(JUNEAU) - The Alaska State Senate passed House Concurrent Resolution 6 by a vote of 19 to zero today. HCR 6 extends the Joint Legislative Salmon Industry Task Force until the end of the Second Regular Session of the 23rd Legislature. The task force, comprised of legislators and members of the industry, will continue to explore how the Legislature can help Alaska's commercial salmon industry reclaim lost market share and expand into new markets. Task force member Rep. Bill Williams (R-Saxman) said the task force has plenty of business for this session.
"We will have 14 bills in front of the House that are aimed to help Alaska's fishermen," Williams said. "There's still a lot out there to be done."
The task force has five subcommittees to address finance, governance, marketing, production and quality for Alaska's commercial salmon industry. These subcommittees identified options to improve the industry that include: statutory changes to improve marketing for Alaska's salmon, monetary contributions of all permit holders in a fishery to protect its long-term health, and further study of inspection standards relating to handling and packing of salmon. Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer) said the task force has many more options to discuss and to propose for legislative consideration.
"Now they'll be able to specifically get into areas that need a lot of work," Seaton said. "It's much better to coordinate this between the industry and the Legislature in a task force environment than it is in the formal setting of a committee."
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"Now they'll be able to specifically get into areas that need a lot of work."