When she ran for Governor in 2006, Sarah Palin received broad support from the state’s fishing industry. Palin touted herself as a commercial fisherman, having worked at her family’s setnet site in Bristol Bay. KMXT’s Casey Kelly has more
United Fishermen of Alaska Executive Director Mark Vinsel was in Palmer for the State Fair when he heard the news about Palin becoming John McCain’s running mate. Vinsel and the Governor were scheduled to appear together at the unveiling of the new U-S quarter featuring an Alaska design with a grizzly bear eating a salmon. He says this is a historic day for Alaska fishermen.
(Vinsel 1 :18s “…we’re left speechless.”)
Despite concerns about Palin’s relative youth and inexperience, Vinsel says he thinks she can bring issues important to Alaska fishermen to the national spotlight. One area in particular that he says needs more attention is federal funding for research projects that support sustainable fisheries.
(Vinsel 2 :29s “…sustainability of our fisheries.”)
But not everyone in the fishing industry thinks that Palin is a good choice to be vice president. Kodiak City Councilman Terry Haines is a fisherman and a member of the grassroots advocacy group Crewman’s Association.
(Haines 1 :13s “…qualified for yet.”)
Haines says Palin has been a strong advocate for working fishermen, but he’s not convinced that she could help Alaska’s fishing industry as vice president.
(Haines 2 :11s “…specific issues like that.”)
Many fishermen supported Palin’s run for Governor two years ago after growing disillusioned with the policies of former Governors Frank Murkowski and Tony Knowles. However, Palin recently angered some in the industry when she came out against Ballot Measure 4, the so-called Clean Water Initiative, which was aimed at regulating the toxic discharge of large-scale mining operations, like the proposed Pebble Mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay’s sockeye salmon fishery.
I’m Casey Kelly.