Thursday, November 08, 2012


"Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) supports greater involvement of fishermen in the stock assessment process and encourages fishermen to work with scientists to ensure that their knowledge and experience add to our understanding of these valuable resources." What a novel idea. Kind of like the Mel Gibson soldier/farmer of Revolutionary War days.

It would have been nice, though, if they had listened to a lot of people telling them to slow their roll in their mad rush to push through catch shares in the first place. Now that their big idea has back-fired they are backpedaling like crazy. Nothing the Fishery Management Council system does is grassroots-based, or scientifically done. This is a push for a major departure from the Ted Stevens model.

For heaven's sake, how could you get anything done in fisheries management without having everything cooked up before-hand? At the moment you have a NMFS who just wishes fishermen would go away. At least the bulk of them. Just plain pesky folk. Now, to embrace them as fellow problem solvers? What a paradigm shift. But a necessary one.

A shift that the nation as a whole needs to take to democratize the money. Right now it's all being sucked out of the veins of America and needs to get back in. Otherwise parts of the whole all over the country will start to die off due to lack of circulation. Just remember the concept of gangrene. Nobody will be safe it it sets in.  Everybody should be watching real close for areas that it looks like people are being sucked dry.

The western part of Alaska along the Bering Sea has been particularly sucked dry. And they were subsistence hunters and fishers. All the help from the federal government is being sucked out of them by corporate interests. All the mineral resources are being sucked out of their area without benefiting them. On top of that their traditional means of staying alive is being clear-cut.

I had a dazzling array of topics on my mind for posts here, but they keep floating past like a slowly drifting ducks in Blind Slough, Mitkof Island, Alaska. This just isn't going to work for long: the guys out fishing gotta tell what they know. And no fudging the facts. That won't work for long either. People aren't worried about some arcane tax cliff we might theoretically fall off. It's a cliff of irretrievable consolidation of the money and the natural resources. It's not good public policy to let the dollar keep stretching to buy the necessities. Consolidators figure they will always have enough 'stuff' when it starts to lose it's value. It's hard for the public, who policy is for, to see how bad they are being corked.

There really isn't any choice but to engage everyone. After all, that's what they teach in civics class. Not that they have any of those anymore. But this has to be very widespread. They could make it so you get a tax rate reduction the more you contribute to something that is doing some good, like doing stock surveys. But we would need a good fact-checker on what is good, kinda like the moderator in the Presidential debates. Naturally fishermen would be bringing back documentation of findings of a scientific nature. That kind of contribution is worth something, and is probably a lot more efficient than government expeditions.

Suddenly there is an army of fact-checkers. There isn't an association here' fudging on it's membership, or a lobbyist/governor there, or a Council of cronies over there, etc.(I have to say my ancestors created a monster in their effectiveness at conquering the wild North Pacific and it's bounty of delicious food in a winner take all contest.) A lot of methods they used and are still using are wholly unsustainable. I don't get paid anything to say this, so I hope it will be fairly compared to contrary estimates of 'sustainability certifying' outfits that get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to pitch their claims.

As a father, I'm really concerned that I can fix up my Marine son's Civic before he gets back from the whole radiation control effort he was in in Japan and then serving in Afghanistan. For having to take the 'purple pill' in Northern Japan, I think he deserves something more than what pins on a uniform. I tried to do this with my oldest son's old Mustang while he was serving his two hitches in Iraq. I just couldn't finish the job in time. These things concern me most.

We're in this big human pack and family is important. Not that we compare ourselves to wolf packs or anything. We have the distinction of being able to encompass the entire pack with our caring. I did mention, 'being able to,' not a guaranteed trait. And the difference is of paramount importance to folks that I wish were more numerous. I guess the number of people willing to be a farmer/soldier will tell what kind of success will have staying on the top of the cliff.