by Lawrence "Snapper" Carson
May 04, 2004
The herring in Alaska belong to Alaska and its inhabitants, critters and humans.The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game is the manager of these stocks not the owner.The commercial fishing industry does not have ownership either, only the right to harvest when there is an agreeable harvestable bounty.Fisherman are certainly not at fault to harvest these fish when these fisheries are established. The method and means of establishing these fisheries is controversial and this is the problem.
If the management of the herring resource is at fault the problem should be corrected. With the herring at present levels the West Behm canal herring fishery should have never been reestablished in 2004.The ADF&G has the data to support this.The erratic population swings of the herring in Behm canal and lack of large herring combined with their own cost recovery harvest only proves there should never have been a fishery this spring.
Some would like to discredit all the so called rowboat herring activists, but how can the State of Alaska and industry ignore longtime and lifetime residents who are concerned about the herring stocks? We may not have sympathy from many biologists or fisherman but some do recognize the problem.
The herring are shared by many.
The State of Alaska's fish, feathers and mammals come first.
We need to study these herring and give them a chance to grow
and repopulate. If and when this happens all the herring users
should be involved in the harvests for highest physical and economic
reward to the State of Alaska and its inhabitants.
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