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Stedman: Chances for Unchanged Otter Bounty Bill Slim

Published On: Jan 16 2014 10:25:52 AM AKST
Stedman: Chances for Unchanged Otter Bounty Bill Slim
SITKA, Alaska -

A Sitka senator who last year proposed a bounty on sea otters says he wants to find a different way to support Alaska Native hunters.

Sen. Bert Stedman says the chances of the bill advancing, as written, are slim.

Sea otters eat shellfish harvested by divers and crabbers in southeast Alaska, which some fishermen see as a problem.

The bill proposed having the state pay $100 for each sea otter lawfully killed under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. Under the law, only Alaska Natives can hunt sea otters in Alaska. But the federal agency that manages otters said Stedman's bill would violate the federal law.

Stedman told CoastAlaska he still had to work out how he might change the bill.