Knight hired to lead gillnetters' group

Posted: Tuesday, January 06, 2009

JUNEAU - Southeast gillnetters chose fisherman-lobbyist Chris Knight as their organization's executive director last month.

The United Southeast Alaska Gillnetters' Association represents all 475 Southeast drift gillnet permits. Its board of directors unanimously decided on Knight.

Knight fishes for salmon, halibut and crab in the summer and early fall, and has drift-gillnetted since 1990. Most recently he has been a consultant and lobbyist, and he worked for the Legislature for 13 sessions.

Knight said his primary focus will be to create a better membership base and communicate better to permit holders. He'd also like to find common ground among commercial fishermen, instead of battling over allocation, he said.

Knight said he was particularly concerned about the potential for harm to fish habitat from poor oversight and planning of new development projects.

He replaces Ken Duckett of Ketchikan.

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