We will find a way to protect our home grown fishermen from the factory ships that come from outside of our state and nation and take Alaskan-hatched and Alaska-bound fish.
We list all the industries in Alaska and we name fishing as part of the list. But, frankly, that’s a bit misleading. We do have commercial fisherman who are from Alaska and work in Alaska. I know some of them. But we have factory ships that drag nets that are measured in Kilometers, and they show up from other states, or countries, with their own crew on board, scoop up Alaska-hatched, and Alaska-bound salmon and other fish, take them back to their home ports and Alaska is left out. Mind you, many, possibly most of these were hatched in hatcheries right here at the expense of Alaska.
At the same time, we have smaller Alaskan fishing vessels that do work here, but their catch is pitifully limited. And at this same time, many Alaskan fishermen who use the salmon run to feed their family have to do without. In the Lower-48, many fishermen catch fish, and may eat for a day. In Alaska, our catch is a large part of our food budget for a year.
There are also fishing guides, who do what they do. They help our economy to some degree too, as those outside sport fishermen spend money here.
Bottom line, we have got to find a happy medium in which all three segments of the fishing industry are satisfied. I will bring in local experts to help in this regard, but be advised; the majority of attention will be given to local self-supporting fishermen and Alaskan industry fishermen. This applies to hunters and hunting guides as well. When Alaskans cannot get a bead on a bull moose that is within legal limits while industry guides fly outsiders all over the state, taking the trophies and leaving Alaskans hungry, we have another problem, but we’ll deal with that too.
We must find a way to satisfy all parties, and we must have help from the federal government to keep interlopers out of Alaskan waters. As I said in the beginning, the first and greatest priority of a governor is to protect his or her people. This includes safeguarding their job security and their ability to feed their families. This we will do.