Friday, April 07, 2006

"Reader Weekend," on processors, et. al.

Here's two e-mails that were sent to me that seem to be in the same vein. And the message is that Fisheries Management doesn't correspond to NOAA's mission of supporting the vitality of communities.

Sea lions started showing up on Horn Cliffs, by Petersburg, after the Marine Mammals Protection Act passed.

"Kodiak Watch Out, Here Comes Irrational Ration Plan; From the same group that got the American Fisheries Act implemented."
"Why does Chuck's Trident Seafoods, which owns dozens of boats outright, or in his son's name (gets around anti-trust fish caps), need to be protected from a handful of independent fishermen? If you read his web site, he was the original Pioneer of the Crab industry.(Wakefield really was) If that is true would not 30 years of fishing, processing and buying crab have paid for the equipment needed to boil up some crab? Since he used his profits from crab to go into Bottomfish/Pollock, for which you do need some real equipment, and now has well over one billion dollars in sales and has his vast Pollock Quota protected by AFA [American Fisheries Act], why the strong push into the Gulf of Alaska?"
"Control and greed is the answer! If there were any Independent Processors, fishermen might get real pricing value, which would cause a big problem with a marketing monopoly, specifically in transfer pricing. (Sending product out of state/federal tax base at a loss[Hey, look you fishermen, I am really helping you out, because I am losing money!] to a closely held marketing Corporation, which then walks product around a few steps and then Presto! this Company then makes a pile of cash!)"
"I can not say exactly how Chuck does it, but I can tell you absolutely that the Japanese in the AFA Gang do.
Westward Seafoods, Alyeska Seafoods, Western Alaska Seafoods are all owned by Taiyo, now called Maruha Corporation, which has184 Companies around the world with sales totalling $8 billion. Like Chuck, they own boats, but instead of using one's son, you give $50,000,000 worth of fishing boats to your plant manager, Greg Baker, and then say you don't have controlling interest. So like Trident, they have an AFA #107 and #105, for a total of 28.48% of the Bering Sea In-Shore Pollock. Westward has 10.47% and Alyeska has 7.04% of all the crab, not counting what their wholly owned boats have."
"I could go on about Unisea and Peter Pan, both 100% owned by Japanese companies; they are much the same as Maruha's operation. These companies have more than $5 billion in sales through the parent corporations.
So why would these 4 companies need to create laws that would stop anybody in Kodiak from buying and selling fish? These guys have a combined $15 billion in sales, own all these boats and quota, and they hire the very best lobbyists and fly VIPs around in their jets. Are they worried about someone like Dave Woodruff?"(A small independent Kodiak processor.)

From another reader:
"Hello John, I left out Kodiaks' AP member for life(from other e-mail to me). He calls himself a "fisherman" but no one can remember him going out on a boat in over thirty years and I've yet to talk to anyone who can remember him EVER running a boat. The reason for calling himself a fisherman isn't clear. Does it give his position more legitimacy or is it just another example of "the trick to holding power was to tell a lie that everyone knows is a lie, and make them pretend to believe it.""

"Anyway, what I've said about AP for life, Duncan, Doug and Jeff probably seems like personal attacks. That wasn't my intent. I was trying to describe a personal quality that almost all our "public servants" have; they can "rationalize" anything that benefits themselves at the public's expense, whether it's breaking a strike or selling your community down the road to gain some rationalization windfall."

"On another, related subject, Duncan was quoted about the "Kodiak chorus" being out of tune with the "larger chorus" on Gulf Rationalization.. What is this larger chorus? I know what the Sandpoint and King Cove folks think, Homer and Seward too. So where is that larger chorus? Well there's the big processors, the trawlers who can almost taste that windfall and a few other fishermen who are scared they'll get ground up if they don't hop on board."

"Processing workers get told to testify, or to send Ted Stevens a form letter, and then their wages get lowered or their work gets sent to China. Add in Duncan's GOA coastal communities group, at least the ones that don't fish groundfish. They're hoping to get some form of CDQ out of helping the big guys screw the communities that do take part in groundfish. It doesn't add up to me. It is just a "rationalization" for Duncan to do what benefits himself or his clients; it doesn't need to be true."

"The reason the council can get away with this is most of the people who are losing, and will lose because of rationalization, aren't even aware of it. Heck some of them haven't even been born. Maybe their property values will fall, or their kids will get stuck in overcrowded classrooms. The point is, if you steal from everyone and it goes on forever, you can do it so it'll hardly be noticed at first."

"Rationalization is a theft of the coastal communities future, but the future never gets to show up to testify. "Commonize costs and privatize profits--but don't tell anyone. This has been a formula for success for centuries." Hardinor..."We screw the other guy and pass the savings on to you." Dogbert"