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December 20, 2014

Voices from the Flats: The Anonymous Bloggers on Palin’s “Fishing Philosophy”

We here at Mudflats have great respect for the writers at the wonderful blog “Anonymous Bloggers,” who live and work in Rural Alaska and other locations outside of “Los Anchorage.” I am especially excited when they pool their experience and write a post on one of the most confusing aspects of Alaska life — fishing rules and regulations.

Here, Alaska Pi and Ugavic address Palin’s audacity while visiting New Hampshire in pretending that she had a clue about fishing regs and what was good for Alaska.

I encourage you to go to the blog and read the original post and other great stories about life outside of South Central Alaska.

— LKB –

An Open Letter to the Yankee Fishermen’s Cooperative in Seabrook, NH:



Imagine our personal and collective surprise here in Alaska upon finding Sarah Palin stopped by to boost morale there :

“Palin: Well, commercial fishing is near and dear to my heart of course, you know having fished for so many years. And I understand fish politics… Biology needs to dictate decisions in a fishery.”

Hoooo!

Um…

Oh, for heaven’s sake!

We are as worried as you are as to what this catch share program will do to you. We don’t speak up much here at Anonymous Bloggers about things outside Alaska but this issue affects every ocean fishery in America and Alaska has been the “beta-tester” for the method.

We have many communities which have suffered enormously under the experimental catch share program. Please do not mistake as the truth Ms Palin’s assertion that she understands fish politics or thinks biology should be the decisive factor in fish policy!!

Examples abound of her lack of knowledge and understanding of fish politics and downright refusal to accept biology before, during, and after her bizarrely truncated stint as our Governor. She has a long history here of avoiding answering direct questions with comprehensive and coherent responses and fish politics are/were no exception.

We’ll skip right on by her relying-on-biology routine over our polar bears here, but please keep it in mind should you ever feel a real itch to accept that she really does care for unbiased science winning out when big development is at stake.

Those little slogans about individuals’ entrepreneurial spirit, getting government out of the way, and so on which she brings up repeatedly, are just that -slogans.

As our Governor she cleared the decks for government and big business to run right up over the top of the everyday person on more than one one occasion.

She also turned her backmultiple times on the very people she wooed into supporting her with all those slogans and such.

You can see in the responses at the Alaska Dispatch that news of Ms Palin dropping in to lift your morale and claiming to understand fish politics met almost universal Pffft!s no matter what side of the catch share issue one is on. It is perhaps a sign of her greatly diminished influence here that the comments rapidly moved to arguing about catch shares themselves after folks weighed in on the ex-Gov’s fish knowledge base. We would urge you to do the same.

It’s hard for us to picture the short 13 mile coastline and small fishing fleet of New Hampshire in relation to our coastline which exceeds those of all other states combined and fisheries which provide 78,500 jobs but it is not hard for us to understand the fears and concerns you have there about the change in your fishery management.

The catch share philosophy, while embraced by many, has had far reaching consequences here, many of which are not good.

The Last Frontier from Alaska Motion Pictures on Vimeo.

We stand with you in your concern as this change comes to your shores.

In the Alaska Dispatch story, Palin disses fishing quotas at N.H. tour stop, linked to a very good overview of catch share information and philosophy per the status quo.

The concerns that the process is completely askew…the process of granting these shares free, granting them in perpetuity and treating them like property to be traded or sold…are real.

The concerns that these shares have tended to consolidate access with fewer and fewer and bigger and bigger businesses are real.

We would invite all who visit here to also look carefully at criticisms and recommendations for real change to the philosophy as well. The law and policy which governs this should always be open to review and revision.

Everyday Americans need to stand together, not as individuals fighting the system, but rather as people striving to make a system which works for themselves.

This is not simple but since it affects so many real people, we think it is worth it for folks to educate themselves to be able to make better decisions when they vote or align themselves towards or against policy.

– Alaska Pi and Ugavic –

Comments

comments

Comments
52 Responses to “Voices from the Flats: The Anonymous Bloggers on Palin’s “Fishing Philosophy””
  1. muddog says:

    Catch & Trade-Wall St. wants a new bubble to burst. Catch shares are like herpes for the majority & diamonds for the minority-both last forever.

    Catch shares is about consolidation NOT conservation.

    • mike from iowa says:

      That sounds so totally Rethuglican in real life-give alms to people according to and in keeping with-their station in life. How else to explain all the largesse dumped on the wealthy and all the more miseries given to everyone else. Then G Dubya telling you to pull yourself up by your Gucci Boot straps(like he’s ever known hard work or sacrifice and suffering.)

  2. rod gonzales says:

    can anyone from Dillingham Alaska post a comment on the Todd “klutch” Palin? and his “uncle tom” “redneck” nature? his pro’s and C-O-N-S. please, is he a sore thumb there? does he really fish? and sarah?

  3. marlys says:

    Thank you all for the education!

  4. Man_from_Unk says:

    It’s way too bad that the Norton Sound’s only newspaper, The Nome Nugget, is an old-fashion weekly newspaper. Last week’s copy has an article about the NPFMC meeting being held in Nome this week. You could read it online at http://www.nomenugget.net.

    Also included in last week’s paper are two letters to the editor addressing the chum salmon bycatch of the Bering Sea Pollock Fishery. Norton Sound’s CDQ group, NSEDC’s Communication Director, Tyler Rhodes wrote a lengthy letter letting us know that NSEDC will ride the fence and not take any position this week. They will probably save their position for October when the NPFMC meets in the hard to reach town of Dutch Harbor, way away from the Norton Sound area and the poor people they are ignoring. NSEDC has invested heavily in the Bering Sea pollock fishery so of course they are going to hold their cards close to their chest. As blogger ‘Elsie’ pointed out above, “……Decisions are made behind closed doors, public comment is ignored,….” so truly describes the region’s CDQ group, NSEDC.

  5. I See Villages From My House says:

    I heart Anonymous Bloggers!

  6. fishingmamma says:

    LKB,
    I’d be interested to hear what you think about the State’s CDQ program.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      (good one :-) !)

    • UgaVic says:

      Oh NOW that is a whole series of ‘discussions’.

      Believe me when I tell you that AKM, LKB and all of us at AB have discussed MANY times how to even enter that quagmire of regulation versus intent!!

      Stay tuned …we WILL get there:-)

      • I’ll let you know how I feel when UgaVic finishes explaining it to me again! :)

        • fishingmamma says:

          Sorry for being uninformed. What is a UgaVic?

          Is there another mudpup that has an opinion on the CDQ program?

          I must have missed the earlier discussion, but I worked for the state on that program, and would like to know how it sits with people who may know better. I was a commercial fisherman, and did not see the benefit. I felt as if I had missed something.

          So, I would like to hear your take on that program.

          • Alaska Pi says:

            Sorry , we got into a well worn groove from conversations with Linda and didn’t respond to you.
            AKM and Linda have asked , repeatedly, for our take on CDQs, Ugavic in particular as she lives in a CDQ village.
            We have , as yet, to respond fully – mostly because of the need for extensive definition and background information to explain what we think about CDQs in context . We don’t fully agree with each other :-) so that adds another wrinkle into the attempt as well.
            Setting the blade on high and risking leaving some very rough patches as I blaze over the subject but hoping to be somewhat inclusive of any mudpups who have never heard of CDQs I will make a brief personal response.
            CDQ, Community Development Quota , is the federal legislative response to concern by small communities on the Bering Sea in relation to their ability to partake in the catch share programs in federal waters off the coast they live on.
            The law established that a percentage of TAC -total allowable catch- be set aside for these villages who could not and would not be eligible for shares under the rules established for allocation of shares otherwise because of their lack of presence in the fisheries already. (Their lack of presence , the whys, hows, and wherefores are a sore point and would take a lot of time so I’ll skip on by… )
            Six regional non-profits were organized to manage the monies derived from the profits the sales of the set aside quota made. The ones I’ve had occasion to cross paths with are organized as 501(c)(4)s -social welfare-
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501(c)#501.28c.29.284.29
            but have never checked to see if all are.
            Villages have representatives in the regionals.
            As often happens, the term CDQ began to stand for the organizations themselves as well as the quota itself so there’s a lot of flinging around of the term which gets confusing.
            Originally the law required that all CDQs have Community Development Plans and limited investments , outside of monies earmarked for education opportunites for stakeholders in their villages, to fishery infrastructure and support related projects.
            It also required state oversight of the CDPs to see if the intent and reality matched.
            Within a few years , some of the CDQs started fishing their own quota rather than receiving the monies just from sale of their quota, by investing as partners in other companies or buying their own boats/ships/processor companies. This was hailed as win-win as they also were then in the position of being able to provide employment opportunties to their stakeholders as well.
            Along the way , the law was changed to drop state oversight, lengthen reporting time between CDPs, change it to federal oversight, and allow for some non-fisheries related investment.
            Some have large for-profit corporations now which operate as “feeders” of monies to the parent non-profits.
            As to your question about benefit- it’s not simple to answer.
            Many of the metrics used to measure benefit fall into what I think of as taking the temperature of the picture of the people on the box the thermometer came in.
            They are measures of dollars piled up, spread around, employment figures without full context,glossies of completed projects, and so on.
            There are certainly benefits but there are serious questions on a number of fronts that are not getting the attention they deserve and won’t if we cannot extend the way we measure success and benefit to include criteria for judgment not normally employed…

          • Alaska Pi says:

            I skipped right on by anything to do with the uproar over CDQs participating in trawl fisheries which are suspected of damaging other fisheries including subsistence fishing but it is an important aspect of questioning real benefit as well…

          • UgaVic says:

            Hi fishingmamma–

            I am a contributor to AnonymousBloggers and as AlaskaPi stated, live in a CDQ village.

            My family is also tied to the commercial fishing industry and has had some involvement with the local CDQ. Although I live in only one of the CDQ areas I have tried to become familiar with many of the issues facing others who live throughout other CDQ areas.

            Hopefully this helps with the question of “What is a UgaVic?”

          • Man_from_Unk says:

            fishingmamma, you are not the only one who has “missed something.” about the CDQ program. The program will be 20 years old soon and finally, finally, the poor stakeholders of the Western Alaska Coastal Area are learning about the sugar daddy made possible through the destruction of their hundreds and hundreds year old cultural and traditional use of the salmon species as an important subsistence activity. They are starting to understand why the salmon returns are declining as Salmon ByCatch has become the phrase of the day.

            Pi has pointed out that “There are certainly benefits but there are serious questions on a number of fronts that are not getting the attention they deserve……” A good resource for building a knowledge base for the CDQ programs was published in 1999 by the National Research Council titled “The Community Development Quota Program in ALASKA”. It’s been gathering dust on bookshelves all these years but I’d say that much of what that council concluded back then could still be put in place.

            The section on ‘Economic Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship’ is a good one to reference because it states “Concern for the long-term health of the Bering Sea ecosystems needs to feature more prominently in the CDQ program. ” That section recommends “Local concerns about environmental stewardship need to be able to be expressed in a meaningful way through out the program’s management structure, beginning with effective communication of local concerns to the CDQ group management and continuing on up through the Council process.”

            This recommendation has been totally ignored all these years. In fact the stakeholders who’ve tried to use this process of expressing their “concerns” have been blackballed and defamed by misinformation fed to the public as true facts.

            Killing off the salmon in the sea before they return to the rivers to spawn is very irresponsible and the continuation of this involvement in the destruction shows a lack of concern for the poor stakeholders of the CDQ program. The monetary benefits are given to a hand picked few while the majority are on the outside looking in. Yes, as Pi has pointed out, there is a lot of “glossies” from the CDQ program. Destroying a lifestyle is priceless. Money can be made, money can be lost, but tradition and culture is an important self-identity factor for a group of people that have been victims of economic exploitation from the time Alaska was discovered by outsiders in the late 1700’s. Now we have our so called ‘own people’ exploiting us on our behalf. It doesn’t make sense alright.

    • Man_from_Unk says:

      It’s not the “State’s CDQ program” because there is no oversight by the state or the federal government. It’s the Pollock Fisheries CDQ program. Actually it looks like the CDQ program is buying out the old time king pin pollock fishers.

      • fishingmamma says:

        Thank you all for your comments. Most of what I knew about the program was actually state-supported propaganda. Now I feel I have some direction for better educating myself about this program.

        I am not surprised to see another example of the disconnect between theory and reality when this much money is involved.

        • Man_from_Unk says:

          We’re talking about millions and millions of dollars being managed by people barely qualified to compete competently in the real corporate world. Because of this lack of competence, they use the monies like favors, a few thousand dollars here, a few thousand dollars there and of course this fools the poor people who can barely maintain a checking account.

  7. mike from iowa says:

    You do realize that even with scientific proof backing claims about fish populations,Rethuglicans will accuse you of claiming the sky is falling. It would be an automatic denial on their part,as if they can’t help themselves. Their response is on auto-pilot. Of course if Dems would allow more taxcuts for the wealthy,then fish populations just might rebound in a RWNJ eyes. I am happy to be able to be educated as to the problems Alaskans and others face. I’m not sure I like the idea that Alaska has all this coastline while Ioway has none,but we can augur about that another day and thread.

  8. rm says:

    The fun begins, Top Bachmann aide goes after Palin for not being ‘serious’
    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-presidential-primary/165139-bachmann-aide-goes-after-palin-for-not-being-serious.

    “Sarah has not been serious over the last couple of years,” Rollins said on Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade’s radio show. “She got the vice presidential thing handed to her. She didn’t go to work in the sense of trying gain more substance. She gave up her governorship.”

  9. DuckDriver says:

    Check out this article on the health of our fish populations:

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2011/05/oceans-are-emptying-fast.html

    DD

    • Elsie says:

      The whole collapsing fish stock conversation is frightening, isn’t it?

      At the same time, we have right here in the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that administers our fisheries policies via various councils. My understanding is that, among them, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NFPC) directs the different kinds of fisheries specific to Alaskan waters/bays/gulfs, as well as other areas beyond Alaska off the Lower 48.

      I just read a post this morning on ALASKA CAFE by John Enge that’s entitled “Transparency is Fish Management King” at http://alaskacafe.blogspot.com/2009_08_01_archive.html

      He speaks to THE LACK OF transparency , saying what is needed is “a more transparent appointment process in the future, (to the federal Fishery Management Councils) thereby allowing potential candidates to be fully vetted within the fishing community as required under federal law.”

      I’m including further excerpts from his commentary about what he sees as some of the holes in the share catch system:

      ***
      …Not only was the appointment process not transparent, (no opportunity for public vetting) but the…NOAA agenda is not transparent. They can’t and don’t seem willing to justify their ‘catch share’ agenda.

      …There is no transparency in the federal fishery management council system. … Decisions are made behind closed doors, public comment is ignored, so folks don’t bother showing up for the most part…

      …I’m not saying that ‘catch shares’ don’t have some role to play in some fisheries, but not as a panacea for all fisheries, and not at the exclusion of other well founded strategies that support the economic well-being of fishing families and communities. …If NOAA is so concerned about social well-being, they should create protections to enhance transparency. We would like to see NOAA make good on their own planning and strategy documents which states clearly that they are collaborative and transparent. We would like to see in their own words how privatization works to benefit society and the fish stocks.

      … NOAA hasn’t detailed the societal benefits of ‘catch shares,’ nor attained any level of agreement on the use of this management tool with the public at large, or if it even is a legitimate one…

      ***
      So the catch share program is on-going, but NOAA isn’t following its own guidelines about transparency? If so, who benefits from that?

      I’m guessing it’s NOT the fishing communities and independent fishermen and women, waiting for an opportunity to provide input regarding appointments to, and the agenda of, the same NFPC council that controls their fishing livelihood, or, the lack thereof….

      I don’t understand much about this; so, I could be wrong. But the whole thing smells kinda fishy to me.

      • UgaVic says:

        Elsie-

        I am off to read the link you posted. The points made are excellant and ones I can see good sense in.

        This entire issue, as with all fishery things in my mind, are complex and much of this taking a small part, explaining and trying to understand more is needed for all of us.

        It is good to see people read, think and ask good questions…all of it is a learning project:-)

      • Man_from_Unk says:

        The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council is meeting in Nome this week. They will be addressing the chum salmon bycatch issue – 700,000 were caught and wasted in the pollock fishery in 2005. Chum salmon generally return to the rivers to spawn as 4 and 5 year olds. That’s a whole lotta chum salmon not going anywhere to spawn.

        Chum salmon as a commercial fishing product, does not have a high market value. Buyers offer anywhere between 50-60 cents a pound and at one time the average chum salmon was about 8 pounds. The Alaska Natives use to use the chum salmon as their primary food source for winter because it can be stored without refigeration. They add value to the chum by drying and smoking it. So in reality, they take a salmon worth about $5 in the round and through the cold smoke process, they turn it into a product worth about $10 in trade. This cultural and traditional use of the chum salmon is at risk. Historically, healthy runs of chum salmon provided poor people an opportunity to store food for the winter and it also gave them an economic boost as a trade commodity.

        All this will be lost unless the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council puts strict controls on limiting the bycatch of the Chum Salmon in Nome this week. It’s the Soul Food of the Alaska Native people.

        • UgaVic says:

          MFU – did you see where the Area M fishermen, seiners, sat out the first opening to stay away the ‘political bomb’ of chums of the Y-K area ?

          Again trying to turn it into a PR event of how they support the area :-((

          Our fishermen in BB and the Y-K need to organize more learn how to use the media better to get the ‘real story’ out of there of the damage this non-‘terminal runs’ area is being managed!!

          • Man_from_Unk says:

            Poor Area M fishermen. I hear they make a lot of money fishing down there. About 20 years ago, they were targeted as the bad guys for the decline of the chums in the Norton Sound mainly the Nome area rivers.

            Nope, haven’t heard about them sitting “out the first opening to stay away… ‘political bomb’ of chums of the Y-K area?”. I’ve been hearing about how our CDQ group, NSEDC managers, employees and Board of Directors have been sitting around in the back of the room in apparent “up-tight and uncomfortable” positions in a cluster. I guess they know that they are selling out their own people, if they even consider Nome people their own people(?????). Chums are in decline all over our region and especially in the Nome area rivers where this event is happening.

  10. Susabelle says:

    Thank you for these informative postings
    What I know about fish..is after eating wild Alaska Salmon and then some of the farm raised stuff ..There is no comparison…I also love the smaller Halibut.
    Keep Palin out of my North East. She has no regard for anything or any one other than herself.
    Can’t believe she has had any education in her life. Not sure she has the ability to learn!
    There seems to be something wrong with this person.

  11. mike from iowa says:

    If Derby fishing is outlawed,what can I watch that has nubile young women in bikinis battling finny denizens from the deep(especially off Hawaii)? For the Eastern Seaboard,you need to man up the helicopters and go out over the ocean and kill all the wolves and bears that deplete the ungulate population,because it is from moosies and caribou that salmon come. Then manicure your nails to club baby seals and that should cure your fish populations. On the other hand,less fish means more beer for the rest of us. disclaimer-this is all done tongue in cheek(TIC) and is not meant to be taken seriously.Please don’t send hate mail,it upsets my giant wombat.

    • Elsie says:

      LOL
      I’ll have to remember that business about hate mail upsetting your giant wombat! : >)

    • fishingmamma says:

      Mike,
      You’d better be careful, your word salad is so good, you are in danger of being kidnapped and held in a big tower, forced to write page after page of that stuff for you-know-who’s campaign speeches. If you continue to use three syllable words, you will be in grave danger, because she thinks they make her look smart, even though she does not know what they mean.

      Use smaller words, so we won’t have to fear for your safety…..

  12. tigerwine says:

    What a great, informative post! I grew up in Portsmouth, NH, but sure don’t know squat about fishing stuff. Thanks Uga and Pi!

  13. Bob Benner says:

    Weiner says he accepts “full responsibility” but then says he won’t resign… I guess after 20 years in politics, he doesn’t know how to find work in the real world… What a sad excuse for a human being…

  14. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Excellent post! It strikes me over and over that fish and oil, fish and oil, fish and oil are extremely complicated resources and not many of Alaskans understand them both.

    I can electroplate from the number of links you provided, Pi and Vic, that this is a really big deal. Palin has popped off her mouth so many times about Alaskan “facts and figures” and I swear she just needs to be pelted with putrid salmon.

    What did you think of the exchange going on in the peanut gallery of the Alaska Dispatch article?

    • Alaska Pi says:

      The exchange at the Dispatch tickled me- especially since I was part of it. The subject is very important and whatzername got behind left in the slime.
      As we said in our post , once folks weighed in on WGE, they went on to argue pros and cons of catch shares.
      All the +s and -s on comments say something about how difficult it is to address concerns about how catch shares affect everyday people here. It is easy to point to certain goods associated with the system like the end of derby style fishing,ending “over capitalization’ and the rebound of some stocks and run right on by the problems of fleet consolidation which tends to drive pay down, reduce incentive , etc etc.
      I would invite folks over to AB to read the Bromley paper linked at the end of our post on “The Deceits…” and to then watch this lil vimeo video again with all that in mind…

      • Alaska Pi says:

        oh sheesh-
        she got left behind also, too even, and as well…

      • UgaVic says:

        Agree with Pi…please go read the Bromley paper.

        I know no one, except maybe a few who stayed in it, in this area of the state, Bristol Bay, who felt the crab catch share was/is a success!!

        Crew was hurt, processors were hurt, boat owners were hurt and even the salmon industry was hurt. (It took some crab boats that were used in our fishery during their off season out of the mix and caused a shortage of what we call tenders, those large boats that go between the small fishermen and the processors.)

        There are many folds to this ‘cloth’ called catch shares and before it is viewed as a solve all for the oceans we need to learn MUCH more about all parts of it and how that might have an impact on the individual fisheries.

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      “I can electroplate…” WTF? Extrapolate!

  15. Scott Coughlin says:

    Alaska pi and Ugavik,

    If you or any of your readers would like a sense of how the New England ground-fishery is doing after its first year under catch shares, here are a couple reports.

    Talking Fish: http://www.talkingfish.org/news/year-one-how-did-sectors-do

    John Sackton: http://www.westcoasttrawlers.net/node/114

    These are both neutral-to-positive (and very early) appraisals of the New England experience – and no doubt you could find lots of people who would dismiss them – but they are significantly data- and fact-based.

    By the way, a new catch share system was also implemented in the West Coast groundfish trawl fishery, effective January 11, 2001. I encourage your readers with an interest in fisheries management to keep an eye on that situation as well. Like New England, the West Coast trawl fishery is hugely complex, with many species involved. Design and implementation of the new system called upon the hard work and good will of hundreds of fishery stakeholders over a period of six or seven years. Also as in New England, challenges remain, and more work lies ahead.

    Thanks for all you do to advance civil discourse in the blogosphere.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      Scott-
      It is not the IDEA of catch shares which concerns, it is the implementation in method of award (historical participation, etc ), form of award (perpetual free access to a portion of TAC -total allowable catch- of a public resource which can be sold as property), and , in too many places here in Alaska, the subsequent exclusion of many everyday people from the industry except as lackeys.
      The goals of catch shares and some of the successes are admirable but there are problems.
      We do ourselves no favors by ignoring the problems.
      Human activities need constant attention and tweaking to stay on course.

      • Scott Coughlin says:

        I couldn’t agree more, that problems should not be ignored and human activities need constant attention and tweaking to stay on course. That’s why it is so critical for a broad cross-section of the fleet (whatever fleet we happen to be talking about) to stay informed and involved – every step of the way if possible – as new fishery management systems are designed, debated, implemented and, hopefully, improved over time.

        Thanks again.

  16. beth says:

    Thank you, Alaska Pi and Ugavic — it’s truly a most complicated and complex issue, made even more so, now, with the Cult of Personality Palin inserting her ‘expertise’ into it. I surely would not like to be in the waders of those MA fisherfolks. Your ‘bottom line warning': “The law and policy which governs this should always be open to review and revision”, is most excellent. Would that all hear -and heed– it. beth.

  17. rm says:

    Just few hrs ago:
    With inspiration from Sarah Palin, HLN’s Joy Behar performs her version of “Paul Revere’s Ride.”
    http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2011/06/06/exp.Behar.Palin.Revere.hln.html

  18. fawnskin mudpuppy says:

    so well done, anonbloggers.
    thanks for pointing out that “local issues” are rarely that at all. we must continually be aware of the big picture.

    i am proud to know you.

  19. Laurie says:

    I believe most of the fishing off the New England coast is in and around George’s Bank. Considering it’s location between countries and the competition for fish, regulation is needed to allow the population to maintain healthly numbers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Bank

    • Laurie says:

      fish population

    • Baker's Dozen says:

      Ah, yes. George’s Bank. He and Alexander Hamboneton started that as the first national US bank. But that wasn’t over reaching because it was done by Founding Fathers and all of them are favorites.
      Sarah Palin

    • Elsie says:

      Laurie, I don’t think the problem can be explained as simply a need for regulation to maintain a healthy fishery off of New England and elsewhere. Obviously, anyone who looks at the total collapse of wild Atlantic salmon can appreciate the need to protect all remaining, threatened species from overfishing. Regulations about the Atlantic salmon, if any, or, whatever they were at the time, didn’t prevent that collapse. While we can still buy Atlantic salmon today, we need to know that it is “farmed”, with all the potential problems thereof. If we want “wild” salmon, Alaska remains a great resource, at the moment, for that fine fish.

      I’m no expert on any of this; I find the subject of “catch shares” to be tremendously confusing and difficult to wade through. But, it seems to me that today’s big issues are that the federally-mandated catch share system has been, or is being, divvied up to a few choice companies or conglomerates, while it shuts out any number of other long-time, commercial fishing companies and individuals.

      The second big problem is that, once done, the catch share system is set up to be forever…there’s no re-do, periodically, to spread the wealth around or allow any others previously shut out to again participate in the prosperity and love of harvesting fish.

      I’ll repeat it:
      Once you get in on the catch share system, the shares seems to belong to you forever, until you sell them or give them away. And if you don’t get in on the “ground floor” as an original catch share company, it seems unlikely to me that you will ever get in.

      This whole catch share business has become highly politicized, controlled by a few, directed to a few, and damaging many who find themselves, their families, and their companies being shut out of their fishing careers. I suspect this is contributing to the recent media reports of the uptick in broken marriages and suicides that follow these new catch share regulations.

      If you hate the way that politics has taken over business to the exclusion of the middle class or the ordinary working guy, and that today’s corporate tax structures support fewer taxes for the rich and more problems for the middle class, then you are just gonna love the catch share system. Just as the airline industry has gone from many down to a few, like the oil industry is run by a handful of powerful, selfish behemoths pocketing hundreds of billions in profits a year, just like a very few telephone companies today own the airwaves and cell towers….that’s what it’s like to me with the catch share business today. It concentrates more power and more money into the hands of the fortunate and wealthy few by taking it away from hundreds of companies which are then locked out of fishing by the new catch share rules.

      If I’ve mistated this, I apologize. But it seems to me that catch share fishing regulations will benefit a few companies to the exclusion of many.

      How well the fisheries do after all that remains to be seen.

      In the meantime, remember to buy freshly-caught, wild ALASKAN salmon. (I know, for a fact, that UgaVic can help you out there if you are interested!)

      • Alaska Pi says:

        Elsie- You have hold of a lot of it!
        Regulation IS necessary. There is no doubt about it.
        That is why whatzername’s flippant get-govt-outta-the-way- thingy is so aggravating.
        Fish stocks are depleted and in danger all over the world.
        This current expansion of catch share management , while blithely touting it’s wonderful success in Alaska, has problems because the problems we have had here have not been addressed.
        Here are a couple more resources to look at:

        ‘The conversion of the public’s common resource privileges to catch shares for fish vessel owners can also foster fleet cooperative agreements with such processors in a way that supports price-fixing, rewards certain competitors instead of competition itself, and establishes restraints of trade. In Alaska, all of this has occurred through the species-by-species march of rationalization regimes: pollock, crab, and rockfish.

        In effect, all of these privatization regimes are coercive monopolies — in violation of market theory and tenets of competition — that only governments have the power to wickedly form. “Once commodified, fishing rights are alienable.” — Courtney Carothers, “Rationalized Out”.”
        http://groundswellalaska.com/2010/03/15/catch-share-oversight-hearing-groundswell-taufens-comment-31610/#more-347

        Freedom to choose share-cropping the ocean
        http://alaskacafe.blogspot.com/2009_08_01_archive.html

      • Laurie says:

        This is a very complicated topic and I don’t pretend to understand much of it. Am I correct in thinking that the “need” for energy in the east lead to the damming of rivers for hydroelectric
        power which contributed to collapse of the Atlantic Salmon populations?

        • Alaska Pi says:

          Laurie-
          I am hoping some mudpups from the east will speak up.
          If you poke around there is a lot of info, some conflicting, as regards “culprits”

          “The historic North American range of Atlantic salmon extended from the rivers of Ungava Bay, Canada, to rivers of Long Island Sound. As a consequence of industrial and agricultural development, most populations native to New England were extirpated.”
          http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/sos/spsyn/af/salmon/

          Interesting look here too
          http://www.bofep.org/salmon.htm

          The pressures on the Atlantic Salmon discussed in the 2nd link are important to note as they point to the complexity of sorting out whether there are single or multiple factors in a decline and how to begin to rate factors in terms of what should or can be done to reduce the problems.
          Oft times there is no single “smoking gun” …

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