Tuesday, February 14, 2006

23% of Chilean "salmon" sold to U.S. is frozen.

Chilean "salmon" exports update: "The United States market also evidenced a 3% drop in salmon export volumes, totalling 108,800 net tonnes (32% of total shipments). 99% of all salmonid shipments to the United States were Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) which was exported 73% fresh, 23% frozen 3% canned and 1% smoked."

The model of a successful fishing port. The service sector is adjacent to the industrial sector. One of Petersburg's best fishermen didn't feel the need to get a car until he was 30.

Working Waterfront: After the voters of Maine resoundingly voted last fall for a Constitutional amendment to preserve the working waterfront through tax advantages, the work has now begun on crafting the legislation that governs all the municipalities and counties in handling these tax matters. The bill they are working on proposes to include the following elements:

1. The bill would enact a section of law, similar to that contained in the laws governing the taxation of farmland, open space and forestland, declaring that it is in the public interest of the state to encourage the preservation of working waterfront.
2. The bill would establish definitions necessary to implement the program, including:
A. Defining "working waterfront" as waterfront land with the facilities, capacity and services needed to support commercial fisheries businesses;
B. Defining "commercial fisheries" as enterprises directly concerned with the commercial harvesting of wild or aquacultured marine organisms; and C. Defining "marine organism" as an animal, plant or other life form that inhabits waters below head of tide.
3. The bill would establish a valuation methodology designed to encourage the continuation of working waterfront by increasing the tax advantages if the property use is restricted by additional easements.
4. The bill would mitigate or minimize the loss of tax revenue experienced by local governments and provide for a recapture penalty provision if the property changes use.
5. The bill would enact a recapture penalty provision that would discourage changing the use of working waterfront to some type of noncommercial fishing support use.
6. The bill would establish a method to assess current use valuation on that portion of a multiple-use property that is used to support commercial fishing.

Without these advantages, vital services move away from the downtown core business district so out-of-town mariners of all stripes don't know where to find things. And locals have to have a good rig to get around with their supplies. With the big grocery store moving up to the muskeg in Petersburg, gone are the days of free delivery of groceries right to your boat. The welding shops and machine shops are scattered for miles now.

But there are fine points the Mainers should be aware of. Some key working waterfront space is used for gear and equipment storage. This space is more valuable to the fishing community in the form of some service or other. And I don't mean a thirst quenching or pizza making service.