Alaska’s commercial long line fleet doesn’t know when their season will start for sure. There is no news from the National Marine Fisheries as to when the commercial longline season will start for halibut and black cod. March 11, 2017 was the date agreed to by vote of the International Halibut Commission, however, the start date for the Alaska fisheries requires a publication of a regulation in the Federal Register.
It’s a Presidential Order by President Trump that is causing delays in establishing the fishing opening date. President Trump signed an executive order in January stating that for every new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations must be stricken from the records. The result of the Trump’s Executive order has caused unexpected delays in passing regulations affecting commercial fisheries. Trump also issued an order putting a 60 day freeze on new and pending regulations until they could be reviewed by the head of an agency appointed by the President.
Representatives of the National Marine Fisheries, politicians, and the Department of Commerce are all working with the Trump administration to determine how Trump’s Executive Order impacts the passage of regulations such as the start of Alaska commercial fishing seasons. The impact of President Trump’s broad Executive Order requiring elimination of two regulations for each new regulation did not give consideration to such matters as commercial fishing regulations.
While President Trump’s Executive Order makes good on a campaign promise, the impact and consequences of his orders were not fully thought through. The results are delays and uncertainties impacting the jobs and daily life of this countries citizens.
There remains optimism that the Alaska halibut and black cod fishery may start on time.