Alaska Legislature Approves Task Force to Help Commercial Fishing Industry

Alaska Legislature Approves Task Force to Help Commercial Fishing Industry
File photo.

Alaska legislators on May 12 approved the creation of a task force to make policy recommendations to help the state’s struggling commercial fishing industry.

It is to be modeled after another legislative task force created over 20 years ago to help the salmon industry at a time when harvesters were facing the impact of low prices and competition from farmed fish.

The resolution by the House Special Committee on Fisheries, and sponsored by the Alaska Senate Finance Committee, acknowledges the economic distress for harvesters in danger of being without markets and the number of seafood processing facilities for sale, closing or planning to shut down for a portion, or all of, the 2024 fishing season.

The task force is to be composed of eight members, with the state senate president serving as chair, and also appointing three additional members from the Senate. The four other members are to be appointed by the Speaker of the House.

The resolution calls for the task force to develop a long-term vision for the state’s seafood industry as a critical element of the state’s economic future and to address ways the government can assist the state’s seafood industry in response to changing economics.

The task force is also expected to address ways to improve coordination of the harvesting, processing and marketing of seafood, ways to incentivize new seafood product development and marketing efforts and to improve the quality of the state’s seafood products.

Additionally, the group is charged with submitting a report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature by Jan. 21, 2025, and may submit any interim reports it considers advisable.


Boat Lyfe