Tuesday, February 21, 2006

B.S. meter "red-lines" on challenge to Vessel Upgrade Program

The real value of this blogging business is to ratchet up the conversation. When Dennis, the other columnists and myself get some timely information, ya just gotta run with it. This is one of those times. I was going to blog on shellfish in Southeast next, but this bears our attention.

This photo of a Kake longliner is somewhat dated now, but is representative of the need for upgrading in the fleet.

A reader wrote this note to Dennis Zaki, who gave it to me to comment on. It kinda stands on it's own. Here it is:

message: "I read the Alaska Report daily and eagerly await the lastest news. Your exposure of the seedy side of fish politics and policies is great and needs to heard.An interesting story is developing that is probably worth looking into Reguarding the dispersment of grant funds (TFAP) for the Alaska Salmon Vessel Quality Upgrade Program (SAVQUP) administered through AK dept.of economic developement.Apparently a group of disguntled non resident fisherman are challenging their disqualification from recieving any of the federally financed program money. They were encourged to apply but the awards point system makes it mathmaticly impossible to qualify. An injuction may prevent dispursements. good bloggin"

Well, what can I say to those fishermen who want to stop one of the most worth-while things I've seen in a long time. I'm not surprised though, non-resident fish processors have been holding up progress for decades. Earlier today I was thinking that us columnists on AlaskaReport have come out of our lonely research cubicles with the same conclusions. And we are from the trenches of the seafood industry.

One thing you become is a highly calibrated "B.S. meter." But we are making some great acquaintances. Thank you readers that have e-mailed me personally. And what is encouraging is, for the first time, fishermen can air their views and share their research without worrying about not getting printed. Either in a Letter to the Editor, or anonomously via e-mail to one of us.

The above submission just "red lined" my B.S. meter. If these guys can win an injunction on this, they got a winner of an attorney and shouldn't waste any time going for some Permanent Fund dividends.