Gov. Bill Walker has put a pause on an administrative order that was recently the center of a lawsuit between the state and a commercial fishing trade association.

“Rather than implementing Administrative Order 279, Governor Walker said today he would place a moratorium on AO 279 to allow for a more robust stakeholder engagement process,” a Thursday press release from the governor’s office said.

Administrative Order 279, issued in February, was supposed to transfer certain administrative functions of the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. CFEC was established in 1973 by the Alaska Legislature to limit how many people can participate in the state’s commercial fisheries.

“The objectives of the Order were to streamline administrative and research functions of the agencies, identify cost-saving measures, and provide appropriate support to the commercial fishing industry in the state without negatively impacting the fishing industry,” the release said. It was supposed to save $1.3 million a year.

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