Sunday, June 11, 2006

Does Fish and Game really want local control? Not

This article in SitNews caught my eye for it's contradictions by a Alaska Fish and Game employee. To use a phrase my son's shop teacher in Petersburg used, "he's all over the place like a fart on a skillet."

Even Port Alexander needs to write letters, and vote August 22.

Come on now, does the Governor want local control back from just from Washington D.C. or does that include from Seattle processors too? I suspect just the former.

Look at the last statement about regional fishery management councils. ADF&G (the Governor) wants the NPFMC to have juristiction over offshore aquaculture in Alaska. And, of course, the big processors control the Council, just like they do the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, the Governor, etc. So, if there ever is offshore aquaculture, you can bet the big non-resident processors will get that too.

"Local control is, from our perspective and in our experience, key to long-term conservation of resources and public acceptance of any development that takes place." Bedford also urged the council to consider local participation in any future legislation. "We believe that the regional fishery management councils should be given jurisdiction over aquaculture operations," he said.

I think this Administration is going to be remembered as the one that tried to give all of Alaska away. How would you compare it. To inviting every addict in town to come over to help clean out your house? Blowing your locust call just when your crops are ripe?

You must have read Kim Elton's piece about the gas contract with the oil companies being like the monopolies on resource extraction in Alaska before WWII. The Guggenheims and J.P. Morgan had whatever the Alaska Packers Association didn't want. I've blogged about the classic Alaska movie "Ice Palace" that characterized the struggle between the fishermen and the big Seattle fish company. It's a sick, greedy mindset that has such a willingness and capacity to harm innocent lives. That's what privatization of the resources does.

Tony Knowles started the give-away ball rolling in the fisheries when he was first Governor. It's a lead-pipe cinch that Murkowski won't beat a moralist like Sarah Palin in the Primaries August 22. But God help us if we get that other monopolizing candidate Knowles back. Is all I can say is fishermen better get their act together this time.

And I don't mean the Samuel Adams--'always a good choice' fishermen's leaders whose agenda seems to be to just curry favor with bureaucrats to get state jobs. That old system is broken. The RSDAs need to get to a point of profitability, through selling fish, that they can afford leaders that are paid more than they pay at the state.

I mean the rank and file fishermen just need to write letters to editors all over Alaska. Not just Kodiak fishermen. The kind of Governor there is will affect fishermen all over the state. You know that regulations change in even the remotest part of the state. Those fishermen out there will want fair laws.

I've been a fisherman so I know that the drive you develop to harvest fish pretty much makes you have tunnel vision. You push everything out of your mind to focus on fishing, including politics (maybe especially politics). But if you don't want the next Governor to be giving away your fish, start thinking about a letter to the editor. If fishermen get a Governor with integrity, (that would be a switch), then they can start taking control of the process that improves their lives and the lives of everyone in their community.

Playing a part in the process is the highest calling of a citizen. You can take back your government, but you have to start now and be vigilant always. Because this Administration has taught that relying on others to make your political decisions for you isn't where it's at.

Alaska fishermen will be darned lucky if they don't get their P. cod taken away and given to the plunder boats. This should be a lesson in citizenship. And you know these kind are going to give a ton of money to the sleeze candidate to keep their grip on Alaska resource extraction. That's why you had so much sleeze come out of the woodwork at the last minute to file for candidacy, there weren't any good 'ol pockets running to stuff money into.