Sunday, September 26, 2010

Got demerit points?

You might know that a violation of Alaska's commercial fishing regulations can earn you "demerit points."

If so, I'll bet you've wondered — as I have — whether anybody ever loses his fishing privileges because of an excess of points.

I found the answer in the 2009 annual report just out from the state Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. The report contained the following:

Demerit Points

In 1998, the Alaska Legislature enacted AS 16.43.850-16.43.895, which established a demerit point system for suspending commercial fishing privileges based on convictions for fishing violations in the salmon fisheries. Under this law, the Commission must suspend a salmon permit holder’s commercial fishing privileges for a period of one to three years if certain threshold levels of demerit points are accumulated in a three-year period.

Between 1998 and 2009, the Commission has issued demerit points to 977 fishermen. Two Bristol Bay salmon drift gillnet permits have been suspended one in 1999 and one in 2007 and two Kuskokwim salmon gillnet permits have been suspended; both in 2009. The majority of the demerit points assessed have been for violations occurring in the Bristol Bay salmon drift gillnet fishery.

The CFEC actually maintains a list of fishermen with demerit points.

Click here to see how many points you get for a particular offense, such as fishing in closed waters (six). Rack up 12 points in a 36-month period and the CFEC will suspend your permit for a year.


Alaska law has a provision to halve the points assessed for a first conviction. Still, Deckboss is kinda surprised that more fishermen haven't had their permits pulled over the years.

How about you?

1 comment:

offtheedge said...

You get larger fines,suspention of privages,confiscation of ones gun for a hunting violation.For going over the winter troll fishery line one usally get a suspended fine in which you pay a small part.It make it almost worthwhile to go over the line when the fish are in.Which a small part of the fleet does.