32 FOOT GILL NET BOAT LIMIT TO STAY IN PLACE IN BRISTOL BAY, ALASKA
The 32 foot limit on salmon drift boats in Bristol Bay will stay in place. The Alaska Board of Fisheries failed to pass a proposal to repeal the 32 foot limit during its December, 2009 meeting in Anchorage. The board vote on the proposal was deadlocked at 3-3 with one board member abstaining. Supporters advocating the increase in the length argued that larger vessels would permit flooded fish holds and chilling systems to be installed thereby increasing a higher quality product. Alaska permit holders generally opposed the proposal and thought that a larger boat base might come to dominate the fishery. A similar proposal to eliminate the 32 foot restriction was rejected in 2006.