Wednesday, April 05, 2006

North Pacific Neighborhood Watch

You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to hear all the rustling in the bushes from the suspicious characters.

I like poking around canneries. This one in Kodiak Island's Uganik Bay is abandoned and is just down the bay from a newer one.

There are two different stories on the Guv's efforts to help Alaska fishermen, the official one and the real one. Note his statement in the Press Release, that someone probably wrote for him: “It is because of individuals like Arne Fuglvog and Ed Rasmuson that the Council succeeds in protecting the resource and serving the public. I was pleased to recommend them for reappointment.”

I won't comment in detail on these appointments, because I grew up next to Arne's grandparents and my father was long connected to the Rasmuson bank. But they haven't exactly been advocates for free enterprise either. The disconnect is in the statement about "serving the public." The public, Mr. Murkowski, didn't want their rights to catch and market red king crab, in the way they saw fit, taken from them for no good reason. Many people warned that it was folly, and you persisted with your hired gun, Kevin Duffy, to cut the legs out from under the public, not serve them. "Most of the crab fishermen were against crab ratz."

Senator Stevens was castigated for this too, in Washington D.C., by Sen. John McCain and Sen. Olympia Snowe. And in no uncertain terms. People aren't blind to what is going on. The public just hasn't figured out a way to stop all the carpetbagging, yet. It is being watched closely though, by at least 1,000 people a day who log onto this web site. Getting the truth out will help a lot.

I saw where a columnist was calling Duncan Fields a "community advocate." That kinda caught my attention because at the last "ratz" meeting I saw held in Kodiak, he was saying his community was "out of harmony with the larger choir." First of all, his community disagrees with the "larger choir" analogy, that since they will account for 90% of the GOA groundfish harvest, they ARE the choir. (This is the real kind of rationalization that is going on.) And of course his community disagrees with him and all the rest of the "ratz" in the give-away of the groundfish to the processors. (Call it what you like, but changing the perfectly good IFQ system to include "linkages" will make sharecroppers out of fishermen, and the processors carpetbaggers.)

This is what one member of the Kodiak community says about Fields' advocacy:
John, Just some thoughts that came to mind reading your latest piece.What you call solidarity I'd call "incestuous amplification" (no, I didn't think that one up) It's booting anyone that even questions processor linkages off the council or AP, or maybe even the SSC soon.

Look at the kind of people that serve on the council from Kodiak. Duncan Fields family owns (until yesterday, I guess) part of a processor and have fished during numerous salmon strikes in the past 20 years. Doug Hoedel is famous for fishing for a whole month during a crab strike years ago. He also was part of a group of salmon seiners that tried to highjack the Exxon punitive damage settlement for the Kodiak seine fleet. Don't forget getting extra millions for his boat and (catch) history by selling Kodiak down the road (Giving Kodiak the "King Cove treatment" under "ratz")

We also had Jeff Steele on the AP. He got busted a couple times for fishing crab before the season opened, one of these, where a whole load of King Crab got confiscated, was, according to a former trooper who ran the P/V Wolstad, the largest monetary confiscation in state history at the time. Steele was on the councils' "community protection committee"!

The strikes I refer to were real strikes. Not like the phony ones in the Bay, where floaters were paying more than fishermen delivering to shore based plants were striking for. The floaters were willing to buy anyone's fish, but the shore based guys wouldn't break from their companies. The other phony strike scenario happened in area M where the seiners were shut down, due to the presence of immature salmon that were gilling in the seines, while the setnetters were allowed to continue fishing. The seiners called a strike which was funny, as how can you be on strike if you can't fish?

Can you imagine the conversations these guys have? You've got to remember that in their own mind they think they're doing the right thing. No one, even Hitler, sees themself as the bad guy. And who is there to even offer a different view? Sen Stevens wouldn't even see us when we went to D.C. a year before crab ratz. Not the Senator, not his fish guy, NO ONE in his office. He only sees people that agree with him. The council is the same. they've purged the AP, the SSC is next.

Re: "IFQ's double the ex-vessel value of the halibut fishery." (and also doubling the tax revenue for the state and municipalities as this is based on ex-vessel price) Did AFA pollock double in price? How about post-ratz Bering sea crab? Where'd the money go? Why does Chuck B. need to be protected from the Chuck B's of the future?Thanks for your articles

An note from the spell check department: My last post contained a factual error which I immediately removed. For part of one day my blog, and consequently AlaskaReport, gave the wrong lobbyist for the UFA, even though the person had been their lobbyist in the past. But I chuckle at UFA's response to this snafu when they call my blog the "blog of misinformation." I've published over 175 posts and that's only the second time I've been corrected. The other time a reader didn't like my use of the word "irregardless."

I value getting the facts straight above a lot of things, including using this time at a money making enterprise. My blogging about row-boats and other casual subjects deviated a long time ago to what fishermen and others were craving, the truth about what is going on the fishing business. That's the difference between being an advocate and just calling yourself an advocate.