Senate committee hears setnet buyback bill

A Senate committee on Monday considered legislation that would give Cook Inlet’s east side setnet fishermen the opportunity to retire their fishing permits through a volunteer, lottery-style buyback program. The bill, which still needs to pass in both the Alaska House and Senate in the next 12 weeks, would create the program, but not fund the buyouts. That money would need to come from outside groups. The bill, S.B. 82, is named the East Side of Cook Inlet Set Net Fleet Reduction Act and is sponsored by Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski. The bill aims to make Cook Inlet’s east side setnet fishery more economically viable and to reduce tensions between fishery user groups by reducing the amount of fishing gear in the water and giving permit holders an opportunity to exit the fishery. more, >>click to read<< 10:24

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