Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 8:47 PM on Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Commercial fishing takes more hits

I've fished Cook Inlet for the past 25 years, and I've seen first hand the steady erosion of our commercial fisheries. The recent actions by the Board of Fisheries taking yet another chunk out of the drift fishermen's livelihood are just the latest assault on our families and our way of life.

But the board's actions are especially ironic considering it refused to hear a proposal to protect salmon habitat from the proposed Chuitna coal strip mine in Upper Cook Inlet. That project would for the first time in state history mine completely through a salmon stream.

Mining through spawning beds is the purest form of a permanent allocation of our common property fisheries, and only the Board of Fisheries not the Department of Natural Resources has the constitutional authority to make that determination.

So, why did the Board of Fish cut our fishing time to allow more fish up Cook Inlet if it's going to ignore permanent salmon allocations like the Chuitna coal strip mine that would diminish our wild fish stocks forever?

Paul Mackie