Oregon Gillnet Fishing Initiative, Measure 81 (2012)
The filed initiative, also known as "Protect Our Salmon Act," would ban Columbia River commercial salmon fishing with gillnets by non-tribal persons and allow the use of seine nets instead.
A similar initiative, Initiative 74, was filed for the 2010 ballot. However, as of July 2, 2010, the petition drive deadline, no signatures were filed.
Text of measure
The draft ballot title is:
Result of "Yes" Vote: "Yes" vote changes commercial non-tribal fishing in Oregon "inland waters" (defined) by banning gillnets, adopting other regulatory changes; recreational salmon fishers ensured their recent share.
Result of "No" Vote: "No" vote continues current commercial fishing practices, retains laws allowing gillnets, leaves other current regulations in place; continues annual adjustment of recreational salmon harvest share.
Summary: Current law allows Columbia River commercial salmon fishing with gillnets; requires adjustment of recreational salmon fishers' percentage share of overall catch; allows issuing of gillnet permits within limit of 200; recognizes gillnet licenses as valid in Columbia River in both Oregon/Washington. Measure bans non-tribal gillnet fishing in Oregon "inland waters" (defined); permits use of "seine nets" (defined) instead; ensures that recreational salmon fishers' percentage of overall catch remains at 2007-2011 levels; prohibits purchase of salmon caught by gillnet by non-tribal fishers in Oregon inland waters; prohibits issuing additional gillnet permits; no longer recognizes validity of gillnet licenses in Oregon and Washington. Measure may affect Columbia River Compact, tribal fishing rights, and fishing management agreements between federal government, tribes, and states. Other provisions.
Schamp said, "Oregon's failure to protect and enhance our wild salmon runs threatens the state's credibility as a leader in sustainability. Each year, taxpayers, electric utility rate payers and others collectively contribute about $1 billion to recovery efforts, yet wild salmon, an important natural and economic resource for our state, remain on the brink of extinction."
Spokesperson for Salmon For All Cary Johnson argues that if the Oregon law is changed, it would only apply to Oregon waters. "It would put Oregon fishermen out of business and allow Washington fishermen to continue business as usual," said Johnson.
Path to the ballot
- See also: Oregon signature requirements
In order to qualify for the ballot, supporters are required to collect a minimum of 87,213 valid signatures by July 6, 2012.
- Oregon gillnet fishing initiative returns to the state attorney general for ballot language changes
- Gillnet fishing ban effort resurfaces for Oregon's 2012 ballot
- Oregon Secretary of State,"Initiative 21 summary," retrieved August 9, 2011
- The Daily Astorian,"Gillnet fleet braces to battle latest attack," August 3, 2011
- Oregon Secretary of State,"Draft Initiative 21 ballot title," July 27, 2011
- Coast River Business Journal,"Clatsop County commissioners oppose gillnet ban ballot measure," August 10, 2011