Biological Opinion May Shut Down Mackerel, Cod Fishing Near Kiska

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

A tense meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council went into recess this afternoon so members could attend the Ted Stevens funeral, but they will be back at work tomorrow on the issue of Steller Sea Lions.  The Council is looking at a Biological Opinion – or Bi-Op – from the National Marine Fisheries Service that would shut down all Atka Mackerel and Pacific Cod fishing west of Kiska Island to reduce the possibility of depriving endangered Steller Sea Lions of food.

The fishing industry has come up with its own set of fishing cutbacks, which they laid out yesterday to the Council’s Advisory Panel.  The industry plan would still allow some fishing, but would also involve some more severe curtailments than the Bi-Op calls for.

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