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Sec. 16.05.258. Subsistence use and allocation of fish and game.

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Go back to: Title 16 Fish and Game
Go back to: Chapter 05. Fish and Game Code and Definitions.

Sec. 16.05.258. Subsistence use and allocation of fish and game.
 (a) Except in nonsubsistence areas, the Board of Fisheries and the Board of Game shall identify the fish stocks and game populations, or portions of stocks or populations, that are customarily and traditionally taken or used for subsistence. The commissioner shall provide recommendations to the boards concerning the stock and population identifications. The boards shall make identifications required under this subsection after receipt of the commissioner’s recommendations.

 (b) The appropriate board shall determine whether a portion of a fish stock or game population identified under (a) of this section can be harvested consistent with sustained yield. If a portion of a stock or population can be harvested consistent with sustained yield, the board shall determine the amount of the harvestable portion that is reasonably necessary for subsistence uses and
     (1) if the harvestable portion of the stock or population is sufficient to provide for all consumptive uses, the appropriate board
          (A) shall adopt regulations that provide a reasonable opportunity for subsistence uses of those stocks or populations;

          (B) shall adopt regulations that provide for other uses of those stocks or populations, subject to preferences among beneficial uses; and

          (C) may adopt regulations to differentiate among uses;

     (2) if the harvestable portion of the stock or population is sufficient to provide for subsistence uses and some, but not all, other consumptive uses, the appropriate board
          (A) shall adopt regulations that provide a reasonable opportunity for subsistence uses of those stocks or populations;

          (B) may adopt regulations that provide for other consumptive uses of those stocks or populations; and

          (C) shall adopt regulations to differentiate among consumptive uses that provide for a preference for the subsistence uses, if regulations are adopted under (B) of this paragraph;

     (3) if the harvestable portion of the stock or population is sufficient to provide for subsistence uses, but no other consumptive uses, the appropriate board shall
          (A) determine the portion of the stocks or populations that can be harvested consistent with sustained yield; and

          (B) adopt regulations that eliminate other consumptive uses in order to provide a reasonable opportunity for subsistence uses; and

     (4) if the harvestable portion of the stock or population is not sufficient to provide a reasonable opportunity for subsistence uses, the appropriate board shall
          (A) adopt regulations eliminating consumptive uses, other than subsistence uses;

          (B) distinguish among subsistence users, through limitations based on
               (i) the customary and direct dependence on the fish stock or game population by the subsistence user for human consumption as a mainstay of livelihood;

               (ii) the proximity of the domicile of the subsistence user to the stock or population; and

               (iii) the ability of the subsistence user to obtain food if subsistence use is restricted or eliminated.

 (c) The boards may not permit subsistence hunting or fishing in a nonsubsistence area. The boards, acting jointly, shall identify by regulation the boundaries of nonsubsistence areas. A nonsubsistence area is an area or community where dependence upon subsistence is not a principal characteristic of the economy, culture, and way of life of the area or community. In determining whether dependence upon subsistence is a principal characteristic of the economy, culture, and way of life of an area or community under this subsection, the boards shall jointly consider the relative importance of subsistence in the context of the totality of the following socio-economic characteristics of the area or community:
     (1) the social and economic structure;

     (2) the stability of the economy;

     (3) the extent and the kinds of employment for wages, including full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employment;

     (4) the amount and distribution of cash income among those domiciled in the area or community;

     (5) the cost and availability of goods and services to those domiciled in the area or community;

     (6) the variety of fish and game species used by those domiciled in the area or community;

     (7) the seasonal cycle of economic activity;

     (8) the percentage of those domiciled in the area or community participating in hunting and fishing activities or using wild fish and game;

     (9) the harvest levels of fish and game by those domiciled in the area or community;

     (10) the cultural, social, and economic values associated with the taking and use of fish and game;

     (11) the geographic locations where those domiciled in the area or community hunt and fish;

     (12) the extent of sharing and exchange of fish and game by those domiciled in the area or community;

     (13) additional similar factors the boards establish by regulation to be relevant to their determinations under this subsection.

 (d) Fish stocks and game populations, or portions of fish stocks and game populations not identified under (a) of this section may be taken only under nonsubsistence regulations.

 (e) Takings and uses of fish and game authorized under this section are subject to regulations regarding open and closed areas, seasons, methods and means, marking and identification requirements, quotas, bag limits, harvest levels, and sex, age, and size limitations. Takings and uses of resources authorized under this section are subject to AS 16.05.831 and AS 16.30.

 (f) For purposes of this section, “reasonable opportunity” means an opportunity, as determined by the appropriate board, that allows a subsistence user to participate in a subsistence hunt or fishery that provides a normally diligent participant with a reasonable expectation of success of taking of fish or game.

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