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Rep. Young’s Statement On NOAA Clarification

Washington, DCAlaskan Congressman Don Young released the following statement this afternoon upon notice that NOAA Fisheries had made a clarification to regulations applying to vessels operating in sport charters:  

“The way this rule was written, charter operators would no longer be able to fish with their families and friends on their own personal time.  Many constituents contacted me with this concern, and so I sent a letter to (Deputy Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries' Alaska Region) Doug Mecum last week explaining my concerns and asking for a review of the rule.  Without the clarification, this was a blatant overreach by the federal government that was impeding the lives of Alaskans.  Once this was brought to their attention, NOAA moved quickly to help Alaskan families, and I thank them for that.”       

Previously, under the Charter Halibut Limited Access program, the rule stated that all charter operators in Central and Southeast Alaska must always have a valid charter halibut permit on board.  This rule was clarified to say that while this permit must be on board when the vessel operator is being compensated for the charter, it is unnecessary during recreational halibut fishing trips where they are not being compensated.

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