Sunday, March 17, 2013

The battle for scallops in Juneau

Alaska has a small but lucrative fishery for weathervane scallops, a sweet and extra plump variety.

The scallops are taken from beds in federal and state waters, with the majority of the catch coming from the federal side.

A cumbersome system of federal licenses and state permits limit entry in the fishery.

The handful of scallop participants want to keep the gate closed, and are trying to push through legislation in Juneau this session to extend limited entry in state waters for another five years at least.

The bill that's advanced the farthest is Senate Bill 54. Click the Documents button to read letters for and against.

This is a controversial issue, for a couple of reasons. First, the state scallop permits attach to vessels, not people as in the salmon, herring and other fisheries. That rubs some people the wrong way.

Second, some believe the scallop fishery is too concentrated in the hands of a very few persons or corporations.

Here's a report from within the state Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. It lays out what look like strategic business moves to consolidate control of the harvest.

Above all, scallop players don't want to see state limited entry expire after this year. This would allow the state waters to revert to open access, and would be bad for the fishery overall, in the view of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

At least three lobbyists are working on behalf of the Alaska Scallop Association, a fishery cooperative.

They include Frank Homan, a former CFEC commissioner, who has reported a fee of $12,000; Gerald McCune, $5,000; and Bob Thorstenson Jr., $5,000.


Anonymous said...

Scallop fishing is one of the reasons there are no crab left in Yakutat. With modern day electronics, they're out there mowing the bottom of the ocean. Sometimes right off the beach, at night when the observer's in bed. Check out the dredges they use sometime, totally a destructive fishery! I know, they taste good, but there has to be a better way to fish for these.

Get a clue BobbyT, Petersburg guys even used to come up here and fish crab, but there hasn't been a Dungie fishery up here for 15 or 16years.

Anonymous said...

That's why there's limited entry
We don't want any more scallopers than we have to.
A couple of them are far less destructive than a dozen

Anonymous said...

Oh, let's open up all the limited entry programs.
Just last year Bill Harrington of Kodiak bought a scallop dredge and permit. Now he's gotta fight at e legislature just to keep it?

How would all the salmon guys like waiting on House Fisheries in 2013 to determine if their plastic permit card was going to be melted at the end of this legislative session.

Anonymous said...

Max Hulse of Eagle River has a permit and he's fishing this year. Where was that one Wesley. Write about something you know a little about

And how about the 3 cdq groups that have hair crab permits-- coastal and norton sound-- as well as central Bering sea that has a scallop permit

What you gonna do, split the permit up between 30,000 Eskimos

You must be having an incestuous relationship with Tkacz

Anonymous said...

Wes is to excited Sitka herring is about to happen pretty soon.

Anonymous said...

Yup, those CDQs have their hands into things that are destructive even to the point of destroying their stakeholders thousands year old Salmon Culture through the Bering Sea Pollock Fishery.

Money, money, money

Makes them

Happy, happy, happy

While the

Eskimos in Western Alaska

Can't sustain their

Salmon Culture and Traditions


Blood money


Anonymous said...

18-1 passed Senate today. Good public policy. This is the 3rd 5 year sunset. These are big boats that are never, or rarely owned by one person. So unlike the state permit system, these 2 fisheries don't fit very well. The naysayers said both in 03 and 08 that this would spread like wildfire to all ak fisheries but that never happened. Thank the lord for the "scallopstones". God knows we've eaten most of the state waters scallops at all these UFA receptions, cooked for us by Jim and Mona. This is a good program and if you wanna buy a permit there's a few others out there.

3CDQ groups are involved in this legislation. It's good resource policy for them. They couldn't have these permits owned by one human being. It's a 5 year sunset anyways. If there's a problem, the state can come back and fix it. So far so good.

Anonymous said...

"If there's a problem, the state can come back and fix it."

Five years to 'wait and see'. Five years to destroy a resource because bully boys will paint a positive picture for the guys wearing rose colored glasses.

Five years is only 1/4 of the time the poor stakeholders of the Western Alaska CDQ program have been waiting for the program to provide "fisheries related economic development" in their poor, poor region.

Fishing for scallops in Southeast is as far away as Mars to these poor, poor people of Western Alaska, waiting, waiting, waiting for that piece of pie promised to them by Ted Stevens.

Out of sight, out of mind and never to be mentioned in clear, concise language for their CDQ Board of Directors understanding because it's all tied up in LLCs with who knows who but it sure isn't Johnny who live at the end of the village with barely enough food to feed his family because all of the spare money goes into buying the over-priced fuel to keep the house warm. Better hungry than frozen.

Five years is enough time to destroy the resource because the harvesters don't give a crap about the little people. Corporations don't have a heart.

Anonymous said...


Wine and Dine


With Scallops

Owned By

Poor, Poor People

Of Western Alaska

A State Water


Is Too Fine

For Their Likes

Eat Humpy Instead


Wine and Dine

Their Buddies

Anonymous said...

Bring back Mr.Big!

Anonymous said...

poor, poor people
poor, poor people
How many times
How many ways
before you have
said it enough?

Anonymous said...

Maybe if the poor (lazy) people would get off their asses and stop staring at the mailbox for a check, things would get better for them.
The rest of us write these comments from the wheelhouse, while we're working.

Anonymous said...

Good for you guys getting to fish for a living. Western Alaska is being shut out of the game. Poor, poor people - no justice given just because they are not ???????

Anonymous said...

We used to have 9 boats now 5 of them are consolidated to the washington boys??

None of this makes sense until you consider that the 3 CFEC commissioners are political appointees.

Pucker up to the right people and you keep your job.

Anonymous said...

Say NO to Puckering

Say NO to Puckering

Say NO to Puckering

These commissioners work for us and HELL will FREEZE over before I would even consider Puckering anybodies butt.

Say NO to Puckering you Alaskans you. It doesn't have to be this way. Stand up for your rights.

Anonymous said...

To blogger at 3/19, 10:39 AM

Poor you, poor me, poor everybody
poor, poor, poor!

We live in a land of great wealth
We live in a land where we supposedly have a promise
of FREEDOM to pursue HAPPINESS; where a promise of JUSTICE is suppose to be given without bias; where a promise of EQUALITY is mandated by Law, yet we're poor, poor, poor, because we have values and ethics. Ironic isn't it?

BTW, I'll use the word poor until Blog Master Wes cuts me off or until the Master of the Universe cuts off my internet link. BTY

Anonymous said...

When max hulse isn't thinking really hard about going scalloping, he spends his summers working for the pebble mine folks as they build their portage station in iniskine bay. Deckboss knows what he's talking about. He does a great job. Has it been six or seven years since your last scallop delivery?

Anonymous said...

Your right, there was 9 boats now theres
5 - Stone operations
1 - American Seafoods
1 - EWT
7 non residents

1 - Max Hulse - hasnt fished in about 10 years

1 - Bill Harrington, the only real Alaska owner operator in the whole bunch.

So we give this fishery to a bunch of nonresidents who violated OUR constitution.

Pucker factor.

Anonymous said...



Supreme Seafood

For Rich People

There is an ad in the recent "Nome Nugget", page 16, see it for yourself at

"Prepare for a career in the seafood industry"....."entry-level seafood processing training..." "Class size limited to 10"!!!!!!!!

Hundreds of idle people who own millions and millions of CDQ money from the Bering Sea Pollock Fishery and the only option given to them "for a career in the seafood industry" is a job as a slime-line worker or freezer boy freezing your behind off stacking boxes of frozen pollock in the factory trawler ship. Exciting future in the "seafood industry".

I'm glad I'm not the contact man.


See if they'll train you

To be a Captain

Of a Scallop Boat

That we Own

Then Maybe you could

Bring home some of

Those Scallops

For Grampa and I

So we can pretend

That we're Rich

For a Few Minutes

Before We Die

Anonymous said...

Damn man you sure know how to beat a dead horse! Go gold mining or move down the coast where you can get some fish! If any village should benefit from Scallop fishing, it should be Yakutat. Regardless of any CDQ program, they're the ones that are getting screwed! Go bitch on another thread. We all got what you are saying the first time.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute.

Theres just 1 quota for state and fed waters right?

And all the boats that have state permits also have fed permits.

So whats the big deal if this state permit program goes away or if state waters closes??

The same boats just catch the same quota in the EEZ?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Double-dipping to me.

Anonymous said...

Move down the coast

The Constitution


My Right

To Expect


Resource Management

Wherever I am now

Move down the coast