Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bristol Bay's big election

In a column in the forthcoming April issue of Pacific Fishing magazine, four former directors of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association urge members to "fix an organization that has gone far off course."


Anonymous said...

Spot on.

What a concept - a trade association that has a focus on trade.

A recent magazine article talked about the changing tastes of Japanese consumers, the younger generation who doesn't like the "fishy" taste of fish.

Fishy taste comes primarily from bacteria, not the flesh. When you market to the global market place, step one is to ensure bacteria free zones.

How does that happen with fish?

Ice fish to keep core body temperature a constant cold temps.

Bleed fish to remove blood as a vector for bacteria growth.

Handle fish with care to prevent injury, bruising to flesh.

Why is not this mandatory in this state?

We talk about the catastrophe of another industry's "unsafe" practices, yet can't seem to get our own house in order with basic sanitary principles.

For all the evils portrayed in our state over farmed fish - it beats our wild fish product standards hands down on an industry wide basis for constant body temp., bled product and handling procedures.

Why has farmed product basically cornered the fresh fish sushi market?

Don't know.
Mystery to me.
What's the secret???

Anonymous said...

Thankyou, Gentlemen!!! It's about time sombody suggested fixing the rudder and stepping on the gas. The problems in BB are presently market based and must be aggressivly addressed or the spiral will get steeper. Team up with the Million dollars plus that ASMI committed last fall and make it two million. you're going to need it and more before this storm begins to calm down!

Anonymous said...

Spot on! Are you believing that junk. Your putting out total crap with your speal about bristol bay and core temp and fishy taste. I'm tired of this crap being put out by people. Just drop it and get out of the bay and go do something else. Go buy a can of sockeye and eat it and tell me if it's crap. The stuff sells for more than the frozen stuff at Safeway. This talk coming out about poor quality has gone to far. We are fishing for the same price as 40 years ago thanks to guys who help push this junk about poor quality. Has your buyer ever told you he doesn't want your fish? 85 percent of fish at some plants last year were number ones. Does your buyer ever let you in on that one? Your getting fooled and are to blinded by your processor to do anything about it. Worry about your boat, your fish, and stop thinking about the other guy so much. Control what you can and work on bringing fishermen together to bring about a beter price through some type of nagociations with the processors. We just hand them the keys to drive the car however they want, we need to take back the keys and drive the car ourselves and demand a beter price and stop putting our product down. I love bristol bay sockeye, eat canned fish, frozen fish, smoked sockeye all year long, the stuff is great, sorry you don't like salmon but some of us know what it is , know what it tastes like and know how to eat it. Can't say you do spot on.

Anonymous said...

In Cordova there is a group of shortsighted people that want to get rid of the association because it concentrates too much on marketing. It's only obvious that marketing and quality are the way to go but trying to get fishermen organized is like herding cats.

Anonymous said...

I for one would love to see Bristol Bay one day not operating on an open ticket. If fisherman new ahead of time that processors would be paying .70/lb I'm sure some would choose not to fish, thereby helping the supply glut issue.


Anonymous said...

The former BBRSDA Boardmembers are not a shortsighted people attempting to de-certify their organization, as may be the case with the Cordova group. In fact, it's the contrary--this group is urging the RSDA correct its course before things go so far as an insurrection among the membership.

Anonymous said...

Half your fleet doesn't even use ice. That's some really good quality, I got to say

Anonymous said...

I am really intrigued by the added interest shown in serving on the BBRSDA board. Campaign platform generalities and anonymous critical sniping are relatively easy activities. Identifying and implementing projects that are valid, worthwhile, and acceptable is a wholly involving endeavor. Get involved, take action, make a difference or temper your judgment of some hard working individuals trying to better all of your lives.
In addition to these board seats there are some committee seats open to qualified individuals with expertise in the respective divisions. You can be involved at a lower level of commitment.
I wholeheartedly believe that we have a bright and prosperous future with Bristol Bay, and the BBRSDA will be a dynamic part of that future. It is our responsibility to guide it.

Thank you all for your financial (and hopefully moral) support,

Larry K.Christensen
BBRSDA Director ( active )

Anonymous said...

The former directors' letter is just the tip of the iceberg. A serious issue is how at least one present RSDA Boardmember is lining her pockets--and the pockets of several of her buddies--with cushy jobs that produce next to nothing. The 2015 "Sustainability" budget shows the Boardmember earning $72K and her associates taking home another $76.5K. This group will spend more than $30K attending meetings, including hotels at $285 per night. They will spend an additional $12K hosting events at shows.

Not to be outdone, the entire RSDA Board will spend an additional $26K attending those same meetings and staying in those $285/night hotels. These Board travel expenses are in addition to the costs associated with holding regular Board meetings.

A big chunk of what's left of the Sustainability budget will be spent to convince the membership to keep on funding the gravy train.

Anonymous said...

3/19 2:15 mentions the nickel on the ticket. The original idea behind this was that it somehow confused the Japanese buyers and ultimately caused them to pay a higher price for frozen fish. Of course, this is complete baloney. The amount of frozen sockeye going to true third party Japanese buyers is now very small. After deducting the fish that goes into cans, the fish that goes to Europe, and the frozen sockeye that goes into the primary processors own value added programs, the remaining frozen tonnage is too small to have any effect on market price. You can also ask your processor why the nickel concept only applies Bay sockeye.......why not also apply it to other fisheries in which Japan takes a large percentage, such as crab and Pollock (surimi)?

In the end, the marketing dollars will get very little. The world is flush with salmon and Bristol Bay is just a drop in the bucket. The only thing that is going to get more dollars on the bottom line is for the fleet and the processors to figure out how to take cost out of their respective segments. On the fleet side, discussions about vessel/gear efficiency and size are relevant. So are discussions about permit reductions. On the processors side, more capital must be dedicated to automate, to optimize product form (ie fillets, portions, quarter lb cans, etc) and to maximize recoveries.

Anonymous said...

I hope BBRSDA can work out its problems. I think it has done a great job of spreading the word about the great fish and the people who rely on the fish. At first the goal of the group was to improve quality before they expanded into a huge marketing blitz. Fish quality has improved greatly for the most part, and now more people know about BBay. Who will be a well organized voice if the BBRSDA goes away? Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater, please.

Anonymous said...

8:43 AM, I used to fish up in the Bay, and recall the previous organizations that attempted to organize the fleet. Rarely was the outcome good on most any issue. They simply didn't have the muscle to pull everyone together, and always seemed to be in a confrontation with the processors. Lots of yelling and screaming. I recall it being a topic of discussion in our set net cabin; we could see the need for leadership, but no one ever emerged to efficiently organize everyone else. So, I agree with you regarding the BBRSDA and the bath water.

In fact, didn't David Harsila run one of those organizations? Is it still around? I didn't see anything in the campaign statements.

Anonymous said...

Copper rRiver Drifters voted overwhelmingly to keep their marketing association , and to continue to tax themselves 1% of their gross for it.

Anonymous said...

To 5:37 AM

The board member to whom you are referring was chosen due to her experience, proximity to the project, her vast contact base and work ethic. Her salary was agreed upon by the board. To say "several of her buddies" are having their pockets lined as well suggests impropriety. All salaries and positions must be vetted and board approved. I have worked and traveled with this group. Contrary to what you might believe, these are not vacation getaways. This group is working very hard to maintain the healthy habitat our resource needs. They are making a difference. I urge you to educate yourself on what they've accomplished.

Nightly hotel costs of $285/night may be the case when attending the Boston Seafood Show or a meeting in WA DC. However, when meeting in Seattle or Anchorage no room charge has exceeded $125/night. Sorry to disappoint you but, there is no conspiracy happening with RSDA funds. The budget is just that, a budget. If the annual costs run below the budget you might assume reckless year-end spending so the following year's budget is equal or higher. No one, especially a committee director, wants to explain cost overruns.

Yes, it can be expensive to join the fight against large multinational corporations. But to attempt so with any less would be pointless.

Anonymous said...

Harsila doesn't mention AIFMA in his his campaign statement. I suppose he hopes no one remembers the pain he and his organization has inflicted on every fisherman in the Bay over the past 20 years. Heaven help us all if he is elected.

Anonymous said...

Well said 6:41 PM response. I have attended many Board meetings and have realized the board takes their responsibilities very seriously. As a member sitting in these meetings, I was often frustrated by lack of action taking place, yet I never felt they weren't serious and apathetic to the task at hand. I appreciate the time and effort each Board member has given while sitting on it. I have been opposed to many actions passed but I feel deeply the RSDA has made inroads on many issues that benefit us all . Most importunely they have gained respect amongst other entities involved in the Bay. The more respect we have the farther we can better the fishery. Let's not lose sight of that very thing they have accomplished.

Soon membership votes will dictate who will sit at two seats on the board. New blood is good for the board. If there is something you don’t wish to support please tell them. They are the ones that can either yea or nea it. Having a strong association representing the majority of the COMM FISH Fleet is better for all of us in Bristol Bay. Let us support it by voting at least.

Anonymous said...

to 641 PM

Since you seem to know so much about how everything comes down with BBRSDA I assume you are a board member or the exec director. So instead of spewing more bullshit why don't you just tell it all. I read the minutes on your website from your November meeting and the vote on your budget (which includes the board member in questions salary) was 5-2. that means that all board members voted. So you're telling me that a board member on a non profit board voted for her own salary. Oh yeah, you guys are a real bunch of pros. Judging from the 5-2 vote it looks like at least 2 boards members have a conscience. maybe if Gibbons and Williams are elected there will be some hope. At least they have actual business and non profit board experience. Harsila, mr Aifma would be a disaster for obvious reasons and while Smith seems like a nice kid reading his campaign statement he has no experience and doesn't even understand what an RSDA does!!, and we need three people from Dillingham on the board like we need a hole in the head.

Anonymous said...

Well said, read those board minutes, you'll learn a few things. The two votes against that budget motion were Luck and Christensen (minutes record). Luck resigned immediately afterwards, Christensen is sticking tough. Standby for some big news is what I hear. You might be surprised.

Anonymous said...

Sticking tough? Choosing not to resign because a vote doesn't go your way is hardly sticking tough.

Anonymous said...

It could appear that Heyano was driving the budget in the direction against some progressive, and fresher faces on the RSDA board. It is tough to judge when Luck's resignation really started. But after the open letter Deckboss posted in the upcoming Pacific Fishing magazine, what's clear is a need for change. Heyano is also the President of United Tribes of Bristol Bay (conflict?). We should think about term limits, he's been Chair since the organization's founding. Many members who's terms are ending don't seem to be running again, either. Just over a year ago, Bob Waldrop, the RSDA's founding Exec. Director also resigned. A change was coming - but the RSDA holds strong potential and has already proven so in some areas: chilling, Pebble, research. We can't eat our own, change and new leadership can bring positive results. But, keeping tabs on who's driving the bus is essential.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Fred Flintstone have a daughter named Pebble?

Tell us 7:47, when did copper mining come into the RSDA's legal fishery definition?

How about driving the bus, to remedial reading class?

(g) In this section, "fishery" has the meaning given in AS 16.43.990


Per Nolan said...

Yeah, CRPWSMA just had an election whether to continue taxing the fleet as their source of financing. Nearly 40% of who voted, voted to not tax. RSDA's are a needed tool the fishermen have. When the membership brings a legal petition to the State of Alaska, maybe it's time to evaluate what is wrong. Or be arrogant and call members who feel disenfranchised a nuisance and their rights should be removed. Two choices, one decision.