Sport charter is as commercial as it gets

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, December 25, 2006

I would like to point out that the sport charter group is as commercial as you can get. They don't do it for free; they get paid. But most still have the misguided belief they are still sportsman. It didn't appear that Mr. Warner (Dec. 19, Juneau Empire) was offering any of his earnings to the permanent fund if he is in fact part of this group. Sport charter fishermen exceeded their allowable catch by 50 percent last year, which is part of the reason that the International Pacific Halibut Commission is recommending a 29 percent decrease in area 2C Southeast quota for halibut. More people are jumping into the sport charter business every year, and it is time that the charter group looked into limiting and capping its numbers, as you cannot have unlimited competition and growth on a limited resource.

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We saw a similar situation during the halibut and black cod derbies prior to the individual fishing quota system, when the longline fleet was increasing at 20 percent a year. Since the quota program, which stabilized the fleet, many commercial fishermen had to buy into the halibut and black cod fishery. The state did not give it to them. Perhaps the charter group should be looking into buying a quota that already exists. It's a lot different than stepping up to the table and saying gimme.

Michael Douville

Craig



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