Gulf of Alaska fishermen wary of Congressional intrusion into council process

Editor’s note: Stephen Taufen of Groundswell Fisheries Movement did not write the petition distributed by AMCC. This article refers to a separate memo of his own distributed to interested parties in which he alludes to Rep. Beutler. Gulf of Alaska fishermen suspect that Washington, D.C., politics might come into play for fisheries regulations they want left to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. A letter circulated by the Alaska Marine Conservation Council and signed by 250 Gulf of Alaska fishermen and residents was sent to each of Alaska’s three congressional delegation members. The letter asks that the Alaska’s representatives in the nation’s capital oppose any legislation intended to press Gulf of Alaska fisheries regulations. “Specifically, we request our Alaska delegation to support development of a Gulf of Alaska Trawl Bycatch Management Program (aka catch share) in the Council process so all stakeholders may contribute to a transparent process,” the letter asks. Read the rest here12:05 Additional information by scrolling to the comment section.

  • Borehead

    The Groundswell Fishery Movement has opposed Alaska federal fishery political shenanigans, from the 1990’s Bering Sea & Aleutian Islands pollock allocations, the deceivingly named American Fisheries Act, to the Crab IFQ privatizations. Groundswell long noted a species by species march to convert stewardship fisheries rights — on resources the USA does not even own — into privatized rights for a select few sealords and their linked buying companies.

    Last Thursday, Stephen Taufen exposed what appears to be the latest shenanigan, once again identifying the desperation of end-run legislation. He told Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Dan Sullivan what was going on, and refused to personally endorse a petition others had put forth. Catch shares and allocating harms to the environment, incentives, are not solutions: they’re greed and giveaways.

    Senator Ted Stevens repeatedly aided and abetted public fishery embezzlements – whether through closed door legislation drafting, tucked in must-pass Appropriations Bills, or by violating Senate rules while employing regulation-negotiation tactics.

    Since 1977, over 35 proposals have attempted to reach privatization of the Gulf of Alaska groundfisheries. A few boats and companies continue to feel entitled to an embezzlement themselves, and are already working against the Council and Commerce process.

    Will Alaska’s senators force the mutant and closeted legislative language draft out into the public vortex before June’s North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s meeting in Kodiak?