Alaska Supreme Court Rules Unconstitutional for Ban on Set Net; Fishermen Relieved and Happy
Jan 05, 2016 04:46 AM EST
The Alaska Supreme Court decided that the ban on set net is unconstitutional. They will not continue with the ballot voting of voters related to the law. Fishermen were happy and relieved with the news.
KTUU reported that an earlier decision in 2014 by the lower court ruling that ordered the ballot voting be certified by the lieutenant governor was reversed. The lieutenant governor had declined to certify the order that states that the voting will appear on the 2016 ballot.
Undercurrent News mentioned the banning of the practice came from the conservation group Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance (AFCA) and were disappointed with the latest decision. The Supreme Court said that the initiative was unconstitutional thus will not be put to voters. In earlier reports, the Third District Superior Court reversed the decision of the former lieutenant governor Mead Treadwell who declined to certify the initiative. However, in the Dec. 31 decision of the Supreme Court, they stated that the ballot initiative would have yielded the authority to control the state's natural resources straight to the voters.
Many set net fishermen said it was a relief, KTVA stated. After months of worrying about money invested in the business the fishermen can now rest peacefully. The president of the group of net setters called Resources for All Alaskans said now that was cleared people can now make investments and whatever they want and need to do. Jim Butler also said that people can now contribute to the board of fish process and not feel like it was hanging over their head.
AFCA is concerned regarding the set net fishing because it endangers king salmon runs; the fish are often caught as bycatch. Since the Supreme Court sided with Treadwell, AFCA said they will find other ways to pursue the banning. "We're looking at some legislation for some potential buyout options on a voluntary basis for set netters that choose to move on to another line of work," said Sen. Micciche. He added that he will propose a bill during the upcoming legislative session.