Our Friend, Groundswell Fisheries Movement Founder Stephen R. Taufen has passed away

Stephen R. Taufen, a prolific writer on commercial fishing issues, was air ambulanced to Anchorage, and was hospitalized at Providence Hospital with an inoperable hematoma. Stephen was in intensive care for a few days, and later, out of intensive care, was lucid, and appeared to be recovering. Stephen’s hematoma began growing again, he lost consciousness and, with family advice and consent, has been removed from life support. Stephen passed away this morning at 03:45. He was the Founder of Groundswell Fisheries Movement. Truthfully, we have lost a great man who cannot be replaced. We extend our sympathy and sorrow to all that know him, his mother, his brother, and his friends. Steve was a man with heart, dignity, and fairness. Perhaps a look at Groundswell and the content he posted on his website will give people a sense of what he stood for. He was always loyal to the underdog. 10:46

  • Ec Newell Man

    Well said Bore Head, and an extremely insightful, provactive writer and advocate for fishermen who I enjoyed not only reading, by posting a link to his site over the years due to his information. I do believe the site is now down if looking for: groundswellalaska.com – “NOTICE: This domain name expired on 9/7/2017 and is pending renewal or deletion.” I would re-check for the proper link. Anyhow, the loss of someone who was on point in truthful discussions on fishery issues.

    • Borehead

      I just talked to Al Stein who mentioned the expiration. I don’t see the notice when I click the link. I’ll be looking into it, Ec. Too much info there to let disappear. The loss of Steve is weighing heavy on my mind. I was not prepared for this.

      • Joel Hovanesian

        Stephen will be missed by all who continue the fight against this unholy crusade focused on our industry and way of life.
        Deepest condolences to his friends and family

  • alaskagal

    It’s difficult to imagine going forward without Stephen’s voice. I’d hate to lose
    his Groundswell writings as well … how ironic that his domain name may have expired as he was slipping away physically.
    Sadly I never could convince Stephen to give Facebook a try.

    Hepatitis really kicked Stephen’s butt these past couple of years, and he struggled financially. I’m eternally grateful to Lu Dochtermann for being such a mensch and giving Steve a place to stay. Like so many of you reading this, Stephen always stood up for what was right. When I first met him he was encouraging young crewmen to fight and organize before their livelihood was stripped away by quota management. Every business in Kodiak had Steve’s “No Ratz” signs. (The NPFMC tried to shove privatization up our asses by calling it “Rationalization” – Stephen called them what they were — Ratz).

    Steve knew he was on borrowed time and tried to warn us. I know he wasn’t afraid of stepping into the next world, But his death breaks my heart and I’ll miss him terribly. We’ve all lost a brother.

  • Borehead

    Fishy accounting
    Whistle-blower Stephen Taufen claims state officials are ignoring an accounting scandal on the scale of Enron.
    WHEN WASHINGTON Attorney General Christine Gregoire vowed in January to sue Enron over state pension funds that evaporated when the Houston-based energy company imploded, Stephen Taufen rolled his eyes. Taufen, once a “young tiger” for Japanese seafood companies—a hotshot accountant who could make numbers stack up when others couldn’t—says Gregoire and other Washington officials have a homegrown corporate accounting scandal right under their noses, but they won’t touch it.
    Taufen says the corruption cost him his career. He became a whistle-blower for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after witnessing firsthand what he claims are fraudulent accounting practices in the seafood processing industry—a $3 billion business in the Puget Sound region—that cheat both fishermen and the U.S. government. In 1995, Taufen led the IRS to a $1.3 million claim against a major processor, UniSea, Inc., which has its corporate headquarters in Redmond; its parent company is Nippon Suisan Kaisha. Taufen says he’s been waiting seven years for state investigators to pursue his charges that the accountants hired by the company acted to conceal deliberate fraud and tried to discredit him. click here to read the story http://archive.seattleweekly.com/2002-04-17/news/fishy-accounting/

  • Oh he will be so missed, he did stand up for the underdog…he was one of the first people who thought my research on fishing communities was relevant to rationalization and IFQs.. I sent some of my thesis to him (grad school) and he posted it. He truly was out for crew members and communities…a very sad day. Devoted his life to those of us in the “fight” So sorry to hear this.