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.”
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.
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.
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 –