A Bristol Bay career program brings students to the state Board of Fisheries meeting
Three students attended the 2022 Board of Fisheries meeting a month ago as part of the Bristol Bay Career and Technical Education Program's new fisheries pathway.
"These students are here as part of our fisheries pathway we're developing within the Bristol Bay region," said Misa Webber, who works with the program. "This is the first Board of Fish meeting that we've participated in, hopefully the first of many in the fish policy realm."
Webb said they are still developing the fisheries pathway, and she hopes to develop next year's curriculum in the coming months.
"But right now, we really just saw [the Board of Fish meeting] as an opportunity, being that it's on a three year cycle," she said. "We really wanted to be a part of it so we threw it together last minute. I'm looking forward to see what the schedule looks like in the future."
After the meeting ended, KDLG caught up with the student participants. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Lewis Singley: I am from Naknek, Bristol Bay. I am in 11th grade. And for the past five years I have been a commercial set netter. And this year, it'll be my first year as a commercial drift netter.
Jeffrey Brito: I've been a drift netter for about 10 years now. I'm from Dillingham Alaska. I'm 16.
Josiah Young: I'm from Newhalen but originally from Dillingham. This is my fifth year commercial set netting at Coffee Point. I'm 17.
Ross: How was [the Board of Fisheries meeting]? Were there any proposals or discussions that you really remember?
Singley: I thought they were all amazing. And it was really interesting getting to see how all this happens. Like, this is really how those decisions are made. And I think it's awesome.
Brito: I want to see what happens with [proposals] 11 through 13 — the king Nushagak and Mulchatna — what happens there and 43, 45 and proposal 18.
Young: I would say the same thing. I want to see what they do with the king salmon, what they do in the Nushagak and how they work that out.
Ross: Is there anything else about the process that stuck out to you or any other issues that you're going to be paying attention to?
Singley: Well, sadly, I missed the first day of the meeting, because my flight got canceled. But I heard it was really interesting. My peers got to listen to people argue back and forth about what proposal would work best and what proposal wouldn't work. I thought that was really cool. I wish I was there for that, but everything else still was equally awesome.
Brito: I didn't realize how political fishing here was, and I'd like to see more of it in the future.
Young: I'd say the same thing. It's a lot of sitting around, a lot of information you need to take in. So it's just a lot to process. But it's really fun.
Ross: Thank you all so much.
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