April 3, 2014
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – A look at fish issues before the Alaska legislature. More after this.
Find out who’s catching all that seafood and their favorite recipes at a new micro site from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute – find it at www.wildalaskaflavor.com
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Not too many big fish issues have come before the Alaska legislature this session which could wrap up a few days before the deadline on Easter Sunday.
That would be unprecedented in my 25 years of covering the Legislature. 24
Bob Tkacz of Juneau reports on legislative action in his weekly Laws for the Sea. The push to end early is causing shortened hearings and ignored bill referrals, he says, pointing to hearings on the Fish and Game budget.
The Senate finance subcommittee on Fish and Game budget is chaired by Rep. Bill Stoltz of Chugiak and Senator Mike Dunleavy of Wasilla. The subcommittee had two meetings in its entirety. One was a joint session of the house subcommittee when they talked about CI inlets before the fish board meeting and the other was the first basic ADF&G’s of the gov’s budget proposal. Nothing else happened in public in that committee and then they rolled out the budget. There’s extra money going to not just CI but to Wasilla for useful and needed things like more sonar , more smolt enumerations but the world doesn’t end at the Mat Su borders. 6
Perhaps the most notable fish measure on its way to passage this session is extending the salmon development tax credit and including herring and byproducts for both. Tkacz says there is a big push by major processors, especially at Togiak, to develop canned herring and high protein powders for global relief efforts.
Mark Palmer, president of Ocean Beauty, said if the Food Aid market expands, which is very well established around the world, that is going to help them afford the R&D to develop new products. 22
Tkacz says HB 77 – the Parnell measure that would change protections for Alaska’s lands and waters and remove public comment – is stalled. Over all, policy maker discussions are focused primarily on education and the proposed gas line and not on fisheries or coastal issues.
Half the legislature is from Anchorage and the Mat Su and a lot of those people have never lived in coastal Alaska. They think they live in rural Alaska because they get moose and bears in their back yard and then go to their front yard and drive their car down the road to any number of grocery stores they want. That’s not rural Alaska and they are out of touch. 14
Catch the line up this month at ComFish www.comfishalaska.com
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.