Sullivan Updates Kodiak on Bills Affecting Fisheries Resources

Adult Sockeye Salmon encounter a waterfall on their way up-river to spawn. Marvina Munch/USFWS

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Republican Senator Dan Sullivan spoke with the public at a town hall Saturday and updated Kodiak on some bills he’s been involved in, including ones that impact fisheries.

Sullivan was one of the senators to introduce the Save our Seas Act, a bill that strives to reduce marine debris.

According to Sullivan, it would call on increased funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He said it would also strengthen the ability of states to declare a disaster in the case of a pollution emergency.

“And most importantly, and I’ve already had significant discussions, it encourages the state department to get very involved with what the sources are and to undertake an international treaty dealing with this.”

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee heard the bill in April. It advances next to the Senate floor.

Sullivan also referred to the ongoing issue of the greying of the fleet, a situation where veteran fishermen are continuing in the fishing industry, but fewer new people are entering it.

Congressman Don Young sponsored a house resolution called the Young Fisherman’s Bill in April. The bill would, among other things, put funds towards training programs for new entrants in the fishing industry.

Last week, Sullivan was among the senators to introduce the bill in the senate.

“It’s all about looking at ways to help the next generation of fishermen to have less barriers to entry, financially and other ways, to continue the health of coastal communities in our fishing industry here in Alaska.”

The senate referred the bill to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

At the town hall, Sullivan soon handed the floor over to the public. An hour of the hour-and-a-half meeting was dedicated to questions and answers.

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