By Feb. 1, charter operators must have either a permit or an interim permit issued while a final decision on an application is pending.
"We don't expect to see a lot of charter fishing in February, but that's the date after which you must have a permit onboard," said Gharrett.
Enforcement is primarily NOAA's responsibility.
"The state can also do that, and, theoretically, the Coast Guard could board and take a look," said Gharrett.
Permits are already being offered for sale. Some are priced as high as $100,000 and can be found on the website for the Southeast Alaska Guides Organization.
"I can't afford to spend $100,000 on one of these permits. Who can?" said Haina.
Already booking reservations for the coming summer, however, Smith is preparing to make an expensive pre-season purchase: an $80,000 permit that will allow him to keep his second boat in operation.
"I'm in a bind," said Smith. "I have a $1.7 million operation and I'm too big to fail."
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