Monday, May 29, 2006

"Alaska got primary control of the big money fisheries..."

"Underneath comments asking for specific changes in regional and federal management, commercial fishermen were asking a deeper question," Garrity-Blake said. "They were saying that if this state cares about its fishing communities and heritage, it's time to take a hard look at what's happening and take a stand for us now."

I knew I wasn't going to run my own boat for long, but trolling for three summers did me good. Deeding the opportunity in fisheries away is a profound loss to society.

And also: "It's time for the state to be courageous and take action to help the state's commercial fishermen," he told the MFC. Look at this article and see if you see correlations to Alaska: I do. And I have to comment on a report of at least one North Pacific Council, Advisory Panel member being afraid for his safety in the upcoming public testimony session. Sir, that is your conscience speaking. There have been no threats. If you are afraid of shadows, you're doing something wrong. And of course, there are more people all the time telling you that you are doing it wrong. The only way to have nothing to fear is to do it the right way.

A reader in White Mountain writes: "If you know a pissed off woman fisherman, send her to the next NPFMC meeting. Jenny's act led to a standing parliment, and it's power over the crown. Pointing the way for our nations founders. Today's (problem of) "divine right" of corporations isn't much different."

This leads to one of the most sincere appologies for the way things have gotten, that any of us have seen to date. I won't add anything to this e-mail I received from a reader for fear I might interfere with the absolution he is seeking (and receives) and the advice he gives from obvious serious experience in fisheries politics.

"John, Isn't it astounding how many of Alaska's fish problems are self- inflicted. In 1975 and 1976 I lived in Ted Stevens' and Don Young's offices, helping them write the original Magnuson Act. I was living and working in Kodiak at the time.

Against all odds, Ted and Don got us a separate Alaska Regional Council, an Alaska majority vote on it and ALL meetings held inside the State's borders. People in Seattle have still not forgiven me for that now that I live down here. But we did it. Alaska got primary control of the big money fisheries of the Bering Sea and the GOA. Hands down. So who f..... up?

Why are we having such a s...-slinging contest nowadays. The Alaska majority still prevails on the NPFMC. Dutch Harbor and Kodiak are still two of the top five fishing ports in America. Last time I looked, ALL voting members of the Alaska Board of Fisheries were still ALL ALASKANS. I ask again: who f..... up?

It's too easy to blame the Old Man and Don for everything and anything that sucks in our business lives. They were pressured like all Hell to pass AFA and authorize Crab Ratz. I know for a fact they didn't dream any of it up on their own. Many of us landed on them like a ton of bricks over the years to do our bidding in Congress. I wish you'd interview Ted and Don and get their side of the story.

I, for one, am guilty of cornering them to authorize Crab Ratz three years ago. I plead guilty to that. But it wasn't Ted Stevens or Don Young who passed the 90:10 split and that god-awful Last Best Offer binding arbitration. It was ADFG's Dave Benton and Kevin Duffy, representing the Governor of Alaska on the NPFMC, who shoved that s... down our throats. Let's get real for a change. Why don't you interview those assholes when you can?

Duffy's making more money than you can count down here in the Factory Trawler Palace in Seattle and Benton is the guru of MCA in Juneau (the Jolly Green Giant of all Enviros). These are the culprits who f..... us royally on crab ratz. Please ease up on the Old Man and Don and convict the real perps, not just the most convenient ones. I read your column every week and really enjoy your skepticism and wit. Press on."