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Syndicate Fish Wars

There appear to be plenty of fish, but most of them are small. The average size of halibut kept by Southcentral anglers dropped under 15 pounds for the first time ever. 

Commercial fishing interests are demanding that Alaska's political leaders  -- who love to beat on the feds -- do something about the requirement to use observers on commercial boats under 60 feet.
OPINION: With another round in Alaska's halibut war shaping up between commercial fishermen and charter-boat operators, job elimination would appear to be a goal of the National Marine Fisheries Service and North Pacific Fisheries Management Council.
Despite heavy lobbying from Alaska's fishing industry, halibut bycatch for trawlers is now restricted -- the first such restriction since 1989 -- as adult halibut stocks have apparently dwindled.
Part 2: Alaska law says that to qualify for a hunting, fishing or trapping license someone must have maintained residency for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the application.
On May 25, Alaska State Troopers charged Tom Ohaus with five counts of illegally obtaining state resident fishing licenses due to a homestead exemption in Massachusetts.
Fish pirate: A former federal regulator and one-time aide to Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski slapped with five-month prison sentence and hefty fines for violating very laws he was charged with enforcing. 
Resolution seeks better balance between subsistence, small business interests and industry on federal council managing a million square miles of Alaska offshore waters, most notably state's prized halibut fishery.
Canada expressed concern about the trawling industry to the International Pacific Halibut Commission, but the commission proved powerless this week to do anything about it.
International Pacific Halibut Commission staff are making recommendations based on lots of confusing scientific jargon. Halibut by-catch, the problem most fishermen are concerned with, doesn't yet have a fancy acronym.

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