Thursday, August 16, 2012

Parnell wants Cook Inlet added to disaster list

Here's the press release:

Aug. 16, 2012

Governor requests Upper Cook Inlet fishery disaster declaration

JUNEAU — Gov. Sean Parnell today urged Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank to declare a fishery disaster for the Chinook salmon fisheries in the Cook Inlet area.

Last month, the governor requested a federal disaster declaration for the 2011 and 2012 Chinook salmon seasons on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, and at that time he noted Cook Inlet fisheries were on a similar path.

The Magnuson-Stevens Act authorizes various forms of federal assistance through the National Marine Fisheries Service when the Commerce secretary determines there is a commercial fishery failure due to a fishery resource disaster.

"Upper Cook Inlet salmon fisheries were severely restricted and even closed for much of the season in order to conserve Chinook salmon for escapement," Parnell said. "These fisheries are economic drivers for the local and regional economy, providing direct and indirect jobs, income to families, bringing in tens of thousands of visitors, and supporting local businesses. Alaskans suffered substantial losses as a direct result of the decline of the Chinook salmon runs.

"I cannot overstate the importance of fisheries to the economy of the Upper Cook Inlet region. Throughout this area, impacts are being felt by commercial fishermen, sport guides, fish processors, and those who sell fuel, tackle, supplies, groceries and lodging. Local governments will feel the impact of lost revenue to their economic base. The Upper Cook Inlet salmon fisheries affected by the decline of the Chinook salmon runs are crucial to the economic vitality of the region and the well-being of Alaskans."

A federal disaster declaration will not bring automatic assistance to the region as federal appropriation is necessary to provide funding.

In July, Parnell announced the creation of a top-level team of fisheries scientists to conduct a systematic analysis and provide more data about why Alaska is experiencing low returns of Chinook salmon.

Here's the governor's letter to the acting secretary.


Anonymous said...

The Central district drift fleet has been intercepting northern cook inlet fish for years and now it has finally come to the point that stocks are nearing the tipping point. the genetics have been showing this fact for some time yet the drift fleet goes untouched. Every time the Alaska Board of Fish has been asked to get the sockeye and Chinooks into the northern rivers, the Dept of Fish and Game has some argument against any proposal that would help and the commercial people on the Board then have the ammo to go with the commercial interests in the Dept. How will the State ever address this issue properly when there are three, that's right three, members of the board who are active commercial fishers fishing many permits for salmon and in each case voting as a block to prevent commercial fishing restrictions. they could care less about conservation and have shown that mind set every time they vote. And the Dept gives them the one sided view that always takes the comm fishers point of view. I feel sorry for the sports director and his employees who have no authority in a meaningful way to stop this raping of the Cook inlet resources.

Anonymous said...

So the Gov licks the boot of the man (Fed Gov) that he sues every other day?

Anonymous said...

Yep, Parnell is happy to put a hand out to the feds when it suits him, while suing/bashing the government every chance he gets. Just one example of what a two faced hypocrit Parnell is. He's just as soon close the Inlet to fishing altogether and use it only for oil/gas/coal/sewage, etc. Fish friendly Parnell is not.

Anonymous said...

The analysis proposed by the governor is already being done to a large extent by the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Initiative (AYKSSI) see: Why doesn't the State put more financial support into these efforts - rather than asking their staff reinvent the wheel?

Anonymous said...

Let's see a 'salmon disaster declaration' for the only region in Alaska that has had the only Tier II Subsistence Salmon restriction for at least 20 years now - Norton Sound - specifically the Nome area rivers.

Anonymous said...

wow give them disaster relief and they chomp on the hand trying to feed them, every one.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, where is that "salmon disaster declaration" for the Nome area rivers??????? Documented declines for 30 years and a lot of BS on "record runs" going back as long as the problem. Manipulation of the illiterate and ignorant is what's going on. When the people wake up to this blantant manipulation of the facts, it will not be pretty. Except the people are afraid of the bullies. Keep them down, keep them dumb is their mantra.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, it's spelled P-A-R-N-U-L-L, you know as in the Null Hypothesis.

Anonymous said...

There is a meeting scheduled in Willow to address the problem. There will be Cora, Regnart and some local lawmakers in Willow on Wednesday. It will be a real dog and pony show. This is politics at its best. Let the people rant and vent, promise them a study of the problem, and get the heck out of there. Does anybody really believe that Cora will ever have the courage to buck her Petersburg commercial fishing buddies and her father by cutting back on the commercial harvest of fish by the Kenai Drift fleet. And that is the ONLY way fish will get to the Northern district. It would be almost heresy for her to protect the fish based on her background. But it is an election year and the promises will be made and in the end nothing likely to be done.

Anonymous said...

Any word about that meeting of the great minds in Willow?

The person who posted the comment on the studies done by AYKSSI asked a good question. Why not use what's already out there?