Rush Hour - Alaskan Style
Egegik River
© K. Anthony Lara Photography


The commercial fishing industry is a basic component of Alaska's resource-based economy and the economic backbone of Alaska's rural fishing communities. The commercial fishing industry is the state's largest source of private sector jobs. The Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (Commission) is an essential management component for developing and sustaining Alaska's billion dollar fishing industry.

Alaskan voters instituted the Limited Entry Act by voting in 1972 to amend Alaska's constitution to create a system of fishery limitation (Article VIII, Sec. 15). The 1973 Alaska Legislature approved the Limited Entry Act creating a resource agency to promote conservation and sustained yield management of Alaska's fishery resources and the economic health and stability of commercial fishing.

Since 1973 the Commission has granted more than 10,000 Alaskans permanent access to their valuable fishery resource by limiting entry in 50 different fisheries. The Commission has received petitions for the limitation of 24 additional fisheries.

The percentage of permits held by Alaska residents has remained relatively stable. Today approximately 77% of all permits are held by Alaskans and more than half of that number are held by rural Alaskans.

The drastic declines in salmon prices in recent years due to growing farmed salmon production have imposed hardships on many Alaska fishing families. The Commission is concerned with the efforts by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to force the sale of entry permits from local fishers. Together with the Division of Investments, the Commission has helped fishers take advantage of the Tax Obligation Loan Program as a means for fishers to settle their federal tax obligations and protect their fishing privileges. The Commission and others including State and Federal agencies have been meeting with the IRS to explore ways to cooperate and avoid such harm.

In addition to responding to these current and pressing issues, the Commission has continued to perform its primary functions to license fishers, adjudicate claims, perform critical research and provide data to those people and agencies as needed to make the proper policy decisions as detailed in the following sections. Major decisions and activities affecting the Commission's operations in fiscal year 1996 are outlined in the Commissioner's letter to the Legislature and Governor that is part of this report. Prior years' activities and decisions affecting the Commission's operations are included in the appendices.

1996 was a year of transition for the Commission. Commissioner Frank Homan retired after several years of outstanding service. Frank's leadership resulted in many beneficial changes during his tenure. Frank will be missed.

Governor Tony Knowles appointed Marlene Johnson to the Commission to replace Mr. Homan. Marlene is the first woman and first Alaska Native to serve on the Commission. She is an experienced adjudicator and manager and brings a wealth of knowledge to the Commission. Governor Knowles also reappointed Chairman Bruce Twomley who has served since 1982.

As a food source important to the world, Alaskan fisheries must be sustained through sound management and wise commercial development. We at the Commission renew our commitment to apply our resources and tools toward that goal.

Organization by Agency Function

Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission
Dale Anderson, Commissioner
Marlene Johnson, Commissioner
Bruce Twomley, Chairman
Frank Glass
Christine Kelly
Kurt Schelle
Data Processing
Roger Kolden
Application Processing & Classification

Administrative Hearings

Case Management

Preparation of Official Record in Judicial Appeals

Residency and Fraud Investigations

Entry and Interim-Use Permit Renewal

Vessel Licensing

Permit Transfers

Local Licensing (Bristol Bay)

Fisheries Data Collection

Economic Profiles

New Limitation Research

Priority Hardship ("point") System Development and Testing

Optimum Number Research

Licensing System

Fisheries Data Base

Data Development to Adjudications and Research

Personnel, Payroll, Travel, Accounting, Purchasing, and Property/Supply Management

Major Decisions/Activities Affecting Agency Operations
Fiscal Years 1997-1988

Fiscal Year 1997

Fiscal Year 1996

Fiscal Year 1995

Fiscal Year 1994

Fiscal Year 1993

Fiscal Year 1992

Fiscal Year 1991

Fiscal Year 1990

Fiscal Year 1989

Fiscal Year 1988

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