Unalaska Bay was completely shut down to trawlers by state regulators last week after a long campaign by the Unalaska Native Fisheries Association, representing local small boats.
The Alaska Board of Fisheries approved UNFA’s request last week while meeting in Anchorage, closing all waters of Unalaska Bay year-round to groundfish fishing with pelagic trawl gear, according to UNFA member and Unalaska resident Walter Tellman. The fish board voted 6-1 to close the bay to trawlers, he said.
The fish board’s action was the third step in forcing trawlers out of the bay. In earlier actions, the board in 2010 closed the inner bay to trawlers, and then in 2013 seasonally closed the outer bay until Aug. 31, though allowing trawling from Sept. 1 until the end of the pollock B season.