Exxon Information Sent to Claimants in the Unoiled Fisheries

You should have received or receive in the next week information about your unoiled fishery claims from the Exxon Valdez spill.  If you don’t receive anything or have moved and have not provided them a current address (I think the last mailing to unoiled fisheries was about  the early 2000′s) please provide updated information through this website.

http://www.exspill.com/default.aspx 

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Rep. Stolze to ASMI Board: All Commercial Fishing Bills Dead in 2010

The following story reprinted from LAWS OF THE SEAS with permission.

Stoltze to ASMI Board: ALL COMMERCIAL FISHING BILLS DEAD IN 2010 The cochairman of the Alaska House Finance Committee announced, at an Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute meeting, that he would kill any commercial fishing industry bills that reach his committee during the 2010 legislative session. The action is a response to the Board of Fisheries’ refusal to restrict commercial fishing or reallocate Cook Inlet salmon stocks to the satisfaction of Mat Su Valley residents, Rep. Bill Stoltze indicated at the Oct. 1 board meeting in Anchorage.

“I’m just going to be blunt. The Cook Inlet people have declared war against a lot of us up north and I’m just not going to be putting any bills through,” declared Stoltze, who is the Alaska House liaison to ASMI. Stoltze first indicated his plan was not definitive. “I’m just not going to be real anxious to put up commercial fishing bills. I never say absolutely no but there have been some really bad actions by a lot of people,” he said before issuing his “blunt” statement. (A complete transcript of Stoltze’s comments follows this report.)

His action, in effect, was demanded by his Chugiak district constituents who were angry that he had not imposed the roadblock during this year’s session, Stoltze indicated. “I don’t want to B.S. anybody here. My constituency was mad at me for letting through the energy efficiency bill, which I thought was a good bill, but I got a lot of kicks in the back on that one: Why are you doing that when they’re screwing us at every other level?” Stoltze said.

Many of his constituents, in public hearings of legislative committees and the failed Cook Inlet Salmon Task Force, have said commercial harvesters should be limited to the remaining harvestable salmon after sport, personal use and subsistence fishing needs are met.

The “energy efficiency bill,” HB 20, would allow commercial harvesters to borrow from the self-supporting Commercial Fishing Revolving Loan Fund, to upgrade their vessel engines with more efficient, less polluting models. Sponsored by Rep. Bryce Edgmon, the bill was held in the House Finance Committee from Feb. 4 to March 30 this year. It passed the House on a unanimous vote on April 10, nine days before the end of the session and remains in the Senate Resources Committee awaiting its first hearing in 2010.

Helpless House Finance Chairman vs. Powerless Minority Senator

Three times during his outburst Stoltze suggested his bill blockade was a measure of desperation. “I don’t have many tools,” he said. One tool Stoltze chose not to use was the special legislative committee created last year to address the Cook Inlet salmon wars. Stoltze was a member of the Cook Inlet Salmon Task Force, which was specifically directed to make recommendations to address conservation and allocation issues in the inlet. Like the other nine members on the panel he offered no recommendations. The panel never scheduled a meeting to discuss possible recommendations and never completed the final report that was due in February.

Stoltze also charged that Sen. Tom Wagoner, a former commercial fisherman from Kenai, is “trying to figure out ways to screw the dipnet fishery.” Wagoner said he is drafting legislation that would impose a $5 fee for what are now free dipnet permits but also eliminate the requirement that a dipnetter must also obtain a $24 sport fishing license. Wagner wants revenue from the $5 charge to pay for sanitation facilities at dipnet sites and for enforcement. The absence of both has been the subject of complaint by Kenai Peninsula local governments and many dipnetters. “I find it rather ironic that he’s taking that approach. I thought he was smarter than that,” Wagoner said.

Board members were visibly surprised by Stoltze’s comments, according to persons at the meeting, but had few had any immediate comments during the brief episode. Stoltze spoke after it was suggested that legislation might be necessary to allow ASMI to accept payments from the MSC for the cost of administering the sustainability certification. Bruce Wallace, the ASMI vice chairman and one of two commercial harvesters on the board, asked if Stoltze’s decree would cover bills concerning Cook Inlet or any commercial fishing measure. He got no specific answer. “There’s only so much influence around this table on Cook Inlet and lots of issues statewide,” said Mark Palmer, president of Ocean Beauty Seafoods, during the meeting. Neither Stoltze nor Joe Bundrant, ASMI board chairman, responded to requests for an interview. “I thought it was really itneresting to finally watch the prcoessors get a full taste of Stoltze,” said one regular participant in ASMI board meetings, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution from Stoltze.

“He just went off,” Wallace said in an interview following the meeting. “It was not an extortive kind of thing, at least I didn’t catch it as a threat to go and take something else. He’s expounding a view that’s not held by ASMI with respect to state management,” Wallace added.  Asked if Stoltze seemed to be offering to trade bill passage for salmon reallocation Wallace said, “He said that and later modified it. The legislative year will bear out the truth of that and I don’t know how to draw that line. There will be fishery bills going into House Finance and we’ll see what comes out the other side.” Wallace said Stoltze’s comments were the most “strident” he has heard in the three years he has been acquainted with the lawmaker, but not the first time commercial fishing bills have been threatened. “I think that was the most hard-line I have heard him say it, but it is not something that he has not said in varying degrees over the last couple of years,” Wallace explained. Wallace added that Stoltze expressed some regret for his comments later in the daylong meeting. “He apologized for being so hard-nosed and said things will be judged on their merits … It leaves you wondering what the line is.” Wallace, also on the board of the United Fishermen of Alaska, said Stoltze’s comments would not change their legislative efforts “We’re going to do what we’re going to do as far as bills and an approach. I think we can’t do anything other than that.” UFA Pres. Joe Childers had no immediate comment.

Cora Campbell, fisheries advisor to Gov. Sean Parnell, said Stoltze “is obviously very concerned about something going on in his areas … “I wouldn’t say that I was necessarily shocked. Certainly I knew that some of the tensions in Cook Inlet would be bubbling to the surface again with some of the recent issues. It wasn’t surprised to hear that express by a legislator that he is passionate about.”

The sole topic of the session had been the question of whether ASMI should replace the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game as client for Marine Stewardship Council “sustainability” certification of the state salmon fishery. Pending responses from the MSC a final decision was postponed until the board’s Dec. 3 meeting. Stoltze was apparently not present when the 8 a.m. meeting began. He arrived after more than two hours of discussion on the MSC question made his announcment as Eric McDowell, the consultant hired to facilitate the meeting, was asking the participants for final observations on the MSC questions.

‘Sustainability’ Confusion

After Stoltze’s outburst McDowell welcomed him to the meeting and returned to the agenda but Stoltze pushed the discussion back to salmon allocation a few minutes later. Stoltze began the second exchange declaring his confusion over the “sustainability concept” and its interplay with the Fish Board. After the board adopted its “Sustainable Fisheries Policy,” the lawmaker said, “That terminology became a big political fight. In one region, there’s a real objection in Cook Inlet to having a sustainable fisheries policy.” “Somebody’s objecting to having sustainable fisheries? a surprised Bundrant cut in. “That was a big board fight. Kevin and others are familiar with it,” Stoltze said of board member Kevin Adams, a Kodiak fisherman. Apparently referring to commercial harvesters he continued, “The Cook Inlet folks fought that definition. It was a big internal Board of Fisheries fight not to have a sustainable fisheries policy for Cook Inlet. I get kind of confused by that.” Stoltze, who had earlier noted a lack of help from the governor’s office to apply political influence to the allocation process, then asked Campbell if she could “decipher” his version of events. “How can we have one region where we say it doesn’t apply here if we don’t want it, but spend couple million bucks to brand our salmon product?” he asked. “This is a political question. I think I can answer your question,” McDowell began. “I’d rather have the governor’s office answer it, quite frankly,” Stoltze interjected. After expressing her appreciation for the opportunity to comment Campbell said, “I don’t know that I can really speak for Cook Inlet stakeholders and the approach they might have taken at the Board of Fish. My understanding is it may have been not an objection so much to having a sustainable fisheries policy but to some of the details that were implicated in that policy. I don’t speak for those people as to what their opinions are.”

Over several years Stoltze and other lawmakers critical of the Cook Inlet fleet have attempted to force the board’s policy into law over the objections of several administrations. The Dept. of Law has warned, at legislative hearings, that statutory enactment of the policy would leave the board susceptible to a flood of lawsuits that could challenge virtually any action it took and create huge legal and administrative financial costs.

Ray Riutta, ASMI executive director, attempted to explain to Stoltze that a hallmark of Alaska’s sustainable fishery management is the separation of science-based management decisions from the allocation process and that ASMI’s promotional efforts draw them into neither. “What happens at the Fish Board and North Pacific Council frequently is an argument as to who gets what. That is not part of the argument on sustainability that we uses in the market,” Riutta said.

Stoltze remained muddled. “Frankly it’s confused and baffled me because I support sustainability in all of our resource management. That’s why I was really troubled by the mixed message coming out of one region. I’m not the one that brought the politics in. It’s another, another minority user group for the multiple resource. I didn’t mean to overly contaminate this procedure but it has come up in legislative debates numerous times,” Stoltze said following Riutta’s explanation.

Adams seemed ready to continue the discussion and said it was relevant to marketing issues. “Look at Jack’s  He has to explain that to the market,” Adams said. He was referring to board member Jack Schultheis, general manager of Kwik’Pak Fisheries, and the continual closures of Yukon River commercial salmon fisheries that provide his raw material. “I’ll let it rest,” McDowell said. Still later he invited Stoltze to make final comments and the lawmaker said he has moved “maybe not 180 but 165 degrees” from a critic to supporter of ASMI during his seven years in the legislature. “It’s only through frustration that I can’t even get bills heard that affect my priorities,” said one of the most powerful members of the legislature, by virtue of his Finance Committee chairmanship. “I have to use every forum I have so I apologize to you guys for bringing an issue that doesn’t have one hundred percent relationship, but it does have bearing on this whole policy discussion in my branch of government,” he concluded.

**************************************************************

Rep. Bill Stoltze’s comments, transcribed verbatim, from Oct. 1 meeting audio recording, provided by ASMI on request: STOLTZE: “I wouldn’t expect I’m going to be scheduling too many commercial fisheries bills into House Finance Committee because of the cold war that’s going on. ” (Audible gasp from unknown person.)

STOLTZE: “I’m just going to be blunt. The Cook Inlet people have declared war against a lot of us up north and I’m just not going to be putting any bills through.”

BOARD MEMBER BRUCE WALLACE: “For the entire state or just Cook Inlet?”

STOLTZE: “I’m just, ah, not going to be real anxious to put up commercial fishing bills. I never say absolutely no but there have been some really bad actions by a lot of people. I don’t know other ways to get attention.”

BOARD MEMBER MARK PALMER: “There’s only so much influence around this table on Cook Inlet, and there’s a lot of issues around this state.”

STOLTZE: “I’m just telling you I don’t know what else to do. I did let bills go through last year when our bills were being held up and feel good will was engendered. I don’t want to B.S. anybody here. My constituency was mad at me for letting through, letting through the energy efficiency bill, which I thought was a good bill, but I got a lot of kicks in the back on that one: Why are you doing that when they’re screwing us at every other level? “I don’t have many tools. I’m not talking about ASMI. I’ll continue to be an advocate for that, but, uh, I don’t want to, ah, raise hopes that you’re going to have a bill going through that’s going to get a lot of support from our valley delegation and I just happen to be one member of the delegation that’s sitting up there determining bill flow.” “It’s gotten even nastier. It doesn’t help that Tom Wagoner is out there along the Kenai Peninsula. Public officials are out there trying to figure out ways to screw the dipnet fishery. It hasn’t helped. It’s not your fight but, uh, I’m not left with a lot of tools. I haven’t had a lot of help from the administration, so …”

Laws for the SEA is written and published by Bob Tkacz at Juneau, Alaska. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced, broadcast, e-mailed or otherwise transmitted in any manner without specific prior approval. All comments and suggestions are welcome. Written communications should be directed by email to: junobob@att.net or by postal mail to Bob Tkacz, 416 Harris Street, Suite 203, Juneau, AK 99801; by telephone to 907-463-5455. All contents ©Copyright 2009 Robert P. Tkacz.

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New National Geographic Series about Alaska State Troopers

National Geographic has a new series about Alaska State Troopers.  The first airing is October 14th at 9:00 pm (AK time). The first episode is “Ice Patrol” and will be shown again on Oct 17th at 8:00pm

“Crime on the Kenai” will be shown on Oct 21st at 9:00pm AK time and again on Oct 24th at 8:00pm

For more information http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/alaska-state-troopers/all/Overview

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New Cases of ISA found in Chile Salmon Farms

Two new cases of ISA were found, one in region 10 and one in region 11 and nine other suspected ISA outbreaks that are not yet confirmed in region 10 & 11.   Unfortunately, Norway production of farmed fish along with Scotland and Canada have been able to replace the lost imports from Chile.

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Klamath Dam Removal?

A historic agreement was reached to demolish four dams on the upper Klamath River. The four dams have cut off 300 miles of fish rearing habitat despite a nearby fish hatchery, the salmon returns have continued to decline.  The fight to remove the dams started in 2002 when water diversion led to the death of 33,000 migrating fish.  PacifiCorp, the dams owner will pay up to $200 million in ratepayer fees for removal, a better price than retrofitting the dams with fish-friendly ladders and other changes.

Taking out the dams will take time, it is expected that after lengthy study and more approvals by the Interior Dept, the demolition work could begin in 2020.  An issue involved in removing the four medium sized dams is the sediment that has backed up for nearly a century behind the dam must be removed so it doesn’t smother existing salmon habitat areas downstream.  California voters will likely be asked to approve a $250 million bond measure to pay for other removal costs.

Klamath river was once the third most productive river after the Columbia and Sacremento Rivers.

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ASMI Relaunches Cook it Frozen Website

ASMI has redesigned  and updated it Cook it Frozen website

www.CookItFrozen.com

 

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Gillnet Task Force Meeting

The date for the gillnet task force meeting was just set for Dec 7th in Ketchikan at the Ted Ferry Civic Center.  The agenda will be developed over the next couple of weeks. If you have agenda items that you would like added, please contact the SEAFA office 586-6652.  The seine task force meeting is scheduled for Dec 8th in Ketchikan and on Dec 9th in Juneau the RPT will be meeting followed by a workshop on allocation issues (SE enhanced allocation plan) Dec 10th in Juneau.

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Cook Inlet Task Force Releases Draft Report

Rep Johnson’s office released a copy of a draft report prepared by a volunteer from the Cook Inlet Task Force.  Bob Tkacz has given SEAFA permission to reprint his article from the Laws of the SEAS published  last night.

The full report and other Cook Inlet Task Force materials are available at: http://www.housemajority.org/coms/jcis/jcis_background.php

SALMON TASK FORCE REPORT

QUESTIONS MANAGMENT LEGALITY

Current Cook Inlet salmon management and allocations may be unconstitutional according to the draft Joint Cook

Inlet Salmon Task Force released to other lawmakers by the panel chairman, Sept. 29.Ostensibly written by

Rep. Craig Johnson (R-Anch.), the report compares the Cook Inlet commercial fishingfleet to pre-statehood fish trap operators and suggests the Board of Fisheries has no standards for its allocation decisions. “It’s difficult to envision what criteria the Alaska Board of Fisheries applies in making those allocations,” Johnson declares on Page 34 of what he said three weeks earlier would be a “fair and balanced” report. The Fish Board was never scheduled to testify during the panel’s four 2008 hearings where public or invited testimony was taken, but the draft report is replete with selective and questionable use of statistical and other data attacking its decisions during its 2008 session on Cook Inlet salmon proposals and Department of Fish & Game management since then.

In a section titled “Analysis of the Fairness and Constitutionality of Current Cook Inlet Allocations,” Johnson wrote, “It’s clear from both the language of the (Alaska) Constitution and from the historical context, that the framers intended allocations of state fishery resources to benefit Alaskans in the broadest sense possible.”  A page later he observes, “Analyzing current allocations of Upper Cook Inlet salmon it appears that important lessons of the past may not have been heeded, nor constitutional mandates followed.” Johnson’s measure of the lack of fair allocations is the repeatedly noted statistic that “82% of the total Upper Cook Inlet salmon harvest is allocated to less than 1% of the region’s population — those who hold commercial fishing permits.” Comparing some 2,667 commercial permit holders to the 134,415 Cook Inlet resident sport license holders and 20,000 personal use permit holders he counts as 150,000 “individuals,” Johnson writes that 2.3% of “users” are allocated 82% of the resource.  “Based on that fact alone the current Upper Cook Inlet salmon allocation seems disproportionately biased in favor of a tiny segment of the resource’s users,” the report declares.At a Sept. 3 meeting of the Legislative Council, Johnson asked for $20,000 to hire the lobbyist-husband of his committee aide, Debra Higgins, to write the report. He said the document would be ready on the first day of the 2010. Johnson promoted Mark Higgins an attorney who was editor of his laws school review, as virtually the only person in Alaska with the time and ability to write the report. “I’m very comfortable that we will have a fair and balanced report … I just want to make sure it’s factual and fair to both sides,” Johnson said. Legislative leaders rejected Johnson’s funding request and

House Speaker Mike Chenault told Johnson to finish  his job. Johnson also claimed to have an opinion from the Legislative Ethics Committee approving his proposal to hire his staffer’s husband. He did not respond to repeated phone calls and emails requesting an interview and, to date has refused to provide a copy of the ethics opinion.

The report was originally due on the first day of this year’s legislative session and was supposed to contain task force recommendations to resolve salmon conservation and allocation disputes in Cook Inlet, according to SCR 21, the  resolution passed in 2008 that created the task force. Sen. Charlie Huggins (R-Wasilla), the sponsor of SCR 21, a task force member and consistent critic of the Cook  Inlet commercial fishing fleet also refused to respond to an interview request. An aide to Huggins said he was not available for a telephone interview because he was “out of town.” Johnson’s office indicated by email last week that he would release a draft unedited version of the report. The 96-page document he release contains no index or table of contents and amounts to a legalistic brief in favor of massive reallocation of Cook Inlet sockeye.

NO RECOMMENDATIONS INTENDED

At the last meeting of the task force Jan. 29 Johnson said “It is not my intention to provide recommendations from the committee. I don’t think we have time to do that.” He invited task force members to offer individual recommendations but none ever did. It is not clear whether any other members of the task force saw the draft report before it was released or to what extent they agree with its conclusions. At the Sept. 3 meeting Johnson declared, “We are basically going to be boiling down the testimony from the department and user groups. There will not be editorial comment involved.”

Yet the report, in the schizophrenic style of right wing cable TV ranter Glenn Beck, is full of pro-sport fishing recommendations. On Page 5 it declares, “What this report does not do — and should not do — is draw firm conclusions on many of the issues. To do so would be inappropriate.”

‘REASONABLE CONCLUSIONS SUPPORTED’

Five lines later Johnson continues, “Statements made in this report summarize the Task Force’s examination of those issues, and draws reasonable conclusions where supported by verifiable, objective data.” Johnson devotes several pages to criticisms of Department of Fish & Game management that are contained in a2007 assessment of Cook Inlet salmon management prepared by a third-party auditor for the Marine Stewardship Council. Headquartered in London the group certifies that fisheries are managed sustainably, based on United Nations standards. Alaska’s salmon fishery has been certified by the MSC since 2000. The MSC report was not reviewed at any task force meeting and it is unlikely most panel members have read it to date. The report was discussed only briefly at an Oct. 9, 2008 task force meeting where Rep. Bill Stoltze (R-Chugiak) suggested groups he did not identify were “trying to kill the (MSC) messenger” because the organization “had a lot of concerns about the sustainable management of Upper Cook Inlet.”

The agenda for that hearing included only presentations by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. Following the session ASMI Executive Dir. Ray Riutta said Stoltze’s claim  regarding MSC were unexpected. “I haven’t heard MSC say anything about the Upper Cook Inlet or any other fishery in Alaska not being sustainable. I was surprised by that statement,” Riutta said. Brad Ack, then director of the MSC program in the Americas, also said Stoltze was mistaken. “The MSC does not have any concerns” about sustainable salmon management in Cook Inlet, Ack said following the October meeting. He said stakeholders, such as Stoltze’s sport fishing and lodge owner constituents, may have complained about the state’s salmon management in comments to the MSC during the annual reviews required under the five-year certification. In a tactic used throughout the task force report Johnson devotes extensive verbiage to a dire concerns relating to commercial harvesting, then briefly suggest they may not be true and should be investigated.

On Page 21 of the report Johnson quotes the MSC reviewer’s statement: “Of particular concern to the reviewers has been a prevailing belief in the management system that fisheries cannot pose a significant risk to salmon sustainability where habitats are intact. Until this belief has been thoroughly vetted documented and published in the scientific literature, this review must continue to treat this view as an untested hypothesis.” Johnson doesn’t mention that the Alaska salmon fishery was fully recertified by the MSC in 2008, but declares, “Whether or not those statements fairly characterize ADF&G policies, the report’s conclusion that based on MSC standards Susitna sockeye are a “depleted stock” should be cause for concern by state policy makers and fishery managers.”

In a section titled

“Upper Cook Inlet Salmon Allocation Summary,” Johnson writes on Page 50, “Another consideration in Upper Cook Inlet salmon allocation is the extent to which aggressive prosecution of the Upper Cook Inlet commercial sockeye salmon fishery may be contributing to the sharp declines in Northern District Susitna sockeye salmon stocks, and thereby threatening the continued sustainability of those fisheries.”

He says the issue needs more investigation and that the task force “could not make any determination on that issue based on the limited time and ADF&G data available.” A few lines later he writes “To the extend Upper Cook Inlet salmon management practices that favor commercial fisheries threaten the sustainability of Northern District salmon stocks the practice must be changed. “Johnson repeatedly blames his failure to meet deadlines or to complete the charges imposed in SCR 21 on the lack of funding and time for deliberations by task force members. He does not mention that he opposed an amendment during House floor debate of the resolution offered by Speaker Chenault to set the report deadline at December 2009. Johnson also rejected warnings that from Chenault, among others, that the project could not be completed without dedicated legislative staff or a budget to hire outside help. Johnson writes that “major new studies” on the economic impact of sport and commercial fishing were only completed at the end of December 2008, inferring that the information was not expected. He does not mention that the task force was well aware that the sport fishing value report, begun in 2007, had always been slated for publication in December 2008 and was completed on schedule.

By contrast, Johnson never published a work plan for the task force or any long-term schedule of meetings or subjects that would be addressed.  Johnson also seems to deny 50 years of successful state salmon management. “It became clear to Task Force members that on many Cook Inlet salmon fisheries management issues there is insufficient scientific data on which to base definitive conclusions,” he writes on Page 5 of the report. He also calls for “immediate action” and more information regarding Susitna Valley sockeye followed by the statement, “The sheer complexity of most allocative or management issues involving Cook Inlet salmon fisheries preclude the Task Force from offering the Legislature definitive answers to many of the issues raised in SCR 21.” Johnson later proposes a wholesale reallocation of salmon to sport and personal use harvesters suggesting a 50% shift to sport anglers would be economically justifiable.

ALASKA SPORT FISHING ‘BRAND’ UNMATCHED

In a section headed, “What the New Upper Cook Inlet Numbers Tell Us,” Page 67, Johnson draws a variety of  conclusions based on the two reports the task force didn’t have time to analyze. The second was titled “The SeafoodIndustry in Alaska’s Economy,”  written by the consulting group Northern Economics for the Marine Conservation Alliance. Drawing variously from the two reports Johnson says the “economic contribution” to Alaska from the Upper Cook Inlet sport fishery is $630 million while the comparable first wholesale value of the commercial harvest is only $30.7 million. Johnson raises the prospect that commercial fishing in Cook Inlet may be headed for extinction while the sport fishing industry there has a world monopoly on the wild salmon fishing experience. “The radically divergent economic trends of the two segments of the Upper Cook Inlet salmon fishery during the past 15 years demonstrate that the future demand and value of one ‘use’ is decreasing, or is at best stagnant and likely to remain so,” he suggests.He writes on Page 70 that the “Alaska sport fishing brand” can’t be matched “anywhere.” On Page 71 he observes, ” In contrast the Upper Cook Inlet commercial salmon fishing industry has no dominant position for its product in the world market and no ability to gain one.” Apparently unaware that the Chilean farmed salmon industry collapsed earlier this year because of rampant diseases among its pen-raised fish, Johnson says, “dynamic and irreversible changes in the global salmon product marketplace” are also responsible for decline of the value of Cook Inlet wild salmon. Referring to a 2004 study he writes, “The introduction of large quantities of farmed fish, particularly farmed coho from Chile,  has to a great extent displaced Alaskan wild salmon in the critical Japanese frozen salmon market.”

BLEAK PROGNOSIS FOR COOK INLET FLEET

“From a basic supply and demand standpoint therefore the long term economic prognosis does not look good for the Upper Cook Inlet commercial salmon fishery,” he adds. Johns does acknowledge a certain need to maintain a Cook Inlet commercial fleet. “To the extent commercial fishing is necessary to guarantee the sustainability of Cook Inlet salmon runs (to prevent overescapement) or important maximizing total economic gains from the fishery the continued viability of the commercial sector would have to be ensured,” he writes. However he also suggests an increase in personal use harvesting could further reduce the need for commercial vessels.

Johnson also suggests the economic gain from expanded sport fishing overwhelms any loss to commercial harvesters. “As an example even a reallocation as large as 50% of commercial harvest could be offset with an increase of only 8.5% in nonresident sportfish spending.”

Laws for the SEA is written and published by Bob Tkacz at Juneau, Alaska. All rights reserved. ©Copyright 2009 Robert P. Tkacz.

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NSRAA Seeking Nominations for Board of Directors

There are five commercial fishing seats on the NSRAA Board of Directors whose terms expire in March 2010.  They are:

Cheyne Blough – At large gillnet

Rafe Allensworth – At large power troll

Dean Haltiner – Petersburg seine

Richie Davis – At Large troll

Sven Stroosma – At large seine

Nominations must be submitted to the NSRAA office by 5 pm on the first full meeting day of the fall NSRAA Board Meeting on Nov 30-Dec 2nd.  A nomination petition must be signed by three other permit holders involved in the commercial salmon fishery in ADFG Districts 9-16.

NSRAA’s Board of Directors meets twice a year and the association pays for the cost attending the meeting. 

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SSRAA seeking Nominations for Board of Directors

The following Board of Director gear group seats expire December 2009:

Nick Babich, Seine

Dean Barker, Gillnet

Greg Rice, Gillnet

Dave Otte, Power troll

SSRAA is seeking nominations for qualified individuals to serve in these seats for three year terms starting Jan 2010.

The Board hold approximately five meetings a year October through May, usually on a Friday evening.  All travel expenses and board/committee fees are paid by SSRAA.  Additional involvement in special committees of the Board is at the discretion of the individual board members.  Please submit your nomination with a brief biography for each candidate by October 20, 2009.  Appointments will be made at the December 2009 Board of Directors meeting.

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