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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]

Bans Columbia River commercial salmon fishing with gillnets by non-tribal persons, allows seine nets instead

Result of "Yes" Vote: "Yes" vote bans non-tribal commercial salmon fishing with "gillnets" (defined) in Columbia River; allows salmon fishers who previously used gillnets to use "seine" (defined) nets.

Result of "No" Vote: "No" vote retains laws allowing commercial fishing for salmon with gillnets in Columbia River; retains laws prohibiting salmon fishing with seine nets in Columbia River.

Summary: Current law allows Columbia River commercial salmon fishing with gillnets but not with seine nets or fixed fishing gear; allows issuing of new gillnet permits; allows appeal to Commercial Fishery Permit Board (board) if gillnet permit is denied; recognizes Oregon and Washington gillnet licenses as valid in Columbia River in both states. Measure bans Columbia River non-tribal salmon fishing with gillnets; allows non-tribal fishers who previously used gillnets to use seine nets; no new permits would be issued; Fish and Wildlife Commission may allow fixed fishing gear; disallows appeal to board if seine permit is denied; repeals Oregon/Washington gillnet license reciprocity. Measure does not affect tribal fishing rights; effect on fishing management agreements between federal government, Indiana tribes, and states is unclear. 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]

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)

References

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