Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A professional Board of Fisheries?

Down in Juneau, a legislative committee this week is holding a series of hearings on Upper Cook Inlet salmon.

The inlet is the most contentious fishing zone in the state, with commercial, sport and other sectors continually battling over the salmon resource.

The state Board of Fisheries recently finished a tough, two-week meeting on Upper Cook Inlet.

One topic arising in the hearings before the Senate Resources Committee, chaired by Anchorage Sen. Cathy Giessel, is whether it might be time to move to a professional fish board, rather than the appointed, volunteer and generally layman board we have now.

Serving on the Board of Fisheries, if done right, is a big and tedious job. Members annually must sit through a string of multiweek meetings, consider hundreds of often arcane proposals, and read mountains of paper from advocates, biologists and fishermen.

Tempers can flare at these meetings, as seemingly everyone in attendance argues his particular issue is absolutely just and vital.

One wonders, in fact, why any sane person would care to sit on the seven-member Board of Fisheries.

The question is whether a professional board might be better suited for the weighty job of setting state fisheries policy.

Today, the Alaska Senate Majority held a press conference and spent a few minutes talking about the board.

Click here to see the press conference. The pertinent discussion begins about 21 minutes in.


Anonymous said...

Watch the 1st hearing here


Presentations are here http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_documents.asp?chamber=SRES&session=28&bill=&date1=20140324&time2=1530

Anonymous said...

Oh yes! a professional board is just what we do NOT need. The current process lets the public play a huge role in the outcome of regulatory proposals and gives the BOF opportunity to learn about the fisheries. A professional Board would do all of its work behind closed doors and the public would very likely be excluded. UCI is an anomaly which should not determine how all of the fisheries should be regulated. And you can be sure that if the BOF had made some decisions that favored the commercial users, there would be no clamor to change anything. It all depends on whose ox is being gored. Also you will notice that the drift fishermen are strangely silent. If the ESSN group is shut down because of low King abundance or if it is eliminated because of an initiative guess who stands to benefit most? You got it. UCIDA! Of course they will give some lip service to help the ESSN group, but that will be all. They are secretly hoping for the worst. They just can't say it out loud.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: not even a cleaver try to divide the two gear types. Many set net and drift families hold both limited entry prmits. The issues in UCI involve misinformation by the sport industry/KRSA/MAT SU folks and having poor BOF members and public process.

Anonymous said...

The B of F is a Joke.Lots of dirty money going around at the meeting.Fall low the money,user group with money get what they wont.

Anonymous said...

3:48, I like the play on words you used; "not even a 'cleaver' try to divide the two gear groups. Cleaver and divide. Cute! My guess, however, is that you had no idea what you were doing. And, you are surely aware that the numbers of those who own and fish both drift and set net permits in UCI is very low. Not "many' as you claim. It just doesn't work as you well know. Yes the drifters will be big beneficiaries of any restriction or elimination of the set netters. You know it and so does everyone else. Not an attempt to "cleaver' the groups, just facts. Won't and can't happen, but if we could look at ballots cast in the initiative by the drifters, bet that most would be to eliminate the set net fishery. Heck, they are not stupid.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's time to revise the proposal guidelines and require signatures of at least 50% of the population that would be effected by a change in the laws. As it is now, any game is in if you appear to have powerful influence such as big money or political power behind your proposal.