Southeast Board of Fish meeting postponed due to COVID

An auditorium or large meeting room filled with seated people
The first day of the Southeast Shellfish and Finfish meeting in Sitka, in 2018. (Emily Kwong/KCAW)

This weekend, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced it’s postponing the upcoming Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting due to coronavirus concerns.

The Board of Fish makes regulatory decisions around the state managed fisheries. It was set to kick off its 12-day Southeast shellfish and finfish meeting in Ketchikan on Jan. 4.

But according to a Jan. 1 press release, Fish and Game postponed the meeting due to the sharp increase of COVID-19 cases throughout the United States and in Southeast Alaska.

The Southeast meeting, which happens every three years, had already been postponed more than once. Last spring, the Board of Fish postponed all in-person meetings due to COVID-19.

According to the release, key staff have already tested positive for COVID and are unable to participate. The board estimated that at least 200 people would attend the meeting from around the state, and a gathering that large has the potential to cause a “significant case spike” in Ketchikan.

Under the advice of health care professionals who helped the board develop its COVID-19 mitigation plan, they decided to cancel.

The board has not set a new date or location for the postponed meeting.

KCAW - Sitka

KCAW is our partner station in Sitka. KTOO collaborates with partners across the state to cover important news and to share stories with our audiences.

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