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Legislature Passes Resolution to Address 'Graying of the Fleet'

HCR18 creates ways to better prepare young Alaskans for entry into commercial fisheries

Saturday, April 7, 2012, Juneau, Alaska – The 27th Alaska Legislature today, with a unanimous vote from the Alaska Senate, passed a resolution aimed at helping young Alaskans get a foothold in the commercial fishing industry.

House Concurrent Resolution 18 addresses concerns with the age of commercial fishing entry permit owners in Alaska and calls on the Legislature to be involved with the University of Alaska’s fisheries, seafood and maritime initiative program.

The University of Alaska launched the initiative to assess and enhance the development and delivery of programs, courses, research and information that meet the employment needs of the fisheries industries in Alaska. HCR 18 works with the University initiative by endorsing and encouraging the program. Under the resolution, the presiding officers of both bodies would appoint one member to be a liaison to the University to report on the process of the program and deliver recommendations to the legislature.

“I was highly impressed by the young fishermen and women that came to Juneau to testify on behalf of this, Thompson, R-Fairbanks, said. “This resolution encourages the state legislature to help young Alaskans achieve solid, skilled careers in the seafood processing and maritime industries.”

Today’s cost of entry into commercial fisheries is often more than $350,000. “We’re working on getting younger Alaskans into the program,” Thompson said. “Most young Alaskans lack the considerable credit history necessary to secure such large bank loans.”

HCR 18 passed the House unanimously on February 27, 2012. The resolution now heads to the Governor for his signature.

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