Wednesday, May 03, 2006

AlaskaReport as Fishermen's Forum and Change Agent

The AlaskaReport has become a "change agent" forum like Alaska and the rest of the fishing industry has never seen before.

I don't remember much of how I came to take this picture of setting out on the Kuskokwim, but I'm sure that "red hatted institution of the Kuskokwim," J.B. Crow, had something to do with getting me out there.

What's going on here is the fullfillment of Business Week magazine's prophesy that Blogging will supercede printed matter in importance to democratic institutions. Bloggers aren't in it for the money like editors of print journals. (Test question: what big fish company hired the editor of Alaska Fishermen's Journal and silenced that source of industry news?)

The following (in italics) quotes are from e-mails I've received from readers that symbolize the mercuric rise of our readership. The point is that finally the straight scoop is being told. Until the fisheries political atmosphere changes through winnowing out the chaff, it is apparent that for every fisherman you've got a "Deep Throat," and most of them will eventually write in. “You have to empower people directly before they can fight for themselves” is our motto, and fighting they now are.

"Your doing a great job John. As this project takes up more and more of your time I hope you can figure out a way to make a living at it. I and many fishermen like me agree with you and Vic Smith. I would love for you to somehow get the word out that many of us use the nickname "FOOTBALL HEAD" when we refer to ................. You probably don't know that football head has turned into one of biggest creek robbers that Alaska has ever seen. Another sore point with this guy is his tender manipulation since he has cannery management in his back pocket. Lots of complaints ------ enough for now." (Amazingly, he is like the Samuel Adams beer commercial, with a twist, "He's always a good choice," to represent fishermen. Go figure, it hurts the Governor as much as it does fishermen to keep appointing him.)

"Keep up the good work you are an enlightening source."

"John - your latest piece screams WOW! Wonderful and strong through its entire read... a piece that is well-organized and presents a powerful argument that should hit home with State legislators.This is a superb effort. Bring on more of the same!"

"You do reach folks... well. Keep it up!"

"Just had to let you know I find your website, especially your Blog, interesting. Gotta love those fishery politics?"

"When you become effective the SOB's take shots at you. The smear by the head of the UFA is a good omen. His vast stock holdings which will appreciate in value as processor shares kick in make him a particularly vulnerable hypocrite."

"Thank you so much for helping to get the word out about the Bristol Bay RSDA. It is a huge struggle reaching 1858 driftnet permit holders (not to mention another 1000 setnetters) scattered from hell to breakfast – each with a different idea about how things should be improved in the Bay. As a gillnet fisherman friend once said to me; "Fishermen, when threatened, do the right thing – they grab their guns and circle the wagons. But then they start shooting inside the circle – at colleagues not at the threat”

"Alaska should be proud of Enge! ("Outsiders" are...) Hey, check out Terry Haines' blog writing too..."

"John, that's some great blog work!!! UFA leadership was almost the litmus test for corrosive anti-competititive forces harming fishermen, and without open criticism, the few good folks still around won't be able to rise... but with so much processor yeast in the UFA cake, well, Enge's right, ... UFA has to go. A new, true fishermen association (no processors allowed) has to take its place, one that represents all fishermen of all gear types. And there are plenty of global issues to deal with from ATP and the Raising of Ex-Vessel Prices realm to stopping MSA Reauthorization as a cover for Cartelization... etc."

"John Enge's blog is a good read!"

"Finally, along comes a fish blogger we've long awaited reading (well, he's been around awhile, but boy has his writing gathered speed), in a person who can't be labeled a whistle-blower..."

"I've passed your blogsite on to others here, they all love it and recognize the mismanagement of the NPFMC and a need for change."

From the United Kingdom: "Keep up the good work in that godforsaken wilderness."

"I am the fellow who objected to your use of the word 'Irregardless.' I'll advise my neighbor of your blog site."

"Well said."

"Happy New Year and I really enjoy your insight on this issue."

"Thanks a million for this wonderful message John..All I can say is wow! "

"First of all I'd like to thank you for your blog. I find it very interesting and more often than not, thought provoking. Your site (via Ak. is usually my first stop when I fire up the computer."

"Well, you are after all one of the pioneers in the 'new media' wave John.. Remember what I told you a long time ago. Just sit down and write.. You're damned good at it, and you do have a story to tell. With the amazing technology becoming available to the public at this time in our history, they will come to you.."

Etcetera, etcetera.