In the coming weeks the Board of Fisheries will be hearing testimonies on over a hundred proposals addressing how the Upper Cook Inlet fisheries should be managed. Sport, commercial and personal use interests will be presenting and testifying as to what they think is best for their interests and the fisheries as a whole.
Into this discussion steps a legislator who feels that he can threaten the Board to support his district’s proposals by possibly withholding funds since he sits on the finance budget subcommittee for Fish and Game. Sen. Mike Dunleavy also has stated the he feels that when it comes to these proposals legislators should be treated differently than all other stake holders and be allowed to have additional time after the session to make proposals to the Board.
Is this right? Are his comments ethical or are his threats an abuse of power? Should politics have any role in these discussions? The board should weigh all issues and decide what is best for all users and the salmon.
Lastly all the drainages that enter into Cook Inlet should be studied and a policy should be enacted that protects these areas from invasive species, habitat degradation and overfishing.