The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly passed a resolution last night at its regular meeting asking the Alaska Legislature and Governor Bill Walker not to make any more cuts to the fisheries budget.
Assemblywoman Rebecca Skinner, who wrote the motion, said the resolution originated in the Kodiak Fisheries Work Group. She said this year budget cuts have already prevented certain fisheries from opening, such as crab, herring, and salmon.
“The primary reasons for asking that Fish and Game be adequately funded is to ensure that the appropriate and necessary monitoring of the fish stocks can occur so that the commercial fishing seasons or the different fisheries can be opened and can remain open to allow the fullest level of harvest as appropriate.”
The resolution goes next to the Alaska Municipal League, a coalition of leaders from governments across Alaska.
Assemblyman Larry LeDoux said this is the second resolution the Fisheries Work Group has sent to AML.
“The first one was presented last year asking the University of Alaska to preserve and keep open Fishery Industrial Tech Center, and that’s still active, and it just gives you an indication that the joint city-borough work group on fisheries is actively trying to keep an eye on and support our economic vitality as a fishing community.”
The assembly passed the resolution 6 – 0.
In addition to asking for a stop to cuts, the resolution will request that revenue gathered from taxes on fisheries will go back into the sector in order to pay for its management.
The resolution will be offered to AML’s Resolution Committee on November 15 and, from there, it will be presented to AML members with the Kodiak Island Borough as its sponsor.