New legislation boosts to $400,000 the cap on money that may be borrowed through the Alaska Commercial Fishing Loan Fund to purchase limited entry permits, individual fishing quotas and gear.
House Bill 56, sponsored by Rep. Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan, was signed into law on Aug. 31 by Alaska Gov. Bill Walker in a ceremony at Fisherman’s Hall in Kodiak.
Ortiz said the bill addresses the problem of too many Alaskans are priced out of commercial fishing because they can’t afford a permit, quota or gear.
“By clearing away bureaucratic and economic hurdles, this bill moves us one step closer toward the goal of helping Alaskans reap the benefits of our sustainable commercial fisheries,” he said.
Ortiz also credited Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, as “a champion for commercial fishermen, for stepping forward and guiding this simple yet vital bill across the finish line” during a legislative session with so many other issues on the agenda.