A wide range of topics were covered at Monday’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon with Kodiak’s legislative delegation, Senator Gary Stevens and Representative Alan Austerman. KMXT’s Jay Barrett has more on one of those, licensing for commercial fishermen.
Among the many questions that Stevens and Austerman fielded, was a request by fisherman Al Burch, asking if anything can be done about the rising cost of getting a commercial fishing license:
— (Chamber 1 40 sec "We’ve gone from 250 bucks to … we need something done.")
Austerman said a lot of the problem came in the aftermath of a lawsuit the state has lost regarding licensing fees for out-of-state fishermen:
— (Chamber 2 39 sec "What the court said was … 21-million in attorney fees.")
Subsequent to that, Austerman said, resident fees went up, but he says the money is going to good use:
— (Chamber 3 36 sec "And it was done by regulation … believe it or not.")
Stevens said the payments in the out-of-state licensing lawsuit will have to be approved by the legislature:
— (Chamber 4 15 sec "That money will never go … is, is just crazy.")
Stevens added that he feels the fisheries in Alaska should be for Alaskans:
— (Chamber 5 20 sec "A solid principal … find ways to bring that back.")
Stevens and Austerman will be heading to Juneau soon, as the next legislative session begins in less than two weeks.
I’m Jay Barrett.