At its last regular meeting, the Kodiak city council advanced an ordinance, that would allow fishermen to sell their catch to customers directly from their vessels, to its second reading. If passed the ordinance would allow the harbormaster to issue permits to fishermen that’d let them sell seafood in a certain section of the harbor.
The council unanimously agreed the ordinance should move forward to a public hearing and vote. Councilman Charlie Davidson says the policy change will make Kodiak feel more like a fishing community.
“I’m glad that we’re doing this. It will give the smaller fisherman a chance to make a little more coinage. It makes us feel more like a fishing town where you can go down to the fisherman’s boat and buy his catch.”
Last year, the council was presented with a petition with 67 signatures asking for this change to the city’s code. Currently, in Kodiak, a person isn’t allowed to go to a fishing boat to buy fish or any other kind of fresh seafood.
According to deputy city manager Matthew Van Daele, Kodiak is one of the few places in Alaska that doesn’t already allow fishermen to sell directly to the public. Councilman John Whiddon says making changes like this is a way the council can help foster more local business.
“I think this is the type of example we’ve talked about in terms of economic development and ways that a municipality can help facilitate business, growth and development.”
Councilwoman Laura Arboleda says the ordinance shines a light on one of Kodiak’s biggest assets.
“I think this is an awesome idea and I also think that it gives a lot of recognition to the driving force of our community.”
The council will hold a public hearing on fishermen selling seafood from their vessels at its next regular meeting. It will also have the option to vote on the ordinance at that time.