There was wide-ranging support for set netters at last night’s Borough Assembly meeting…
Asm. Pierce(Sterling): “Resolution 2013-081 supporting the continuation of set netting in Cook Inlet, and this was brought to us by Assemblyman Bagley, Johnson, and Johnson and the Mayor sponsoring it, and also Hal Smalley is sponsoring it.
Public: “I’m in support of this resolution. Wanted to support the resolution. Snug Harbor Seafoods, Pacific Star Seafoods, Icicle Seafoods, Inlet Fish Producers, and Great Pacific Seafoods, all Alaskan corporations with operations throughout the Kenai Peninsula fully support Resolution 2013-081. I am a drift, Cook Inlet drift gillnetter and I am here supporting your resolution tonight.”
20 members of the audience signed up to testify…
Ken Coleman: “It has taught my two sons a good work ethic, and I think they’re the well-adjusted young men they are because they spent so many summers not just playing, but working.
Rob Williams: “I’ve talked to sportfishermen, I’ve talked to dip netters, I’ve talked to local businesses (who are really going to suffer from this), it’s very simply a reallocation from one group to another of salmon.”
Megan Smith: “80 percent of us live on the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and we’re still here. We’re still shopping local and we’re still supporting our neighbors.”
Amber Every: “Why do we have to fight so hard to be able to fish?”
Erik Huebsch: “The estimated overall economic contribution to the region from harvesters and processors of Cook Inlet salmon approaches $350 million on an annual basis.”
Set netter Ken Coleman painted this picture…
Coleman: “Imagine, if you will, all the small businesses in Kenai and Soldotna ceasing to exist, because one group doesn’t like them. Imagine that. That will happen if this initiative is passed. 425 to 450 families will lose their businesses forever.”
The resolution received overwhelming support from the Assembly, along with a call to the Board of Fish to meet on the peninsula again – it would be the first time since 1999.