Mad about "rationalization" and won't take it anymore
There are some pretty ticked off people over this so-called rationalization business, as I found out at Fish Expo in Seattle the last few days. Here's an exerpt from "rationalization country." "Ted’s former aide, Trevor McCabe, now Ben’s partner, has long schemed to rationalize Alaska’s fisheries, by giving public resources away to select companies, including current clients. In 2001, McCabe was already spearheading rationalization and processor quota shares in the Gulf of Alaska by e-mail. He’s the former executive director of At-Sea Processors Association, who paid Ben as well."
Would that the stark beauty of Alaska and the hard work it takes to live there, put a little humility in a few of the elected leaders.
The whole Kodiak Mirror story is here.
You also got organizations popping up, with booths at the Expo., to shed light on this subject. One was handing out copies of a news release by the Governor's office. It is a draft called "Governor Announces State's Position on Reauthorization of the MSA Act, Emphasizes Opposition to Processor Shares." But if you read closely enough, the brain fog from double-talk settles in. And maybe Becky Hultberg, the Governor's press spokeswoman, just didn't explain it very well. But please explain this from the news release, Becky:
"Strong opposition to the inclusion of processing quota shares in new rationalized fisheries, but support for use of harvestiong quota shares of limited duration as a tool for use in newly rationalized fisheries in order to provide balanced benefits for harvesters and processors to benefit Alaskan coastal communities;"
What are you talking about? Balanced benefits for harvesters and processors? When you start talking like this you're talking social engineering not free enterprise. If you're going to give processors quota shares in all the newly "rationalized" fisheries, what difference is there between that and full support for processor quota shares? Read the State position statement again real slowly. My goodness, that's a lousy job of camouflaging support for processor quota shares.
Hey, the processors are in the business of processing, they don't need the fishermens' businesses too. And would the government quit using words that aren't in the dictionary. The average Alaskan that is having his access to fish resources taken from him has no clue what "rationalization" of the fisheries means. When the government uses it, it just allows them put any definition on it they want. Have a neighbor read the above statement and you'll see what I mean.
The only thing that "rationalization" is shaking out to mean, is that government and big business is trying to rationalize taking away a brailer load of rights that Alaskans have historically enjoyed.