ANCHORAGE, Alaska - As the deadline to certify an initiative to ban setnetting nears, fishing groups are filing legal opinions with the state opposing the measure.


The Kenai Area Fisherman's Coalition and the Kenai Peninsula Fishermen's Association have each sent a letter to the state offering a legal opinion on the ban. The Alaska Salmon Alliance also plans to weigh in.


The Kenai Area Fisherman's Coalition, or KAFC, is a group representing private, unguided anglers. Kenai Peninsula Fishermen's Association, or KPFA, largely represents Cook Inlet setnetters in addition to some drifters and seiners. The Alaska Salmon Alliance, or ASA, is a coalition of commercial fishermen and processors.


In November, the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, or AFCA, filed a petition to ask voters to consider banning setnets in certain "urban," non-subsistence parts of the state. The initiative talks about urban areas statewide, but for now it would essentially ban setnetting in Cook Inlet.


Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell is required to issue a decision on the initiative by Jan. 6.


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