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1/12/2013
Observer meeting set

KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration Fisheries agency has scheduled an informational meeting about its newly expanded federal fisheries observer program for noon Tuesday in Ketchikan.

NOAA Fisheries’ observer program has gathered harvest data from the federally managed, large-boat groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska since the 1980s.

For 2013, the agency expanded the program to include all of the federally managed groundfish fisheries in Alaska, including the commercial halibut fishery in Southeast Alaska.

NOAA Fisheries has invited boat owners, registered seafood buyers and seafood processors to meetings in Ketchikan, Sitka and Juneau that are intended to answer questions about the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program.

"Meetings will cover important changes to how observers are deployed, how the program is funded, and which vessels and processors must have some or all of their operations observed," according to the NOAA Fisheries meeting announcement.

The Ketchikan meeting is scheduled for noon Tuesday at the Ted Ferry Civic Center, according to NOAA Fisheries. The meetings will continue Wednesday in Sitka, and Thursday in Juneau.

Further information about the new program is available on the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region website at: www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.