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House Votes to Support Young Alaskans in Fisheries (HCR 18)

HCR 18 looks to offset “graying of the fleet” by partnering with UA efforts

Monday, February 27, 2012, Juneau, Alaska – University of Alaska programs and initiatives meant to help young Alaskans get a foothold in the commercial fishing industry got a vote of support from the Alaska House today.

The House unanimously passed House Concurrent Resolution 18, which carries an endorsement of the UA efforts and adds a member from each chamber as liaisons to help recommend ways the legislature can contribute.

House Special Committee on Fisheries Chair Steve Thompson said the resolution is about supporting the ambitions of young Alaskan fisheries entrepreneurs in an industry that is “graying.” Thompson said the average age of a commercial fishing entry permit holder has increased to nearly 50 years old. “These days, younger people face higher hurdles when it comes to financing, with more expensive technology, higher fuel prices and the costs for vessels and permits,” Thompson said. “The University’s Fisheries, Seafood and Maritime Initiative is a wonderful tool to help feed these young Alaskans’ desires, helping them earn the business skills and learn the complicated regulatory net out there. It’s time for the legislature to take part.”

HCR 18 calls for the Senate President and Speaker of the House to each appoint one member from their respective bodies to act as liaisons to the university’s initiative and report on its progress. The appointed legislators would make recommendations on ways the legislature could contribute to the initiative by the end of January next year.

HCR 18 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

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