Fishing is the most important industry in Alaska. Fishing is sustainable, the money from fishing stays in small communities and supports working families, and fishing is the biggest source of jobs in Alaska's economy. Too often taken for granted, commercial fishing deserves to be a priority for state government.
Alaska homes benefit from energy efficiency programs; so should Alaska fishing boats. I support creating a grant program akin to the salmon quality grant program of "06-'07 that gives vessel owners funds to make vessel improvements that will result in long-term energy efficiency gains (bulbous bows, stern flaps, variable pitch props, prop "tuning," etc).
The small-boat fleet is getting caught as "bycatch" with Coast Guard and NMFS regulation aimed at the industrial fishing fleet:
Fight requirements requring 50'+ boats get "alternative compliance plans" (could cost upwards of $100k/vessel)
Fight requirement for VMF systems on Southeast's small boat fleet
Fight possible requirement for onboard observers for boats as small at 40'.
Support efforts to bring limited-entry permits back to rural Southeast villages.
Fight for more stringent halibut bycatch requirements on the Gulf of Alaska trawl fleet.
Fight to reduce king salmon bycatch by Bering Sea pollock fishery. It's not a Southeast issue, it's an Alaska issue, and the waste of salmon in the Bering Sea is distinctly unkeeping with Alaska's tradition of conservation-based resource management.
Prioritize State capital spending towards harbors to keep moorage rates competitive and our fishing fleets healthy.
Relentless advocate for seafood origin-tracing. The quality of Alaska seafood is the best in the world; we must ensure that the brand of Alaska seafood is not marred by other non-Alaska product falsely marketing itself as Alaska seafood.