Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - News, Features, Opinions...


Governor Murkowski Signs CQE Bill to Assist Fishing Communities in Southeast and Gulf of Alaska


June 04, 2004

Juneau, Alaska - At a gathering of Alaska Natives from around Southeast Alaska, Governor Frank Murkowski on Thursday signed SB 387. The bill will help jumpstart community quota entities (CQE) that will bring limited entry permits and individual fisheries quotas back to

photo Governor Murkowski

Governor Murkowski shakes hands with onlookers after signing SB 387 which will bring jobs to 42 communities in Alaska. The signing took place in Juneau during the opening day of Celebration 2004 which attracts thousands of Alaska Natives to celebrate culture and heritage. The bill will allow the state to provide loans to communities that form non-profit Community Quota Entities which are used to purchase halibut and sablefish quota shares and leased to local residents.
Photo courtesy Office of the Governor
local communities. The bill was signed at "Celebration 2004," an annual gathering at Juneau's Centennial Hall, at which thousands of participants from towns and villages throughout Southeast were in attendance to celebrate Native culture and heritage.

"This legislation has been a high priority for this administration," Murkowski said, "because it will stop the outflow of halibut and sablefish quota from local areas and help rebuild small communities that have been traditionally dependent on these fisheries. It was an unintended consequence of the limited entry program, and later, the IFQ program, that fishing permits and quotas migrated away. Under an amendment to the federal fisheries management plan for Gulf of Alaska groundfish, the CQE program will be instrumental in bringing the fisheries home to the coastal communities that are dependent on them."

SB 387 is one piece of the implementation of the CQE program, and will allow the Department of Community and Economic Development to provide financing to the 42 eligible communities to purchase permits and quota shares, to be owned by the non-profit CQE. The permits and shares would then be fished by eligible residents of the communities. The goal of the program is to provide a stable economic base for the 42 targeted communities, which must be under 1,500 population, not connected by road to any larger towns, have direct access to saltwater, and show a historic participation in the two fisheries.

"Many of these small communities have been hit hard by the downturn in the salmon industry, so the CQE program should help turn them around," Murkowski said.

DCED Commissioner Edgar Blatchford has made enactment of the CQE program one of his highest priorities. "Our objectives are increased employment opportunities, a diversification of the fisheries available for processing, and increased tax revenues, most of which will go to the local community. Like the very successful community development quota program in Western Alaska, the CQE program has a great potential to provide an economic base for small, rural communities, keeping them alive and a viable place for Alaska families to live and work," he said.



CQE program


Source of News Release & Photograph:

Office of the Governor
Web Site


E-mail your news & photos to

Post a Comment
        View Comments
Submit an Opinion - Letter

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska