What a year! And what an impact COVID-19 and now the air quality has made on harvesting!
Due to COVID-19 the tribe negotiated with our co-managers to carryover unharvested pounds from the second half of last season, into the season we are currently in. This means unharvested pounds followed the diver into this season. This negotiation was for one season only. All of the individual quotas and carryover pounds need to be harvested this season. The carryover will not go into the next season.
We are anticipating an early deadline for harvesting at the end of this season, around February 15th following Chinese New Year. This will allow all harvested pounds to be calculated and a possible “mop-up” of unharvested pounds to occur in a timely manner.
Last month, the department issued an emergency regulation in response to COVID-19 that made it possible for individuals to obtain a medical using “fear of contracting COVID-19” as a valid reason for requesting one. Please make sure the department knows who your nominated diver is.
The virus also impacted our practice of annual dive physicals. Both the PTHA clinic and Virginia Mason have had closures, resulting in a backup of divers waiting for their dive physicals. We have contacted PTHA and found out they are able to take up to 5 nurse dive visits a day. If your dive physical is expired please call and make an appointment with the triage nurse as soon as possible.
It has also come to our attention that a few people had issues with getting their bi-annual drug screen. The department gave 6 weeks of advanced notice to all divers through route of email, text if no email was given, and finally it was posted in the tribal newspaper. Read the entire email, they have information regarding closures or limitations at the drug screen facility. The bi-annual drug screens occur the same two months every year, February and August. To avoid scheduling issues, please plan on taking your drug screen earlier in the month, that way you have plenty of time to work around those issues.