Congressman Don Young had a Natural Resource Committee held a legislative hearing today on H.R. 2714 which would allow the interstate sale of sea otter pelts and the export of handicrafts, garments, and art made from such pelts of the Southcentral or Southeast Alaska northern sea otter stocks that are taken for subsistence purposes. “Alaska’s sea otter population has grown too large and too quick to the point that it is starting to have a negative impact on Alaska’s economy,” said Rep. Young. “By authorizing the domestic sales of pelts and the exportation of handicrafts; the market would increase for both Alaska Native hunters and craftsman alike and provide a greater incentive for harvesting sea otters.”
“The subsistence provisions were included in the Marine Mammal Protection Act to protect cultural traditions and increase economic opportunities for Alaskan Natives, not create an environment of distrust between the Federal Government and Alaskan Natives. I look forward to working with Members of the Committee to ensure this crucial bill is passed, because too much is at stake,” Don Young stated.
Senator Murkowski submitted companion legislation on the Senate side S 1453