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Proposed Bill to Offer Bounty For Sea Otters Makes Waves
Senate Bill 60 Catches Attention From Critics
ANCHORAGE- A bill by Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, proposes placing a $100 bounty on sea otters harvested legally in Alaska; however, the bill might not get very far in the Senate, despite efforts due to Federal input.
Stedman introduced the bill as an effort to make things easier for anglers, "What I'd like to do to help offset the cost of otters to a higher level and try to minimize their impact as they spread throughout their natural range."
Otters are known for having large appetites and creating a power struggle with fisherman over daily catches. However, According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Media Chief, Bruce Woods, SB60 will not go very far, even if it does pass because of the Marine Animal Protection Act..
"The language of the protection act is pretty clear, it says no state may enforce or attempt to enforce the harvest of any protected marine species animal in that state," said Woods.
Stedman does acknowledge the bill is still in a developmental stage and is aware Federal Law could encourage changes, but is not giving up yet, " if there happens to be a conflict with federal law, we can always redirect the effort into shore side issues," said Stedman.