Report identifies ways to rejuvenate Alaska’s commercial fishing fleet

Phys Org –

A new report on Alaska’s aging fishing fleet and loss of access to commercial fisheries in rural communities recommends five steps to reverse these troubling trends.

The report, called “Turning the Tide,” is based on a global review of access to commercial fisheries. It is the work of a research team at the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Alaska Sea Grant and Alaska Marine Conservation Council.

The report details the ongoing loss of fishing permits and quota from Alaska’s coastal communities and the rising age of quota and permit holders. It notes that Alaska’s rural fishing communities have shed nearly 2,500 locally held commercial fishingpermits since 1975 when Alaska began limiting entry. That’s a loss of over 30 percent of permits originally held by local residents.

Prior to limited entry, anyone could fish commercially by getting a gear license and paying a nominal fee to the state. With limited entry, people who want to start fishing must purchase rights, or be gifted or inherit them, from private individuals.

Read more