32 FOOT GILL NET BOAT LIMIT TO STAY IN PLACE IN BRISTOL BAY, ALASKA

December 10, 2009 by Beard Stacey & Jacobsen, LLP

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.