Sunday, March 13, 2022

The end of an era?

The Alaska Board of Fisheries is now conducting its Southeast meeting, and Deckboss is particularly interested in a pair of proposals that would revolutionize the Sitka Sound commercial sac roe herring fishery.

The proposals seek to tame the notoriously combative seine fishery by establishing equal share quotas for each of the 47 permit holders. Under this arrangement, Sitka no longer would run as a competitive fishery.

The fishermen sponsors of one of the proposals argue it's high time the fishery switched to a "safe and orderly system." They describe the mayhem sometimes seen at Sitka:

The Sitka Sound commercial sac roe fishery is one of the most hazardous fisheries in the state. Fishermen are put into small areas for even smaller amounts of time to fight over the resource. Vessels are routinely in collisions, vessels have rolled over, gear is frequently destroyed and injuries are not uncommon. Fishermen and insurance companies have frequent claims, and the state of Alaska, U.S. Coast Guard and local law enforcement are forced to spend limited and valuable resources to patrol the derby fishery.

Supporters of equal shares say most of the fishery's permit holders support the change.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is neutral on the proposals, but offers excellent comments on the key considerations.

What will the board do? Can't wait to see.


Anonymous said...

Good concept but it turns another fishery into a rent seeking business. Instead of 30 or so boats with crews it will be knocked down to 5 boats. The permit holders will get to stay home and wait for the checks.

Doug Hatfield said...

Good morning Deckboss, Instead of consolidating the wealth of this Natural Resource into the hands of few, it's way past time to Examine how this fishery is conducted;from Top to Bottom. Or maybe better stated " From Bottom to Top"

First question to ask is; " In light of the Fact that most Herring Do Not Die after spawning, then Why are we killing this eco-system building block for the sake of sending eggs only to consumers?"

I've asked myself that question many times while picking fresh Herring Spawn from our bunt web as we were being pumped. And if you haven't tasted fresh Herring Spawn on Hemlock Needles, I hope someday soon you get a chance to do so. It's Really Tasty...!! An I'll wager that Herring Spawn on Kelp is also a Really Healthy and Savory Seafood.

If this Eco-system building block isn't managed Primarily for the benefit of the resource, then what have we learned from our past History of misguided resource Extraction? Sincerely, Doug Hatfield

Anonymous said...

So the bold new vision for Sitka Roe Herring fishery is to run it as a perpetual welfare program for the wealthiest members of the seine fleet? Hmmm...

Deckboss said...

The board voted 5-1 against Proposal 163, with John Jensen the lone yes vote.

The board elected to take no action on Proposal 164.