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Legislature Passes Fix to Comm Fish Temporary Crew Licenses

Seaton bill to close temporary crew license loophole heads to Governor

Monday, April 21, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – The 28th Alaska Legislature today, by a unanimous vote in the Alaska Senate, passed a bill by Rep. Paul Seaton to fix a loophole in state law relating to temporary commercial fishing crew “dude” licenses. House Bill 143 will limit crew to purchasing a single temporary license per year, instead of buying numerous temporary licenses.

“The temporary crew license program is growing in popularity,” Rep. Seaton said.  “However, there is a problem in the works. We see a vast increase in the number of people who are purchasing multiple consecutive short term licenses as a way to get around purchasing a single annual license. This problem was not anticipated when the program was first authorized. HB 143 fixes that problem”

Seaton said there has been an increase in the number of 7-day licenses sold since the program began in 2005, with 47 purchased the first year, and 1344 purchased in 2012. The estimated lost revenue to the state is more than $285,000. “Dude” licenses cost only $30 and last for seven days. HB143 keeps that level, but limits buyers to one license per year, allowing a buyer to apply for reimbursement should they later purchase an annual license.

HB 143, which passed the House unanimously April 2, 2014, now goes to the Governor for signature.

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