AFCA Disappointed in Alaska Supreme Court Ruling on Set Net Ban Initiative
Group will push forward on promoting fish conservation
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, December 31, 2015 - The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance (AFCA) is disappointed with the decision of the Alaska Supreme Court, which declared today that an initiative to ban commercial set nets in urban, non-subsistence areas of Alaska is unconstitutional. AFCA sponsored the initiative and collected the signatures of more than 43,000 registered voters from around the state to put the issue on the ballot.
"We are disappointed with the court's decision to deny voters an opportunity to weigh in on the method and means for harvesting fish,” said Joe Connors, AFCA president. “We will press forward to promote fish conservation and encourage responsible management of our fisheries."
Board Member Bob Penney said he is, “deeply disappointed because the Kenai Kings are the real loser here and it now seems their species will continue to decline. Maybe it’s time the federal government looked into this issue.”
Texas, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, New York and California have banned set nets, and Washington and Oregon have severely restricted commercial set nets due to their detrimental effects on fish stocks. The proposed Alaska law would have only applied to urban, non-subsistence areas of the state: Anchorage, Fairbanks, the Mat-Su Valley, Cook Inlet, Valdez, Juneau and Ketchikan. It would not have affected the use of set nets in rural, subsistence areas of Alaska.