By Lloyd Gossman
February 17, 2011
Also, maybe you forgot, we (crab fisherman, processors, and others around Ketchikan) stopped the summer commercial Dungeness crab fishery in districts one and two many years ago and went to a winter fishery because of the terrible waste. That was recently changed by the commercially driven Board of Fish.
If the Sea Otter, overfishing, or anything else, was jeopardizing the Dungeness Crab fishery, how could anybody be so stupid as to change from a sustainable winter fishery to a summer fishery wasting more of the crab when they are becoming more valuable or scarce? Let me repeat myself – we had a winter commercial Dungeness crab fishery – no one was keeping the commercial folks from fishing them. It was just plain stupid to change and start fishing the crab in the summer when you waste them and jeopardize the resource.
It’s normal for the commercial interests to think they alone have the right to unlimited fish, crab, whatever, and huge amounts of wasteful bycatch at everyone’s expense, because that’s how they make a living. You can’t argue or reason with someone who puts food on the table or supports his family by commercial fishing. Commercial fisherman have the ultimate entitlement and are supported by the Board of Fish who has been given ultimate authority by Alaska Statutes.
I live in a world with limits on what I can catch. My limits are determined by unrestricted commercial catch results and their wasteful bycatch. If the stocks are fished out then subsistence users, personal use, and sports fisherman just have to accept it. But we sure as heck don’t have to like it or keep quiet about it.
I’m getting tired of the same old line of how much the commercial fishing industry puts into Alaska. From another perspective – Subsistence users, personal use, and sport fisherman put more into the Alaska economy-have less affect on the resource, and don’t need a Board of Fish loaded with commercial fisherman and bought off by the commercial fishing industry from Puget sound.
Received February 15, 2011 - Published February 17, 2011
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