Alaska High Court Says Tribal Fisherman Subject to State Laws

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Law360 (July 28, 2021, 8:46 p.m. EDT) – The Alaska Supreme Court upheld a fine of $ 20,000 against a citizen of the Indian community of Metlakatla who knowingly violated several fishing laws commercial in protest, stating that conventional fishing rights do not exempt him from the state’s commercial fishing regulations.

John Scudero has conducted a decades-long “protest fishery” as part of an effort to support the fishing rights of the Metlakatla community outside their designated 3,000-foot area, exercising historic rights and freedom of expression of the tribe.

His current transgression occurred in 2014 when he broke three state laws – fishing without a license, fishing in closed waters, and illegally possessing fish – but Scudero argued that the …

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