Budget, Staffing Cuts At ADFG’s Commercial Fishing Division

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is facing budget and staffing cuts in its commercial fishing division. Here’s the Peninsula Clarion with more: 

Budget cuts at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have led to reductions in staffing in the commercial fishing division, leading to a potential loss in fishing opportunity.

Since fiscal year 2015, just before the drop in oil prices that led the state to its current fiscal crisis, Fish and Game has seen an approximately 36.4 percent cut in general fund dollars from the state, coming out to an approximately 8.3 percent cut in the total department funding, or $3.9 million less.

For the Division of Commercial Fisheries, that has come out to an approximately 6 percent cut, with cuts from the general fund stemmed by other legislative actions such as moving the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission under Fish and Game and giving the division access to that revenue, said Division of Commercial Fisheries Director Scott Kelley. In a presentation to the Alaska House of Representatives Finance Subcommittee on Fish and Game on Thursday, Kelley gave an overview of the division’s budget.

The budget cuts have limited personnel for the department, such as in staffing on weirs and projects, he said.