Monday, December 7, 2009

32-foot limit stays

The Alaska Board of Fisheries today rejected a proposal to eliminate the 32-foot length limit on salmon driftnet boats in Bristol Bay.

Proposal 15 failed on a 3-3 vote.

Board members voting in favor of the proposal were Bill Brown, Howard Delo and John Jensen.

Voting against were Karl Johnstone, Mel Morris and Janet Woods.

Vince Webster, a Bristol Bay permit holder, abstained.

I'll have more later on other major board votes today.


Anonymous said...

Love the reasoning - rural residents have a tought time finding capital to compete with permit holders from outside that region - cause they don't have access to money or capital for improvements due to the chronic low prices they get as harvesters in the local fishery.

The proposal sought to assist improvement in the quality of the product and hence the amount of money to be made in the fishery.

Regional economic development corporations can get grant money to provide for retro-fits.

The number one reason cited by economists for consistent lower prices for BB sockeyes compared to the rest of the state - product quality.

Local fear is locals don't have access to money and capital.

Locals who fish BB fishery get some of the lowest prices for BB sockeye, because of poor product quality.

Locals don't want to support a change in the fishery aimed at improvement in product quality.

And locals wonder why people are poor, hence they can't afford any money for improvements to their situation.

And locals wonder why there has been a steady erosion of the number of people who choose to live in the area that doesn't seem too concerned about supporting improvements to the region's number one jobs market.

Guess we shouldn't be too surprised with the 2010 census results, which probably will show a continuing gradual erosion in the number of people living in the BB region.

And an erosion in the number of people who earn more than the poverty level.

And the inevitable request for more welfare aid to support the people who don't have enough money to spend on improving the number one employment sector in the region.

I guess it is too confusing to consider trying to get credits and grants via the local economic development corporation to raise the tide of local's boats on a concept of a rising tide for all.

Let's just accept the continued decline in wages in rural Alaska, and be happy with episodes on Alaska State Troopers showing how real it is to live in the Bush.

Absolutely unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

I gotta agree with the first was time to change that old regulation.

Anonymous said...

Right on!!! It stays!!

Anonymous said...

bay guys are already on trip limits how much boat do they need?

Anonymous said...

bad guys are on trip limits? Don't those apply to everyone? I thought only the D boats got a (slightly) higher trip limit...please correct me if I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Yes, those bad guys trip limits?

Is that like the price limits, for the lowest ex-vessel sockeye prices paid in the world?

It's actually the deaf, dumb and blind who refuse to accept any changes needed to improve product quality, with the whole fleet sinking into poverty.

I see the bad guys, bought two limited entry drift permits for the bay during the week of the BOF meetings?

Reality, a confusing subject matter when you live in the world of fiction.

Anonymous said...

I think I'ts a sad comment on the BOF process when the rampant xenophobia that exists in rural S.W. Alaska spills over into a state bureucracy that now has created a dual standard regarding testimony based on ones address. This reads: Anyone wanting to do any restructuring to the Bristol Bay salmon fishery will now have to get permission from Mr. Robin Samuelsen before doing so. The reality is that 25% of the permit holders in the state have about 75% of the political clout and a considerable war chest. It will take a crisis in the fishery in order for any non-local to get any traction with the board. Regardless, the board has spoken, and now all of us can live with the consequences of their actions for the next 6 years.

Anonymous said...

There are more factors to the people moving out of the region than their own ignorance. Younger people are getting educations and the fields they work in are not offered in all villages. The economy all over the country is bad right now and living in rural Alaska is hard enough without the added pressure of higher fuel costs and less jobs. Don't let your hurt feeling over the SIZE cause you to attack the local people that still are trying to live in rural Alaska. There is only so many fish you can catch in a six hour period even with stacking your permits. If it were about adding length for processing room or freezer space that might be a different argument. Most people that are for bigger boats are to get an advantage in the fishery and be able to hold their fish for longer periods of time. Don't we hear the processors saying they DON't want us sitting on our fish for long periods of time. If any of you has taken an economy class you would begin to understand the supply and demand effect on the industry. The processors know we have 2 weeks to catch the majority of the fish during the season and we have proven in the past that we cannot stand together to demand the price we think we deserve for our fish. The high volume and short period of time we have to catch the fish are factors that keep the price lower than other fisheries. The fishery has taken long strides in the past few years to improve the quality of the fish and lets not let one issue get in the way of progress. We all have to go back out to the villages in the summer, lets not cause a bigger divide between locals and those of us that make a good living and take our money elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

allright, typing sucks. I meant to type "bay guys", which the poster prior to my post had mentioned.

Anonymous said...

And adding length for freezer space or processing room?

Could that happen with a catcher processor?

One really must wonder, about the critical thinking capability, of the BOF and local dranage resident, without a clue.

And shown by example, with the S.E. Troller, used as catcher processor for generations?

The resident fisher, and Board is obviously unfamilure with the Limited Entry Act, along with the Boards Lawyer, Lance Nelson as explained in Grunert, Carlson, and many other cases that cost the State Millions.

"Thirty Years of Limited Entry" by Chairman Frank Homan CFEC Commissioner.
"...As refinements are explored, fishermen need to be aware of the legal constraints on options. Several Alaska Supreme Court decisions enforce equal protection and equal access clauses of the State Constitution. In particular, Ostrosky (1983) and Johns (1988) provide the primary governing principal for the limited entry system as follows:
'To be constitutional, a limited entry wsystem should impinge as little as possible on the open fishery clauses consistent with the constitutional purposes of limited entry, namely, prevention of economic distress to fishermen and resource conservation.'
A case of recent significant importance is the Grunert(2005) decision..."inconsistent with the Limited Entry Act's purpose and policy." And finally, Enserch
(1989) and McDowell (1989) decisions pointing to the strength of the equal protection and equal access clauses of Alaska's Constitution. The Court has held that discrimination, for or against people, on the basis of where they live is not permissible."

Of course flunking comprehensive 4th grade reading is a requirement to be placed on the Board of Fish, or get a job with Lance Nelson's Jewish Law Team!

The Grunert Court? Still confusing Lance Nelson, who lost Grunert I, and still can't read Grunert II!
Trial Transcripts
"I think also the Act's use of economic dependance or anticipation of economic dependance on a fishery means that while permit holders don't have to do nothing but fish, they clearly can do things during the off season...I think that it changes sort of the economic model in another sort of more fundamental way as well. Under the limited entry system, holders who don't do well for whatever reason--bad luck, bad judgement, bad financews, bad equipment, who knows, are going to economically suffer, and ultimately their option is to -- you knowtheir end game is to sell their permit, get out of the fishery, and some new entrant will arrive on the scene. those who for whatever reasons are less able to succeed economically will rationally opt to participate as minimally as possible...That permit remains in their hands and new people don't come in, whether those are people from the local community or from Anchorage or from Seattle, that dosent matter..."

Of course when your a Private Corporation, and rule the Board of Fish, Liabilities are Confusing this Corporation, and State of Alaska!

Anonymous said...

An Indian respects a brave man, but he despises a coward.
Chief Joseph

Stuart M said...

Residents rule not BOF.

Those who were against permit stacking and longer vessels argue that the proposed changes to BB regulations is not fair to locals because they do not have the same access to capital that those in the lower 48 due. (Fritz Johnson BB times 12/2/2009). Simply not true check out the how much lending is going on right now. Nobody has access to funds right now. And if you were to acquire a loan you would still have to catch enough fish to pay for the debt service and then pay back the principle. The result is that your expense would definitely go up and it is unlikely that a larger boat would allow a fisher to catch more fish. Maybe sell a higher quality product but the benefit would not be realized in dollars immediately. I am hopeful that this will be true in the future.

In the case of permit stacking, I don't know how anybody can argue against it because the net result is that there is less web in the water in the aggregate. This helps increase the catch for every boat in the fleet, even those that don't invest in one red cent.

Also, permit values will increase. This is a good thing. I contend all permit holders should want this. Your equity in the fishery will grow. This improving the amount of money for fishers will receive when they exit the fishery, or the value that is passed down from fathers to sons, for those who wish to keep fishing rights in the family. This is what we want to happen when we purchase a home, right? Capital Gains in the name of the game in the investment world. Why would we want to keep the permit price down? If the entry price to the bay stays the same that means the income to fishers is staying flat. If the entry price increases it is because earning potential is improving. I hope that this will be a long term trend. I already know that the value of those fish are much more than what we are getting paid.

To continue on with the stacking issue, a fisher who purchases a 2nd permit to stack just doesn't realize the additional fish that that is caught as additional cash and put the money in directly into his jeans. Those folks have increased expenses to catch more fish which may or may not be financially beneficial. I have spoken to folks that can afford an additional permit but for them it just doesn’t pencil out. Here is some quick math. Currently, permits are trading at 85K. If one were to take a loan for that amount at 8% it would cost the captain $6,800 in interest alone for the additional 50 fathoms. For the 2009 season PPSF has paid .68 for reds, therefore that fisherman has to catch an excess of 10,000 with that extra 50f net and that is just to cover interest not even paying down the principle.

I listening to KDLG radio online and opponents don’t seem to factor in the cost of the extra permit; they just say that “D” permitted boats nets just keep on going and going or something along the lines of it’s not fair “the playing field is not equal”. I am here to say that it is equal economics adjusts the price so that it is and further more every “D” helps out the single permit boat by removing 100 fathoms of web. This is the main reason I can’t understand why this regulation wasn’t embraced by all fishers. It’s much more than how many bags are delivered by that boat with the “D” in the tender line. Think about it and thank those D boats for helping you improve your catch.

Third generation BB fisherman from the lower 48.

Anonymous said...

And Permit Stacking in the real States of the Union?

Like that San Franscisco Herring Gillnet Fishery, with two permits, and two 65 fathom shackles?

What a Concept that 14th Amendment of 1868, passed a year after Sewards Folly!

Or that Puget Sound Dungeness Fishery, with 2 permits, for 50 pots each?

What a concept a.k.a. equal protection clause, of 1868, and Alaska's 1959 State Constitution?

And the D permit holder, paying for the fleets consolidation system, isn't it great when the minority, pays for the majority.

Sharecropping in Bristol Bay, proudly flown with a D, on the side!

Seperate but equal, shown best in Plessy v. Furgerson, after your flunked Brown v Board of No Education

12th Generation Fisherman, from America.

Anonymous said...

This 32 foot rule is just a foolish rule whose time is long past. The Bay has the greatest sockeye Salmon resource in North America , perhaps in the world . But it is underutilized and this is because of laws like this that make it hard to improve quality.A guy needs more than 32 feet to set up a good rsw , or processing line.
Certainly a bigger boat is not an advantage when fishing in shallow water anyway . You have to change to improve quality , or you are destined to suffer the low prices and failure in the marketplace.