Fishing Industry

I understand the importance of the Alaskan fishing industry and will continue to fight to protect and enhance our vital industry. 

I am the Chair of Fish & Game Finance Subcommittee, which means I lead the creation of the Fish & Game agency budget. Although the entire State of Alaska operating budget has been cut significantly over the past six years, I have worked hard to maintain funding since taking over the Chair position in 2016. In recent years, I have been able to add new management projects throughout the state in order to increase fishing opportunities for all fishermen. In 2018, I included funding for juvenile King salmon research, which is especially important in light of our recent King salmon fishing seasons.

I have also sponsored and passed three bills pertaining directly to our fishing industry:

  • HB56 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 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 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 incentivizes vessel owners to carry Protection and Indemnity insurance, providing better coverage for crew members.

Lastly, I have worked with the Walker Administration and our entire Federal Delegation - Senators Murkowski and Sullivan and Representative Young - to fight for protection of our transboundary waters from potentially disastrous Canadian mines.