Fuglvog Plea Deal Could Lead to More People Being Investigated

A former North Pacific Fishery Management Council member and fisheries aide to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, faces sentencing in November on a misdemeanor violation of the Lacey Act has agreed to cooperate with the government in providing other information. News of the sealed addendum to the plea agreement which veteran fisherman Arne Fuglvog has agreed to is now sending waves through the commercial fisheries community. As former commercial fish harvester and popular political blogger Shannyn Moore put it, “Arne is not the biggest fish they are catching. Arne is bait and every fisherman knows you have to have fresh bait to catch bigger fish.

“They are going to get bigger fish on the hook with this,” Moore said. “When the corruption comes out, it will make oil corruption look like Girl Scout cookie embezzlement.”

Fuglvog has pleaded guilty to charges that he harvested 63,000 pounds of sablefish from an area near Yakutat in 2005, more than twice the amount of sablefish that he was entitled to from that area under his permit. Under the plea bargain he is to get a 10-month prison sentence, be fined $50,000 and make a community service payment of $100,000. Meanwhile Fuglvog remains free, without posting any bail, until the sentencing on Nov. 18.