Privatized fisheries are poor public policy

What a week. Apple Inc. was further exposed by the U.S. Senate for its global tax avoidance “economic chutzpah.”

Tens of billions go untaxed within any world jurisdiction. Its defenders say it is all legal and claim it would be corporate malpractice not to fleece the world and keep more than $100 billion in “ocean income” away from the United States. One can’t help but think of how Dutch Harbor and Kodiak fish plant artificialities are largely economic branches of Japan’s multinational corporations, and how they think globally too.

Second, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council issued its discussion paper on Gulf of Alaska groundfish trawl bycatch management for the June meeting. It all but dictates the only solution is to take us forward into private corporate ownership of public fish resources through “catch shares” for groundfish, next. More economic chutzpah. It’s so audacious that it lists as a benefit of proceeding through quotas of “limited duration … [reducing] the need to identify all problem areas at the program’s outset.”

In other words, don’t look at the real problems, just let trawlers privatize public wealth now and sink their claws in for permanent quota ownership after everyone forgets what should have been analyzed beforehand. NOAA hates show-stoppers. That should not go over well in the city and borough’s joint fisheries work group morning meeting on Monday.

Apple’s tax avoidance lessons might finally jolt our assemblies into understanding why it is important to first have greater transparency and accountability when it comes to the Maruha, Marubeni, and other foreign schemers’ books.

Step one of GOA trawl privatization must include full data collection on captain and crew participation and compensation over the past decade.

That’s presuming we want to go along with NOAA catch share command to recklessly ignore the June 2012 NPFMC decision to reduce bycatch for all gear types by up to 15 percent.

The majority of the fleets, and especially crewmembers, don’t.

Kodiak hosted a young leaders’ conference – an Institute of the North program. Many young minds gathered, but there was no over-arching, unifying and magnetizing theme regarding “What do we lead?” However, many did mention energy and state resource rights.

How about fighting the resource curse and those politicians who would help give away our commonwealth to a few multinational corporations? I’d suggest we unify future leaders to protect Alaska — the ownership state — by developing new legislation establishing a Resource Economic Sovereignty Commission to protect our supplier share of global resource exploitations.

The RESC could have underlying boards of accountability and transparency for sectors like fishing, timber, mining, oil and gas.

Alaskans could know the place and profits of their resources in the globalized economy and know if they are getting our fair share. There will be scant public-serving roles for inspired leadership if we allow foreign-controlled corporations to complete their conversion of our resources into asset commodities that only they and outside equity firms will own or trade. Meanwhile, our Permanent Fund will be drained. You will be taxed. Sadly, Crab Fest begins with few crab likely to hit your plate.

You can thank crab privatization.

We can act to stop the chutzpah, and roadblock foreign resource carpetbaggers. Expand your unity by signing the petitions to take back the Legislature’s oil and gas giveaways. Next, show up at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday at Crab Fest at the Refuge center, and convince Sen. Mark Begich to start by ending catch share fishery privatization and working not to allocate but rather to reduce halibut, crab and salmon bycatch.

Don’t just settle for the kettle corn.