Commercial fishing groups worried about initiative
Since the newly formed Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance released its ballot initiative proposition to ban setnet fishing in areas of the state it defined as “urban,” several commercial organizations have met to plan strategy against the new attack.
While a large part of any planned strategic maneuvering includes waiting, another part includes picking apart portions of the AFCA’s initiative that commercial fishermen are calling “vague” and “misleading,”
One issue with the proposed initiative is that it would ban “shore gill net and set net fishing.”
“There is no such thing as a shore gillnet. There is no definition of a shore gillnet in Alaska state statute or regulation,” said Julianne Curry, executive director of United Fishermen of Alaska, a group that represents about 40 commercial fishing groups statewide.
“There’s no mention of salmon. It just says fish,” Curry said. “The initiative really isn’t specific enough for people to get a handle on … I think the lack of definition for a shore gillnet has a lot of people concerned wondering if that means (drift) gillnets or if that’s an attempt to describe what a setnet is. We have a pretty extensive setnet fleet in the state of Alaska and an extremely extensive (drift) gillnet fleet.”
Read the rest of the story at the Peninsula Clarion below:
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