Thursday, February 16, 2006

North Pacific Fisheries Management Council Blues II

"The Governor will also soon name his recommendations for two seats coming open on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council - Arne Fuglvog of Petersburg and Ed Rasmussen of Anchorage. Those seats must be approved by the Secretary of Commerce." That according to Laine Welch.

This is the type of "fisherman" that was so happy to form a linkage with a "processor" in the Gulf of Alaska. Was the linkage already there and the enthusiasm used to draw in the other gear groups?

I saw where the State struck down a motion to allow some cod fishermen to bow out of the "processor linkages" plan that would "attach" them to a processor. Maybe they were afraid of being stuck with the processor in Sand Point that threatened to cut fishermen off of home heating oil deliveries for marketing their own fish. I was involved in that when I was helping fly fresh cod from Sand Point to Korea for a lot more than the local processor was paying.

So it follows that we can probably expect another Councilmember or two that is an employee, a lobbyist, or a stockholder/fisherman of a large processing company. When you have the government and the big processing companies working together, the independent fishing lifestyle is sure to go.

How would you like to be "forced" to fish for a certain processing/marketing company yourself? Some winter king trollers are getting over $7 a pound and thinking they are doing good. Most of them don't know that they could be getting $18 a pound. Well, maybe they do, but you can only get the $18 if you market your own. "Processor linkages" are going to make sure fishermen get rock bottom prices and the "processor" will get the difference.

There's so much money involved it's ridiculous. Of course the game is a ruthless one. If a council member doesn't get his pension in writing from the processor, he'll find him or herself discarded just like the fishermen. If I thought my blog was widely read, I'd say, just watch these councilors scurry for their respective corporate headquarters. LOL

And if this mess that National Marine Fisheries Service oversees isn't bad enough, just now when the Regional Seafood Development Associations in Alaska are starting up, they propose "marketing councils." Do they really think a "council" form of marketing organization is the best way to go? I don't think they care. They write like they were behind the increase in salmon, blue crab and tilapia consumption. They make that inference like they owned the place, and that there wasn't a suspicion of their intentions in the world.

I'll tell you what, NMFS. If groundfish ratz makes every last soul in Alaska happy, go ahead and try upstage the best marketing strategy known to man, the Association concept. But by the looks of it there might be a demonstration outside of your and the Governor's offices, so BACK OFF.