Has the Time Come? Joel Hovanesian ask’s a provocative question.

Many  years ago I often wondered what would have happened if the entire nations commercial fishermen went on strike. And I mean all aspects of the commercial fishing industry. All coasts, all fisheries, everything, the whole kit and caboodle. It was at a time when the industry was beginning to feel the effects of legal abuses of the court system by the environmental organizations that were itching to control the way fishermen went about their business. It was probably in the early ninety’s. Read more

  • – Moderator

    Strikes are nothing new in the fisheries.
    The herring fishermen struck in Sitka in 2010 for example.

    • sculpin spine

      That’s one small place. A tiny piece of the puzzle with predictable insignificant meaning. Strength in numbers is the only way out of this mess.

  • Dick Grachek

    The current general state of the economy is very similar to the existing conditions when FDR and the unions helped the working families out of the hole in the 1930’s. The major corporations: OIL, Steel, Rail, Coal, Lumber, etc. were running everything, including the government, and people were literally starving until FDR lowered the boom on the oligarchs, using the unions as leverage.

    Similar times? Maybe it’s time for a similar remedy. At this point we can’t be idealistic. Organize to Survive!

  • Dick Grachek

    Better yet, ORGANIZE TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE!

    • – Moderator

      Our father was a union man
      some day i’ll be one too.
      The bosses fired daddy
      what’s our family gonna do?

  • Dick Grachek

    Yes,yes,Thank you. It give me chills!

    ’nuff said.

  • – Moderator

    Nice piece, Joel, and it does provoke the thought of unity for the industry, which is needed.
    I was listening to John Furlongs show from Canada the other night, and there was some discussion of permit holders working from the same vessel to consolidate expenses which is a realistic goal. However, that comes at a cost to the crew, who would be displaced.
    From what I understand, there is a union in Canada, and the guy being interviewed was quite militant about union involvement in his affairs. It will be interesting to learn more about the Canadian situation.
    Looking at the issue here, I can see how this would be a sticking point for permit owners here.
    I have read that there is an interest in Alaska to employ non citizen labor, which could, and would happen in the drive to profit at the expense of US Fishermen.
    The reality is, for the cost of a round trip plane ticket, the foreign crewmen could be had on the cheap.
    The impact on local communities from loss of wages and jobs would be negative, but a positive for the corporations!
    From a tactical position, the time to organize is before the foreign labor can be hired.
    Can’t you see it? Fishing boats manned by people that will spend very little money in the ports they tied up in.
    It is time to organize.

    • Lots of issues to ponder for sure. Sad it’s come to this. The government could fuck up a free lunch.

  • Deb Shrader

    Great piece Joel.

  • STRIPEDBASSHOLE

    The Supreme Court needs to see and hear our plight. Martha Coakley still has a shot.
    Then we need a true Congressional Investigation.

    Or we could just Shit on the whole Lots Desks. Doggie Style with Mans best friends help. Let them sort that SHIT OUT!!!
    Bag them…
    Way to go Joel FUCK THEM FUCK’EM ALL!!!

  • Ed Everich

    Joel, just a brief comment on this that I think ties into the “big picture”.
    Last year, fishing in state waters, 100#s of Fluke to 50#s of Fluke to 00#s of Fluke, ASFMC driven regulations, 50#s of Winter Flounder.
    When we both started fishing, (40+ years ago), you never heard of the ASMFC or if you did it was a low key group that for the most part was a “paper tiger”.
    What happened??? Look at them now !!!! Need I say more, and this is only one example, one group that has been allowed to gain power.
    Ed Everich

  • It is out of control. What ever happened to common sense. God help us.

  • liteangel3367

    For far too long I’ve DREAMED of every person/business related to the industry going on some type of strike or some mass show of unity like bringing in a days catch, throwing nothing away, to show there is plenty of fish to be had by all. The land based businesses could be waiting to help offload all the boats. No need to import the toxic, highly polluted fish from other countries. Stacking all of the totes in the parking lots……. Could anyone imagine the amount of totes there would be?????? How high the stacks would go??????? How long the rows could be?????? In every port, in every state, in every fishing community. Not just the big commercial boats , but the head boats and the rec boats, all of the above?????? Despite the differences that rec and commercial guys think they have regarding the practices and conservation, WE ARE ALL ONE IN THE SAME!!! The enviro zealots ( & others) have convinced many that a division of Fishermen is necessary and they have succeeded in dividing us for too long. I don’t know if a union is the answer or not. The problem with that is it’s a regulated industry, too, and it could take years to put something like that together. Can we last that long???? I don’t know. I still dare to dream that unity is a possibility. I just think we need to start thinking and acting as a whole. Getting back to meetings, as much as we hate going, it has to be done. Getting back to D.C. and give a voice to the real needs of the industry. Signing onto letters that give our elected officials the backing to go to bat for us. Yes, there are plenty of reps who will say what needs to be said, but we have to do our part. I must take myself to task as well!!!!! I’m so very guilty of not being as involved as I should be. I was very involved, but 8 years of an administration that gave nothing but lip service, takes it out of ya!!!! We must come to terms that it’s a brand new day and a brand new presidency. Maybe now is the time to get off our duffs, AGAIN, and do what needs to be done. Together, for the better of everyone, not just one sector or one group or one fisherman. What’s best for us all. We will not always agree on what that should be, but, it’s time the conversation got started again. Joel has always been there fighting the fight, several others too, but it can’t always be the same people. We need everyone. It doesn’t have to be all the time. Some of the time and now and again will make more of a difference than you know. As long as we all participate, it certainly can’t hurt to try. God knows something has to happen. If we sit idly by and say nothing, the worst will happen and we will have no one to blame but ourselves.