Board of Fish Lowers the Boom on Conservation
In a 4 to 3 vote by the Alaska Board of Fisheries in Anchorage today, the Mat-Su Basin fisheries were dealt a blow. The commercial drift gillnet fishing fleet will be allowed more time in the Conservation Corridor—a protected fish passing lane to the north, hard won by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Fish & Wildlife Commission at the last board meeting in 2014 and staunchly defended this week before a Fish Board who was mostly deaf to the conservation plight.
The vote undoes a unanimous 7 to 0 vote from 2014 with three of the same members reversing their vote this year.
“Concern over the efficiency of the drift fleet trumps our concern over depressed stocks,” said Mac Minard, a former state biologist and Mat-Su Fish Commission consultant. “More troubling than this action is the justification for it,” Minard said.