SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Herring, Hoff, and Ooligan
By John Harrington


January 14, 2009

Don Hoff's letter almost begs for a response. So much of his letter is counterproductive to solving the real problems facing southeast Alaska.

First, in the last ten years a group in Ketchikan has been fighting to stop the herring roe fishery. Never was it mentioned that the problem was subsistence fishing. We knew that the two major problems were the herring roe fishery and the dramatic increase in whale populations. Contrary to Don's statement the biggest problem we faced was ADF&G s position that there is an abundance of herring. Over the last two years, I think we have reached a point where finally ADF&G must admit that the herring biomass is becoming depleted. So as Don stated it is indeed a case of bad management of our natural resources by the State of Alaska and Federal Government that caused the herring problem.

Andy Rauwolf of the Ketchikan Herring Coalition has been tireless in his efforts. He is working with many fishing and tribal organizations to develop a coordinated effort to stop this reckless endangerment of our herring stocks.

Second, when Don expands his claims that the regulations have "allowed the ooligan runs to disappear in the Unuk River" he ignores one major fact. The last harvest of the Unuk River ooligan took place AFTER the State of Alaska had CLOSED IT TO HARVESTING. The harvest was made by fishermen claiming subsistence authorization. That harvest ranked about 4th in total tonnage of ooligan removed from the Unuk. And it was the last run of any size up the river. So Don needs to reexamine his view of subsistence.
Regarding the Landless groups in Southeast Alaska: It is not just the Alaskan Native Peoples who are fighting for additional land claims. It is in the best interest of all of Southeast that additional land be granted to those communities. We face a powerful environmental lobby that fights against the land claims. So it is essential that we work together.

Finally, Don's race baiting comments and racist attitude exacerbates the problem of communication. It works against the development of coordinated and effective plans to stop the destruction of our fish populations, and creating a more vibrant future for Southeast Alaska.

John Harrington
Ketchikan, AK

About: " Regular Sitnews reader. Member Ketchikan Herring Coalition, Borough Assembly."

Received January 07, 2009 - Published January 14, 2009


Related Viewpoint:

letter Cowards of Our Destiny, part two. By Don Hoff Jr.

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