Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Southeast AK Regional Seafood Development Association news

The U.S. approach to the Montreal climate meetings of the United Nations remind me of the solve-the-problem approach that the Regional Seafood Development Associations are taking. The U.S. isn't buying into this endless bickering and blame gamemanship in global warming. The U.S. government is saying they are going to solve the problem of PUTTING these substances in the atmosphere once and for all, for everyone. And they spend about 3 billion dollars a year working on it. Many technological breakthroughs have already been made.

This is a picture of a herring fillet machine I set up and ran in an Alaskan plant. Our 49% recovery on butterfly fillets was considered optimal for fall herring.

You have to go to the source of the problem and solve that, not try to treat the symptoms. The U.S. is working hard on ways to power cars without using all the petroleum we use now. Forget the hybrid cars, there's already a hydrogen fuel cell car or two driving around California as we speak. That's going to solve the green-house gas problem, not shutting down factories, making driving on Sunday unlawful or some other hardship.

In like manner, the RSDAs are a structural breakthrough, like democracy was, in ordering mens affairs. I don't think you could call the Council process of management of federal fisheries very orderly, irregardless of how well one region may be doing compared to other regions. I won't make a case here, but anyone that knows the process knows how self-serving the members of the Councils are. They are just men and certainly haven't sworn an oath of poverty.

The Regional Seafood Development Associations can theoretically work out problems among all the fishermen in a region. They inherently have the best interests of the region in mind. They have annual meetings locally, like this one in Wrangell, that tend to eliminate the Washington boats from decision making, because of the cost of travel to the meetings. These out-of-state interests have never been that concerned about economic development in Alaska. Those handfull of men that control the profits of the big processing plants in Alaska are in this category too.

Who better to rack their brains for the right solutions for Alaska than the 99 % of the people that are directly affected by regulations and resource health; the fishermen. The idea of RSDAs will take hold and spread, just like democracy has, because it's a better idea. It's the approach to eliminating the gas that emenates from all the varied and disparate fisheries political meetings that go on continually in Alaska and elsewhere in the U.S. Without ever solving anything.

The smart fishermen, and the ones that could afford to, have always gone into marketing their own fish. I don't know of any processing operation in Alaska, that survived any amount of time, in which the founder didn't start out as a fisherman. It's just not right that the few processing company owners left want to lock out fishermen, with the help of the new Magnuson-Stevens Act. The RSDAs might or they might not want to process their own fish in order to market them, but it is a free enterprise solution and maybe the only one on the horizon. A national organization of fishermen would do well to to work to get these in other coastal states. (Other subjects for study are the National Fisheries Institute, and large processing company associations in the North Pacific for their effect on state and national fisheries policy.)

The existing processors SHOULD be willing to work with the RSDAs and just do the processing, but that's not the happy state of affairs of men at the moment in the fishing industry. But, with strong RSDAs, the producers of seafood will finally be able to trade in their own goods. That is, if assaults like "rationalization," on their prospects and the prospects for coastal Alaska communities, don't pick them off first. This has the potential to lock the industry into the present system of bickering and blamemanship that never solves the REAL problem.

Southeast Alaska Rainforest WILD Newsletter
News From Your Regional Seafood Development Association December 10, 2005
in this issue

-- RSDA/ ASMI meeting notes


The tide is definitely flooding in for the Alaskan salmon industry. Since, last month ASMI has formed an RSDA committee,the Bristol Bay RSDA began an outreach campaign to their fleet at Pacific Marine Expo, and just last week in Anchorage the RSDA's met with ASMI in Anchorage to discuss their future interaction models.
This is a pivotal time in our industry and as fisherfolk we now have an opportunity to help choose a destination, chart the course, and man the helm of your RSDA. Please, take just a moment of your time to review some of what has been in the works for your Southeast Alaska RSDA.

The meeting will start at 1PM Alaska time. Ellyn Lundgren, Regional Seafood Development Association coordinator will be in Wrangell for the Annual membership meeting.

Annual Fiscal Report
Project/ Process report
RSDA status report
Open forum discussion
Nomination/Election Board Members (4 open seats)
Comments by members

RSDA/ ASMI meeting notes
ASMI sponsored a meeting of RSDA's and potential RSDA's at the Marriot hotel in Anchorage this past Thursday and Friday. The potential for cooperative marketing, ASMI resources, and industry cooperation in quality issues were discussed. ASMI has redone its' website to make it more user friendly and complete. It has purchased very limited rights to a map of the 12 designated fishing regions of Alaska that is designed as a poster. It is planned to add this to their website as an interactive tool. Ellyn Lundgren will be available at our membership meeting to address ASMI resources and to answer other questions. Ellyn works within the ASMI structure with funds supplied by AFMB under a two year grant that ends in June of 2006.

Contact Information
phone: 907-874-3400


Post a Comment

<< Home