Wednesday, January 25, 2006

North Pacific Fisheries Management Council Blues

This is about the last I'm going to harp on the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council. Obviously it's a system that's worth saving. Running the fisheries from Washington D.C. is not an option. But running it from Seattle just isn't that much better. Do a study on the percentage of votes that were influenced by Seattle interests since it's inception. At present the Chairman is the lobbyist for the Pacific Seafood Processors Association.

If you ever played "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego" you might feel like guessing where I took this picture. The trolling pole is a hint.

The PSPA is funded by fees "voluntarily" paid by it's members, the shore-based seafood processors, in Alaska in particular. Note this quote from an article on lobbyist reform in Congress: "Leaders from both parties in both chambers have promoted measures to tighten rules and laws governing lawmaker contacts with lobbyists." For pity sakes, the lawmakers in North Pacific fisheries management ARE lobbyists.

Look, it's not my job to fix things, just to give some ideas for others to fix them. And don't count on anyone that is getting a salary to say anything, they got theirs. The only other thing I have to say is that the CDQ groups could support a Regional Seafood Development Association in their area to give the independent fishermen and future fishermen a voice. There are fisheries in Western Alaska that haven't even been touched. It reminds me of some of America's first white settlers, in Jamestown, who starved with such a bounty of seafood just yards away.

There are initiatives that other states are using to ensure the survivability of coastal fishing communities. Their opinion is that you have to DO something and not just talk about good intentions.


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