A reader writes:
As a longtime reader and 30+ year Alaska resident who went to Chugiak High School (just half an hour down the road from Wasilla) during the early '80s, I always enjoy reading your series “The Odd Lies of Sarah Palin” to see what kinds of crazy shit she is trying to get away with. However, your most recent post regarding halibut fishing is potentially inaccurate. Under National Marine Fisheries Service regulations, there is a subsistence program for rural Alaska residents and Alaska Natives to harvest halibut without being an IFQ holder. From the NMFS website, the basic rules are as follows:
Before fishing under the subsistence halibut regulations, fishermen must obtain a Subsistence Halibut Registration Certificate (SHARC). Special permits for community harvest, ceremonial, and educational purposes also are available to qualified Alaska communities and Alaska Native Tribes. Permit holders must comply with SHARC registration and reporting processes.
So technically, the Palins could potentially harvest subsistence halibut under the SHARC program without owning IFQ shares, but they would have to register for and meet the qualifications to receive a SHARC permit. This means they would have to qualify as a “rural resident” or as an “Alaska Native.” It is interesting to note that there is no listing for the Palins under either category (SHARC permit holders are undated daily by the NMFS).
So if Sarah Palin is commercially fishing for halibut, as was implied by her posting, then they would have to be IFQ shareholders, crew members aboard a vessel with IFQ shares, be subsistence fishing under the SHARC program, or they could simply be poaching (fishing illegally). I’m sure this whole thing is just another Palin fantasy, however, given the Palin propensity for not paying taxes on their cabin and partaking in the butchering and consuming of poached moose.