An Alaska fishing commission has worked itself out of a job. But its commissioners still make more than $130,000 a year

The two political appointees, Ben Brown and Bruce Twomley, are being paid even though they’ve all but stopped doing the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission’s most essential work: They haven’t limited access to a fishery since 2004, and they’ve resolved no more than three permit applications in each of the past five years, down from the dozens that were once processed annually. The commission was created in the 1970s in an experiment at “limited entry”: capping the number of commercial fishermen in state fisheries as a means of conservation. The commission decided which fisheries to limit, then reviewed applications from fishermen and ruled on who would get to keep fishing and who would lose access — a right that had been enshrined in the Alaska Constitution until voters approved a limited entry amendment. The permits issued to the remaining fisherman essentially gave them exclusive rights to what had been a public resource — fish in the sea. Later, with a push from U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, the federal government began a similar process in waters outside the state’s 3-mile limit. click here to read the story 08:19