I understand the importance of the Alaskan fishing industry and will continue to fight to protect and enhance our vital industry.
I am a member of the Fisheries Committee and Fish & Game Finance Subcommittee, which means I help create the Fish & Game agency budget. Although the entire State of Alaska's operating budget has been cut significantly over the past eight years, I have worked hard to maintain funding most recently as a member, and previously as Chair of the Fish & Game subcommittee from 2016-2020. In recent years, I have consistently voted against cuts to fishery surveys.
I have also sponsored and passed multiple bills pertaining directly to our fishing industry:
HB 41 (2022) creates the regulatory framework for Fish and Game to permit shellfish enhancement and restoration projects
HB56 (2018) gives greater loan access to fishermen to buy or repair equipment, and purchase IFQ shares. I hope this bill gives more financial opportunity to younger fishermen as we avoid the graying of the fleet.
HB76 (2018) expands access Mariculture Revolving Loan Fund for shellfish and marine plant hatcheries. These funds will be used to develop seed supply, which is a critical part of our growing mariculture industry.
HB354 (2018) updates the self-assessment process for the Southeast Regional Dive Fisheries Association (SARDFA). This allows permit holders actively participating in the fisheries to have more control over their self-assessed tax.
SB61 (2019) incentivizes vessel owners to carry Protection and Indemnity insurance, providing better coverage for crew members.
Lastly, I have worked with the Walker and Dunleavy Administrations and our entire Federal Delegation - Senators Murkowski and Sullivan and the late Representative Young - to fight to protect our transboundary waters from potentially disastrous Canadian mines.