During yesterday’s Cook Inlet Fisheries Panel, moderator Merrill Sikorski wrapped up the scripted luncheon with an off-the-cuff question, “If you were king for a day, what would you do to fix the fishery?”
Paul Dale of Snug Harbor Seafoods was representing the Alaska Salmon Alliance, and publicly called on his “good friend” Ricky Gease of Kenai River Sportsfishing Association to use his “considerable” political influence to put an end to the set net ban initiative.
Dale: “It’s one of the worst and most egregious, naked fish grabs that this area has ever seen. It frankly offends me that my friend, Ricky Gease and the Kenai River Sportfish Association, while they’re not outright promoting it, gosh I think there’s eight or nine of the 100 signatories on that petition filing were Kenai River Sportfish Association Board Members. Another 15 or so were past Board Members and/or their spouses, Executive Director Ricky Gease being one of them.”
Gease confirmed he signed the filing, but responded…
Gease: “I think Mr. Dale is very generous with his opinion of the political influence that I have, or that the organization has. So at this point, we’re a separate organization from the Alaska Fishery Conservation Alliance. They’re pushing forward with that. I believe today there was an announcement.”
Gease said the courts will decide the issue, but his focus is on better research for the fishery.