Monday, February 13, 2006

"Processor" shares a la Pacific Coast

The City Council of Westport, WA heard from a lobbyist for the "processors" and a bunch of hake trawlers. The purpose of the presentation was to get their endorsement for proposed legislation in Congress that will give up to 50% (?) of the hake resource to shore plants.

This boat in Oregon was in my loan portfolio when I worked at the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank.

And the usual excuses are given, like, we're just too greedy, so a lot of fish get wasted and turned into low value products. Go figure. Anyway, here's the link to the article.

Representative democracy is a messy process, but that's what we have to work with. Personalities are going to collide inevitably. I was watching an Oregon legislative process watchdog group on TV today and heard a lot of testimony on the messiness of the process. One legislator related how he met every day for an hour a day with a collegue on the other side of an issue, just to get to know one another. To see where the other person was coming from. At the start, I'm sure that included Mars and Venus.

It get's messy once in awhile in this blogging business and I attribute it mostly to folks not knowing where each other are coming from. People usually have good reasons for what they do, and if they aren't good, then they are socially acceptable, or at least have worked for them in the past. As far as being for the common good, that could mean any number of people, from the hunting club to world peace.

I think it's pretty obvious by now to anyone that reads this blog on a regular basis that I support the production association approach to handling the seafood catch. Alaska state statute now allows it and the legislature encourages it. I think over time all fishermen will see the point that has made Florida oranges, Ocean Spray cranberries, Land-O-Lakes butter, and Blue Diamond almonds great. There are people that would like this not to come about, and I take a dim view of their efforts to stop this evolutionary process by stealing the fish through the regulatory process before they can get into such a system.

But it's not healthy to hold grudges, that's not how I want to live anyway. So the best thing is for everyone to lay their cards on the table. I think a previous article about the owner of Pacific Seafoods did just that. The owner just wants all the hake. It's that simple, and he figures that everyone else is trying to do the same thing, so why shouldn't he. Then it's up to honest regulators to put the brakes on such notions.