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Fear is rampant in Ketchikan
by Scott McAllister


April 30, 2004

A wise man once said, the only thing to fear is fear its self.

Fear is rampant in Ketchikan these days. The fear of annihilating, wiping our, fishing to extinction or what ever, an entire herring population has gone beyond reason and become an obsession to some. I don't fear the annihilation of a herring stock; I fear the hysteria that the purveyors of this fear raise and the resulting mob mentality that fuels more fear. If pandered to by commissioners and politicians, the management of our resources becomes a mob scene where science and reason go out the window and favoritism and cronyism rule. I fear the fear.

The real question that must be answered is where did the herring that spawned in Behm Canal in the past spawn this year? Is it a discrete stock that returns to W. Behm Canal like a sockeye to its lake? Or is it a stock that never mixes of mingles with other herring in the sea? Or is it a common stock with other herring in the area that in recent years have spawn else where and contributed to the growth of spawns that have occurred all up and down Clarence Strait, Revilla Strait and their contiguous waters.

The fearful have already answered the question and they want us all to believe that over fishing is some how responsible the disappearance of Behm Canal herring and in their scientific void of ignorance they would just as soon see the fishing fleets burn. This I fear.

Scott McAllister
Herring Fisherman
Juneau, AK - USA



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