Navy discusses Alaska exercises that conflict with fishing
KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Navy is working with Kodiak-area officials and residents to come up with a better time to conduct military training in Alaska that conflicts with an important regional fishing season.
Navy officials were in Kodiak last week for a meeting about the exercises, which historically have been conducted in May, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported . Officials and resident have said the exercises coincide with fishing season for groundfish and salmon.
Rear Adm. John Korka of the U.S. Pacific Fleet said the timing of training has been based on weather, personnel and asset availability and budget constraints. He said he would like to work with local communities in the future to determine the best and worst months for the exercises.
“It’s clear to me after what I have observed and people I’ve talked to, May is a bad month,” Korka said.
Assembly member Rebecca Skinner was pleased that the Navy was working to come up with a solution.
Councilor John Whiddon said Kodiak supports the military but said the area’s fishing industry is its most important economic sector.
“I understand the need for training, but, having been in the seafood industry for the last 20 years, I appreciate the fragility of our community as it relates to the fishing industry,” Whiddon said.
Korka told Kodiak officials that planning for this year’s military training will happen soon.
“The transparency is something that we owe to you and to your communities, and rest assured that we’re committed to the path that we’re on today,” he said.
Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com