Convicted Alaska fish pirate Arne Fuglvog, the former fisheries advisor to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski who was ordered to serve jail time and pay $150,000 for overfishing in Alaska waters, has reportedly found a new vocation as lobbyist for several Northwest commercial fishing companies. According to Open Secrets, a website that tracks campaign and lobbying disclosures, Fuglvog is now representing four Alaska and Washington-based fishing companies, under the name Coastal Resource Strategies, a limited liability company that lists Fuglvog as a "governing person" on its Washington state-issued business license. The license was filed Aug. 23, 2012, less than two weeks after Fuglvog was released from prison, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons' inmate tracker.
Fuglvog, who originally hails from the Southeast Alaska community of Petersburg, served his time at a prison in another Petersburg, this one in Virginia. His sentence there began March of 2012. The prison sentence was just one part of a punishment related to a misdemeanor violation of the Lacey Act, which combats the illegal sale of wildlife, fish and plants. As part of a plea deal, Fuglvog pleaded guilty to taking more than twice his permitted limit of sablefish in 2005, then claiming he harvested the fish from different Alaska waters. He was able to sell the catch for about $100,000.
In addition to his prison sentence, Fuglvog was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine and to give another $100,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. As part of his plea deal, Fuglvog also cooperated with the government. Eventually, he testified against an Oregon-based halibut longliner who was similarly convicted of lying about where he caught his fish.
Now, Fuglvog is apparently trying to start over in a different, though still political, role. According to lobbying reports for the first quarter of 2013, Fuglvog is now working for at least four commercial fishing companies that are based in Seattle but operate in Alaska waters, including the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea:
The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports that Fuglvog has been in contact with Sen. Mark Begich's office. Begich is the chair of a Senate subcommittee that oversees fisheries and oceans, among other things. The Mirror reports that Fuglvog officially filed as a lobbyist on Feb. 1, 2013.