Oregon Gillnet Fishing Initiative, Measure 81 (2012)

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Oregon Gillnet Fishing Initiative, also known as Initiative 21, may appear on the November 2012 statewide ballot as an initiated state statute.

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.[1]

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.

The 2012 proposal is supported by the Coastal Conservation Association.[2]

Text of measure

The draft ballot title is:[3]

Specified commercial non-tribal fishing methods/procedures changed; recreational salmon fishers ensured minimum share of catch

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.

Support

Chief petitioners include Senators Fred Girod and Rod Monroe, as well as David Schamp, chairman of the Oregon Coastal Conservation Association chapter's board of directors.[2]

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."[2]

Opposition

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.[2]

Clatsop County Commissioners announced their opposition to the proposed measure on August 10, 2011.[4]

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.

See also

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Related measure

Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Oregon Gillnet Fishing Ban (2010)

Articles

References

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