COVID-19 Prompts Postponement, Cancellation of Fisheries Meetings

Concerns over the spread of the coronavirus has prompted postponement or cancellation of fisheries meetings in Alaska, Washington and Oregon, including the 41st staging of ComFish Alaska, an annual trade show and forum for the fishing industry.

The Kodiak Chamber of Commerce ComFish Committee has postponed the three-day show scheduled for March 25 to 27. The chamber announced its revised ComFish plans this past week, saying they would welcome all their exhibitors, speakers and attendees to the convention center in September.

Still on the schedule will be the first ever fisheries-themed fashion show, hosted in conjunction with the Kodiak Arts Council, as well as the annual rockfish taco feed, public receptions, processor recognition events and Fishermen’s Showcase. ComFish forums include presentations and discussions on a range of topics from policy, technology and scientific issues to environmental and political matters.

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The pandemic has also prompted cancellation of the April meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in Anchorage, Alaska, where final action was to be taken on a rebuilding plan for St. Matthew blue king crab. The council’s next scheduled meeting, June 1–9, will be in Juneau, Alaska. The council is expected to announce a revised schedule for that meeting.

The April 4–10 meeting of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, scheduled for Vancouver, Wash., will be conducted as a webinar only. Most of the scheduled ancillary advisory body meetings will also be by webinar only.
In Salem, Ore., the Fish and Wildlife Commission has cancelled its public meeting set for March 20 because of concerns over COVID-19. ODFW Director Curt Melcher said the commission wants to keep its employees, the public and commissioners safe and plans to reschedule that meeting.