CDA statement supporting SB44

Apr 22, 2021

The Alaska Senate is considering SB44, a bill titled "An Act requiring the Board of Fisheries to prioritize personal use fisheries when implementing fishing restrictions to achieve a management goal." The Chitina Dipnetters Association believes this bill would be good for all Alaskan residents. Charles Derrick, president of the CDA will testify as follows on April 23, 2021, in front of the Senate Resources Committee as follows:

CDA support SB44 to Senate Resources Committee.

Chairman Revak and members of the Senate Resources Committee thank you for this opportunity to testify in support of SB44, a Personal Use Priority.

My name is Chuck Derrick and I am the President of the Chitina Dipnetters Association, representing the interests of the some 10,000 dipnetters who annually participate in the Chitina Personal Use Dipnet Fishery (CPUDF). Personal Use category is a  Alaska resident only use and allows citizens of Alaska the opportunity to supplement their yearly food supply by the harvest of Alaska’s consumptive natural resources. In this way, Personal Use is much akin to subsistence in the ability of Alaskans to feed their families off Alaska's bounty.

What you would think is a given right of all Alaskan residents is not always shared by those who would fatten their wallets off those same consumptive resources and continuously attack Personal Use harvest. As an example, several proposals submitted for review by the Alaska Board of Fisheries at their upcoming December meeting concerning Prince William Sound and Copper River finfish seek to restrict participation or harvest in our fishery. Proposal 19 submitted by the Cordova Drift Fishermen United requires the loss of 2/3rds of the Chitina Personal Use dip net  fisheries salmon allocation if the Copper River Commercial salmon harvest by June 1 is 50% below the 10 year average. If approved  this would severely restrict the number of Alaska residents who dip net in our fishery and this allocation loss would exist for the remainder of the dip net season even though the salmon run shortage, which caused the triggering of this restriction, could soon reverse as a later surge in the salmon run occurs.

Proposal 20 submitted by a lodge owner and sport fish guide seeks to significantly reduce the annual  salmon bag limit for the CPUDF, apparently wanting to increase the salmon opportunity for his customers whether resident or non-resident.

A state priority for the Personal Use category would eliminate the need to constantly defend what should be a forgone conclusion and that is the ability of Alaska residents to harvest Alaska consumptive resources in amounts that truly help feed ones family for the coming year.

Respectfully,

Charles Derrick, President

If you are moved to support this bill, please contact your own senator and let them know.