Alaska Shell game: state scallop fishery faces scrutiny

A bill extending the limited entry program for scallops is making its way  through the Alaska State Senate, but not without scrutiny. The concerns have arisen because a small group of partners from Washington  led by Jim Stone of Lakewood have come to control virtually the entire scallop  harvest valued at about $4.5 million in 2012. Including American Seafoods, that core group now controls six of nine state  and federal permits for the scallop fishery along with the F/V Ocean Hunter, one  of the two vessels that still fish in state waters. Since 2009, the Ocean Hunter  has harvested scallops in state waters on behalf of the Alaska Scallop  Association members with “lease fees” paid to the permit holders who do not  associate their permits with a vessel. continue