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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Supporting our Fishing Industry

By Rep. Dan Ortiz


June 29, 2018
Friday PM

A week ago, China announced that it will add an additional 25% tariff on seafood imports. China is Alaska’s top seafood customer, spending $1.3 billion on exports last year.

This tariff increase will directly impact tens of thousands of fishermen, other fish-industry employees, and Southeast Alaska’s economy. According to the McDowell Group, the fishing industry produces $2 billion in labor income alone, and a total economic output of $5.2 billion per year.

Although I am not in a position to change Chinese policy, I can – and will – continue to support the fishing industry on the state level. This past session, I sponsored three bills pertaining to our fishing industry that the legislature passed. HB56 “Commercial Fishing Loans” increases the sub-category amount an Alaskan can borrow from the Commercial Fishing Revolving Loan Fund. HB76 “Mariculture Revolving Loan Fund” allows the revolving loan program to include shellfish hatcheries. HB354 “Dive Fishery Assessments” updates the SARDFA self-assessment election process.

As the Chair of the Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee, I also led the creation of the Fish and Game budget. For Fiscal Year 2019, we maintained funding and added eleven new management projects, which will directly positively impact our fishermen by creating more catch opportunity. I also work closely with Fish and Game, fishermen, and industry participants to steward our commercial fishing resources. The fishing industry is vitally important to the well-being of Southeast, and the entire state of Alaska, and I will continue to protect and support it on the state level.

If you have any questions about these fishery-related bills, or suggestions for future ones, don’t hesitate to email me at or call at 907-247-4672.

Rep. Dan Ortiz
Ketchikan, Alaska



Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.


Received June 28, 2018 - Published June 29, 2018

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