A ballot initiative that would ban commercial setnets in Alaska’s urban areas won’t be heading to voters anytime soon, according to the Alaska Supreme Court.
The state’s highest court Thursday overturned an Anchorage superior court decision that allowed the initiative to move forward.
The Supreme Court found that the lower court’s ruling erred in deciding that the initiative was a gear ban, not an allocation of resources.
According to the Alaska Constitution, ballot initiatives cannot allocate resources.
In its 22-page opinion issued Thursday, the court wrote that the superior court found setnetters were not a “distinct commercial user group” and that the Legislature and Board of Fish would still “retain discretion to allocate salmon stock to other commercial fisheries.” The Supreme Court disagreed, concluding that setnetters are a distinct user group and that the initiative would allocate salmon to other types of fisheries.
Read the full story at Alaska Dispatch >>
Read more about Alaska setnet ban >>