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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Supreme Court Reinforces Science-based Salmon Management, Value of Setnet Fishery

By Andy Hall


January 04, 2016
Monday PM

The Alaskan families who comprise Cook Inlet’s century-old East Side Setnet fishery are both elated and relieved that Alaska’s Supreme Court has ruled the anti-setnet initiative unconstitutional. As a result of this decision, hundreds of Alaskan families will go into the new year without the threat of losing our businesses, our incomes, our investments and our way of life hanging over our heads. More important Cook Inlet’s salmon runs will continue to be managed by the principles of conservation and science rather than politics and misinformation.

Despite the misinformation campaign waged by the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, set nets are tightly managed and highly selective harvest tools that enrich the economy and enhance stability in Cook Inlet’s salmon stock. The red salmon runs are strong, and the Kenai’s late king salmon run continues to rebound thanks to good, science-based management by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. That careful management means more salmon for everyone – and that includes sport fishermen, personal-use fishermen and commercial fishermen.

Alaska has the healthiest and most well-managed salmon runs in the world, and Cook Inlet’s runs are among them. These fish are a valuable resource that should be managed responsibly, for the benefit of the region and the state, especially in light of the current economic crisis facing Alaska. Keeping Cook Inlet’s runs strong and its commercial fishermen working and contributing to the state and local economy does just that.

Andy Hall,
KPFA President
Kenai Peninsula Fishermaen's Association
Soldotna, Alaska


Received January 01, 2016 - Published January 04, 2015


On December 31, 2015 the Alaska Supreme Court overruled a decision by a Superior Court judge that would have allowed a public vote on an initiative to ban set net salmon fishers in urban areas of Alaska. The ruling affirms the Lieutenant Governor’s decision to decline certifying the initiatives because it would violate the Alaska Constitution’s prohibition of allocating state assets by initiative.




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