Monday, September 26, 2005

Consolidation of quota shares?

It always gets me when reporters use President Bush's name in regards the mundane workings of government. In this case it's the implication that this Texan President is tinkering with the fishing business where he shouldn't be. In actuality NOAA - NMFS is just doing the best job it knows how and proposing rule changes that they figure will work best.

This port, Pelican, is already on the verge of bankruptcy.

This is the link to the article in question, and outlines some of the other issues, including consolidating quota shares. The new version of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, first enacted in 1976, has plenty in it to fuss about. And the folks that didn't wait for the ink to dry last time, before lining up to take advantage of the Law's provisions, made out pretty good. The savvy operators will be doing the same thing this time. But instead of building factory trawlers they will be buying up quota shares probably.

I don't know who is watching this process for Alaska state government, but I'd be a little concerned, just like the Congresspeople from the East Coast in this article. When I was in state government, I was communicating with 26 coastal communities that wanted more fisheries jobs in their towns. If quota shares on everything is going to put a bunch of little independent fishermen, crews, and shore workers out of work, then some municipal watch-dog should be standing up about now.

The oddest groups keep up on these issues, and the ones you'd think would be, aren't. Just like the bright people that didn't tell the contractor to quit working on the freeway when everyone was trying to flee for their lives during the last hurricane in Texas. Somebody please tell the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference exactly how many jobs they are expected to loose if the new M-SFCMA is enacted as proposed. There shouldn't be just guessing all over the board on something like this.


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