Friday, March 30, 2012

A new player enters rockfish legal fray

Fishermen's Finest Inc. is seeking to intervene in the lawsuit major Kodiak processors have filed against the federal government over the new Central Gulf of Alaska rockfish catch shares program.

As you will recall, the processors argue the program is unlawful because it created shares only for fishing vessel owners.

Seattle-based Fishermen's Finest operates two large and well-known trawlers in Alaska, the American No. 1 and the U.S. Intrepid.

In its motion to intervene, Fishermen's Finest argues that if the processors win, the company would lose valuable quota.

What's more, a processor victory "would upend the rationalization process for many fisheries in the North Pacific," the motion says.

Rationalization means cutting up a fishery into individual shares. Fishery managers in Alaska have embraced rationalization as a way to alleviate safety and other problems that arise when boats "race for fish."

The processor lawsuit strikes at a burning policy question: Should the government award shares only to fishermen, or should processors receive them too?

While Gulf rockfish is not among Alaska's largest or richest commercial fisheries, it's apparent the rockfish lawsuit could turn into a titanic legal battle.

Deckboss hears we are likely to see more fishing vessel owners file to intervene in the case.


Anonymous said...

Too bad Uncle Ted wasn't still around. He would just tie it to an unread omnibus bill shoved through with every other senators pork, get it signed into law, save a lot of fighting. The little fishermen don't deserve free market sales, they don't contribute enough to campaign coffers to be represented.

Anonymous said...

Quota Shares are Total Bull$hit!!!...Right to Access should be for anybody that thinks they can have a profitable career. If the competition, in the race for fish, is too great, and you aren't profiting, then get out! To Privatize or Rationalize resources based on Safety??? and select qualifying years, is absurd! Let Open Access determine who stays in the fisheries and who closes their doors. If you can't make big boat payments, get a smaller boat, or form a smaller company. The Processors will still get their fish and make a profit. Let free enterprising fishermen and open markets govern the resources. No one should be able to claim ownership to the oceans. It was never meant to be this way. There are too many that profit from making $$$ off the guy with his boots on! Also, denying the futures of young fishermen is not right! If you were born into the fisheries you will survive if you were taught well. The way it is now, it's the equivalent of saying, only Chevron, Exxon, Shell,and BP can drill for oil.
REPEAL THE MAGNUSON STEVENS ACT!!! and institute size limits in all fisheries. Equalize the Right to Access issue!

Anonymous said...

Telling someone who they can sell their product to is a violation of all laws of free enterprise. Why should I have to sell to company A for $1 a lb if company B would pay me $1.25? Would company A be happy to be required to sell their finished product to company D for 20% less than company F would pay them? I don't think so.

Requiring fishermen to sell to one company is a recipe for price fixing.

Anonymous said...

Processolr shares turn the whole basis of catch share programs. I am not intimate with the terms of the catch care program for the fishery in question, but catch shares are total BS. When was the last time you saw a processor overcapitalize a fishery??

In the rockfish fishery, a strictly-controlled (by RAM and NMFS Enforcement) "owner on board" requirement is the most appropriate system.

Anonymous said...

overcapitalize a fishery???

That's from back when processor's competed against each other, you know before the scabs took over at UFA.

It's way cheaper to buy the politician!

Lobster dinner with Ted; $50,000.00
Barbecue Pork with Don; $5000.00
Kenai Salmon Dinner with Lisa, Priceless from Bob Penny!

Smoked pork, in one of a number of regional variations of barbecue in the United States.

It's always been difficult to corner the pork market, just go ask our most famous pig farmer...

American #1
Fisherman's Finest?

Anonymous said...

Smaller boat is not the answer. The vessel needs to be able to handle the conditions encountered as well as be economically efficient and yet profitable for both the vessel, its owner, and the crew. If you want a share, buy a license, and a boat, equip it, insure it, hire a sufficient crew, address the applicable regulations, and fish.

Anonymous said...

Larger vessels contribute to continued and further depletion of the resources. To maintain balance of all fishery resources and support the food chain & eco-system. Vessel size limits should be in place for the various gear types related to their directed fisheries. Who needs a Giant C/P hovering over a resource, continually raping it, and stunting further biological growth? Especially when the encumberances of the damage done affects other directed fisheries. We need to wipe the blackboard clean and start over! To simply ignore the cause and effect issues at hand, is to admit to the rest of us that you are greedy and are recognizing mortality.

Anonymous said...

Treat the Earth well; It was Not Given to you by your parents!....It was loaned to you from your Children!
We Do Not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we Borrow It from our Children!

Anonymous said...