Thursday, May 31, 2018

Trimming the fleet

Southeast Alaska salmon seiners are mounting yet another effort to reduce their ranks.

Recently, seiners were invited to submit bids to sell and permanently retire their state fishing permits.

A total of 37 bids came in, and the Southeast Revitalization Association board on May 24 voted to accept 36 of them.

The 36 accepted bids total just over $10.1 million, which is right around the amount of federal loan money available for the permit buyback.

What's next?

Probably after this fishing season, Southeast salmon seine permit holders — currently 315 of them — will vote in a referendum on whether the fleet agrees to shoulder the loan to complete the buyback.

In 2012, Southeast seiners approved a $13.1 million loan to remove 64 permits.

But in 2017, a vote to retire 22 more permits from the fishery failed.


Anonymous said...

This is great for the se seine fleet. Reduce the competition, increase the average gross stock, building a smaller, more stable fishery for the future generations to buy into. It is also a great way to address the "graying" of the fleet, as seiners who are considering retirement can either use this buy back, or fish a couple more seasons til things turn around, and sell their permit to someone younger who will be left with paying for the loan that the current sellers voted for, at higher price, given there will be less permits available.
For the economics of the region, it really sucks. Processing will consolidate to fewer communities, which will have a crippling effect on the communities that lose processing that have invested in capitol projects to service the industry. 36 vessels that currently buy food, fuel, gear, provide 180 direct jobs and undetermined amount of indirect jobs, pay moorage, use haulouts, etc, will be lost to the region, as there are few, if any other fisheries in the region that they could be used for. The state really dropped the ball in facilitating this.
There's a reason fish school up. It's because there is safety in numbers. Small schools are more vulnerable. For that reason, the seiners, in voting for this, have done not only themselves, but the entire industry, and the region, a real injustice.

Anonymous said...

How about this buyback consider that the State of Alaska's economy is involved. Weed out the out-of-state fishermen first. Seiners in Alaska use to be the rural key to a payday where paydays are hard to come by.


Anonymous said...

Oh, and kick these wanna be fishermen out of state. You know, the commercial charter boat fleet that has wrecked fishing as we know it. Yeah, isn't that what this is about?


Anonymous said...

That's not the whole story, Wes.

In 2008, SRA hired Boy Ben to lobby his dad and got free money from Uncle Ted and used it to buy out 35 permits

In 2012, SRA got a fed loan and used it to buy 64 more permits. The guys still fishing have to pay it off.

In 2013, SRA asked for bids got a few (10?) bids and didn't accept any to buy out. The bids were too high.

In 2014, SRA tried again and all the bids were still too high. Everybody was cutting a fat hog in the ass and nobody wanted to sell.

In 2016, they again asked for bids and this time accepted 22 of them. But the fleet looked at the numbers said no way and the whole thing got voted down.

Now in 2018 were in a 2016 repeat. SRA accepts 26 bids and another wasted time vote coming.

Anonymous said...

If it passes it will definitely be time for re allocation , kind of hard to
argue against giving trollers & gillnetters a bigger piece of the pie at that point.

Anonymous said...

$272k each, How does the buyback work? Do all the permit holders need to put in for the buyback or is it just the active guys?

It would be funny if only the active guys pay and the non actives get the benefit of increased permit values.

Anonymous said...

The purpose of this buyback is to create an exclusive fishery to ensure the wealth of permit holders and permit values.

It clearly exceeds the constitutional purposes of limited entry.