The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBSDA) has posted its own COVID-19 Fishermen’s Handbook, online here.
The intent is educating the fishermen on how to comply with state and local laws and to provide best practice to keep everyone safe from COVID-19 during the 2020 season. A set net mandate is also to be included soon.
The BBSDA advises that it is the responsibility of all Bristol Bay fishermen to understand and take steps to comply with mandates on the state and local level.
These regulations are mandatory and failure to comply is punishable by fines of up to $25,000 The fleet is advised to plan their season in Bristol Bay to minimize time spent in town and to get onto the water quickly. Harvesters are advised to consider all necessary items they will need for travel, preparation of their vessel, and to fish efficiently, before leaving home.
“The rules are long and complex and will make the 2020 salmon season unlike any we’ve ever experienced,” said BBRSDA President Fritz Johnson of Dillingham. “But for your well-being and others, and the future of our industry it’s essential that every captain and crewman understand the information in this manual, and strictly follow all state and local regulations.
Those arriving in Dillingham, including returning residents, must quarantine for 14 days and must wear face coverings in town. During the quarantine period temperatures must be taken and noted in the vessel logbook twice daily. While in Bristol Bay communities themselves, participation in public gatherings or social events is not allowed. In fact no crew should leave the vessel unless it is essential, according to the handbook.
The mandatory health screening requirements alone require the vessel captain to record health screenings and information, and to check all crew members daily for signs of illness, fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste and unusual fatigue.
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