Council Takes Up Unalaska Bay Trawl Ban

Tuesday, February 26 2013

Map of proposed trawl closure boundaries

City Council will decide whether to support a proposal by the Unalaska Native Fisherman’s Association to ban pollock trawling in Unalaska Bay at its Tuesday night meeting.

This isn’t be the first time the issue has come up. In 2008, the council voted unanimously to support a similar proposal. But this time around, the vote could be different. Councilor Roger Rowland, who also sits on Unalaska’s Fish and Game Advisory Committee, voted against the ban during that committee’s meeting last month, citing a lack of data.

Of the local shore-based processors, only Alyeska’s boats fish in Unalaska Bay. The rest of the vessels trawling in the bay deliver to Icicle Seafoods’ floating processor in Beaver Inlet, The final say about whether to enact the ban rests with the Alaska Board of Fisheries, which is meeting this week in Anchorage.

Council will also take up more than $3 million in budget amendments. The majority of that is to allocate grant funding for the new wastewater treatment.

Another amendment would give PND Engineers $91,000 to study and design a replacement system for the city’s high mast lights at the Unalaska Marine Center, Coast Guard dock, and Light Cargo dock. In a memo to Council, ports director Peggy McLaughlin says that corrosion has made the lights dangerous and expensive to service. She recommends PND for the project because they designed the original lighting system.

Council will also decide whether to allocate $110,000 to the purchase and installation of a pendant for the mooring buoy. The pendant is how ships actually connect to the buoy, and it’s the last major component in making the system operational.

A bidding irregularity is also on the agenda. Council will need to decide whether to open two bids for a new PCR bus, even though they were received after the bidding deadline. In a memo, city staff explain that the bids were postmarked on the same day as those received on time, but that because of delays in mail delivery, they weren’t received until the other bids had been unsealed. Normally all bids would have to be opened at the same time, but city council can waive that requirement.

At the end of the meeting, Counilor Zac Shasteen will step down from city council.

The meeting starts early, at 6pm in council chambers.

a local on Wednesday, February 27 2013:

I vote yes on the ban.... leave the fish around town here for the local townfolk

Site by Joseph Redmon