Saturday, March 11, 2006

Notes from all over on the "Goober Debate" and Com-Fish

First of all, you'll probably hear "thank you so much for your concern" from some Gubernatorial candidate. Scream for me too.

The church at Port Heiden. If you aren't physically going to help stop the processors from taking fishermen's fish in the next month in D.C., then pray full bore they don't.

You get that all the time communicating with these kind of folks. They just aren't prepared to make a quotable statement, so that's about all they can think of to say. They could tell the truth, that they need more information. And they could give you the courtesy and benefit of the doubt by asking YOU for more information.

We have worked in the industry our whole lives, mostly at our own expense, to make the fishing industry better for everyone. (Processors only want it better for themselves.) Then along comes a new face to the industry ASPIRING to a PAID position to MAYBE help the common good of the fishing communities.

If it's fishing related they are getting spoon fed by the "other side." And that's a point. If candidates don't understand that it's "them against us," they are clueless. If they won't admit there is a life and death struggle going on, they won't ever help fishermen later. And of course you don't want a candidate that is for the status quo. "Take a lot when they aren't looking and give a little when they are" is the processor mantra now. I wonder if Sea Grant teaches that in their "processor school." lol

One reader states: "Ratz is a pretty benign topic in most of the state."

And, "I hear from some friends in town (Kodiak) that there is going to be a media event at Com-Fish." March 16 at 7 to 9 P.M. is the Gubernatorial Forum.

"Talk about getting the crab back into the common fishery."

"Fishermen may not be able to market fish under an RSDA for awhile, but they can use the platform to fight for their survival."

"Choose one of the Bristol Bay districts and concentrate there to do RSDA work. You need a public dock and fuel for one thing."

"MSA REAUTHORIZATION is the big thing. Biggest thing. And no one wants us to leave our distractions with PQs and GOA Ratz etc. to concentrate on it. They love us being like witches in the nights with a caldron a dancing and thinking we are conjuring up success while they are inside the bank robbing it at the Congress."

"They have MSA scheduled now to go through by end of month. That's it. Over. DAPs will be legal, and processors can form associations to get such rights, and since they hold the Council's hostage, that's what will occur."

"Civil servants don't stand up for the puclic for fear of losing their pensions. Then the economic base is eroded by resource grabs (that they see coming) by big out-of-state companies."

"Processor linkages, processor quotas, forced co-operatives and other "rationalization" schemes are like silting in the spawning streams. Government agencies and the loggers didn't tell the public about logging's effect on the streams. Just like Government agencies and the processors aren't telling what effect "rationalization" is having on fishermen and communities."

"One placard at the Goober Debate will read "ratz = trapz."

Another Kodiak fisherman says: "My gut feelings are that if the Gulf Ratz goes through, it's the end of an era for me and so many like me who had the opportunity and choices to make our own way."

My suggestion for the media event is don't hang anyone in effigy, the processors might press charges for air pollution. And one reader suggests reading how Ghandi got India back from the British. Please get Alaska back from the processors, so my sons will have a crack at continuing an Enge fishing tradition of unknown number of millenia. That will be one thing Uncle Ted can chalk up to his credit if he can get "rationalization" through Congress. If there isn't much of a show in Kodiak, the MSA is sure to sail through for the processors and I'll have to recommend my sons do something else.