On March 23, Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued Health Mandate 10, requiring anyone traveling into the state — resident, visitor or worker — to self-quarantine for 14 days, from March 24 until at least April 21. Businesses who bring in workers from outside to maintain critical infrastructure, including commercial fishing vessels and seafood processors are required to submit an action plan on how they will prevent the spread of the illness to the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. An action plan template can be found here. Completed action plans are to be submitted to: [email protected]. On March 27, Gov. Dunleavy issued Health Mandate 12, which places similar restrictions on travel within the State of Alaska.
Pursuant to an emergency rule entered on March 24 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NOAA Fisheries is temporarily waiving the requirement in Alaska for vessels in the Partial Coverage Category to carry a fishery observer. The waiver is in effect through April 9, 2020. NOAA will evaluate possible future extensions of this waiver on a weekly basis. The Notification on Waiver can be found here.
On March 26, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Marine Safety Information Bulletin 09-20 regarding vessel inspections, exams, and documentation during the COVID-19 pandemic. For vessels that are due for a 5 year commercial fishing dockside exam, the local Officers In Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) may, on a case by case basis, either require Coast Guard attendance o the vessel to conduct a full or abbreviated exam, or defer a required exam for 90 days. For Seine Vessels Reserve (SVR) members who have a vessel that is due for an exam in 2020 and are unable to schedule an exam this year, SVR will agree to defer the exam requirement until 2021.