proposals in the coming days and you can also download the PDF file here AYK Proposals.

“The public can get involved by submitting written public comments,” Wellard said.

Wellard says the Board is accepting written comments now by fax at (907) 465-6094 and through the week of the meeting. However, getting comments in earlier will allow the board more time to consider them. Written comments received before January 2 were included in the Board of Fisheries book. Written comments received after January 2 are limited to 10 single sided pages or 5 double sided pages. Once deliberations begin at the meeting January 15, the page limit drops to 5 single sided.

The fax number for written comments is (907) 465-6094.

As for testifying in person, Wellard says that usually starts on day one of the meeting.

“Public testimony, usually we start close to the end of the first day, and we start recording all of that information, so the public is advised to come up to the microphone and speak on whatever proposal or issues they have,” said Wellard.

Any person intending to testify must sign up at the Sheraton Hotel in Anchorage by 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 16. Public testimony will continue until members of the public who have signed up before the deadline and who are present have been given an opportunity to testify.

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