A Resolution of the City Council of Homer, Alaska, Strongly Opposing Alaska Board of Fisheries Proposals 138, 139, 140, 142, and 143 That Close or Restrict Waters of Cook Inlet Near Homer to Commercial Drift Fishing. Lewis.
CITY OF HOMER
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF HOMER, ALASKA, STRONGLY OPPOSING ALASKA BOARD OF FISHERIES PROPOSALS 138, 139, 140, 142, AND 143 THAT CLOSE OR RESTRICT WATERS OF COOK INLET NEAR HOMER TO COMMERCIAL DRIFT FISHING.
WHEREAS, The waters of the Cook Inlet Commercial Drift Fishing District Area 1 are the closest drift fishing grounds to Homer encompassing approximately 600 square miles of Cook Inlet from Anchor Point north to Kalgin Island; and
WHEREAS, The waters of Area 1 have been part of the traditional fishing grounds of the Cook Inlet Commercial Drift Fishery since statehood; and
WHEREAS, Area 1 is integral to the Homer fishing economy; and
WHEREAS, Alaska Board of Fisheries Proposals 138, 139, 140, 142, and 143 close or restrict commercial drift fishing in Area 1; and
WHEREAS, Closing Area 1 to commercial drift fishing will result a tripling of travel time for Homer based vessels to reach fishing grounds; and
WHEREAS, Increased travel costs will force the over 100 vessels that represent the Homer based drift commercial fishing fleet to relocate to communities closer to open fishing grounds; and
WHEREAS, Businesses in Homer would lose the economic activity associated with provisioning the fleet in Homer including food, fuel, supplies, gear, and professional marine trades services; and
WHEREAS, Local jobs in seafood processing, marine trades, and trucking will be negatively impacted if fish is delivered to another port; and
WHEREAS, The Homer Port and Harbor identified 170 accounts comprised of fishing vessels, tenders, and seafood processors participating in the Upper Cook Inlet drift fishery in 2013; and
WHEREAS, Problems with Susitna salmon production have been identified and are the result of freshwater habitat issues; and
WHEREAS, Intensive management of saltwater fisheries will never solve the problems found in the freshwater habitats of spawning and rearing salmon; and
WHEREAS, The Board of Fisheries should eliminate restrictions on Central District drift gillnetting during the July 9 through July 31 time period because it is now known that these restrictions are not an effective method of improving Susitna sockeye production; and
WHEREAS, Although it is impossible to discern the revenue generated from the commercial drift fishery exclusively because many vessels participate in multiple fisheries, the Homer Port and Harbor enterprise fund received combined revenues of $849,742 in 2013 from these fishing vessels, tenders, and processors; and
WHEREAS, Adopting the proposed changes to Area 1 of the Cook Inlet Commercial Drift Fishing District will have a negative economic impact to Homer’s Port and Harbor Enterprise in fish processing tax, wharfage, Fish Dock ice sales and crane usage, moorage and uplands leases, and gear storage; and
WHEREAS, Proposals to close or restrict commercial drift fishing in Area 1 disproportionally affects the economic health of one community.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Homer City Council strongly opposes Alaska Board of Fisheries Proposals 138, 139, 140, 142, and 143 that restrict or close commercial drift fishing in Area 1.
PASSED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of Homer, Alaska, this 13th day of January, 2014.
CITY OF HOMER
MARY E. WYTHE, MAYOR
JO JOHNSON, MMC, CITY CLERK
Fiscal Note: N/A