April 11, 2011 — Vol. 27 No. 15
She's at a landlocked university more than 600 miles from the Pacific Ocean and more than 2,500 miles from the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean, but Idaho State University anthropology professor Katherine Reedy-Maschner contributes to setting fishing seasons in these distant waters.
Reedy Maschner - due to her expertise, research and experience in Alaska's Aleutian Islands - has been selected to serve on the Scientific and Statistical Committee for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC).
This committee advises the NPFMC on scientific and other technical matters.
"We review the science behind the policy decisions that the council makes for the North Pacific, Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean and make recommendations to assist the council," Reedy-Maschner said.
Her committee also reviews scientific research presented by fisheries scientists who work for the National Marine Fisheries Service. Reedy-Maschner, and the other 14 members of her committee, review and comment on that research and suggest improvements, when necessary. The committee also hears testimony on the effects of research, concerns about the science, problems in fishing fleets and other topics.
She will attend five meetings annually at various locations in Alaska - including Anchorage, Nome and Dutch Harbor - and in Seattle. Each member of the committee has specific review assignments for the scheduled meetings. At the upcoming meeting in Anchorage, Reedy-Maschner is responsible for reviewing scientific data on Chinook salmon bycatch and reviewing economic data for the crab fisheries.
According to its website, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) is one of eight regional councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976 (which has been renamed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act) to oversee management of the nation's fisheries.
With jurisdiction over the 900,000 square mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off Alaska, the Council has primary responsibility for groundfish management in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI), including cod, pollock, flatfish, mackerel, sablefish, and rockfish species harvested mainly by trawlers, hook and line longliners and pot fishermen. The Council also makes allocative and limited entry decisions for halibut, though the U.S. - Canada International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is responsible for conservation of halibut.