Reduce commercial fishing permits through attrition – J.B. Friderici – Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Wasilla, Alaska

Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012 9:40 pm  To the editor:

The Aug. 24, 2012, edition of the Frontiersman published a column by Howard Delo about fishing and the lack of Cook Inlet salmon. His conclusion that the Cook Inlet commercial fishing industry is over-capitalized is correct. I agree that the reduction in the number of permits is desirable. Rather than a permit buyback program, we should seek other ways to reduce the number of permits. A buyback program implies fisherman have property rights in permits. This is not correct since under the Alaska Constitution the fish belong in common to the people of the state of Alaska. Commercial fishermen are not entitled a preference over other Alaskans, to say nothing of the permits held by non-Alaskans. We should make permits nontransferable. We should institute a requirement that a permit be fished each year with some minimum catch and enforce the requirement the permit holder be on the vessel while fishing. The only penalty for violation is cancellation of the permit. This would reduce the number of permits through attrition without anyone getting paid.  J.B. Friderici  Willow

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