SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Dungie clarification
By Chris Snyder


June 07, 2010

Apparently Mr. Moyer misunderstood the relevant gist of my letter. So, I repeat: "...if there are legitimate conservation issues, then by all means lets restrict crabbing--for everyone." That is not a question. It is a statement.

I absolutely agree that handling soft shell crab is hard on them, period. It's not hard on them to be handled by commercial fishermen, but not by recreational fishermen, and that appears to be the disconnect. At different times I am either a commercial fisherman or a recreational fisherman. Does that mean that some of those soft-shells in my past were impacted and others weren't? I've yet to have a crab ask which license I was using.

As far as the other users of the resource -- The morning after my letter was published (I wasn't aware it had been published yet), I had a friend comment on the letter and thank me for pointing out the fact that a lot of people, him included, get their crab by buying it. In the few days since I've had another half dozen say essentially the same thing. These are average Alaskans, regular Joes and Janes who get their crabs by buying them. Being an Alaskan who buys Alaska seafood does not make you a second class Alaskan. There are all kinds of circumstances where someone may be buying instead of catching their own crab. In fact, 21 years ago I traded 6 or 8 crabs to a guy so he could treat his visiting in-laws to a feast. Apparently the fishing expedition wasn't as successful as advertised. I believe I received a six-pack of Luckys and a half package of herring...ring a bell, Mike?

My point is this: It's really easy to do your part by offering up your neighbor. It's tougher to volunteer to share the pain. So I'll be the first. I volunteer to not fish for crab either as a permit holder or for personal use this summer. I also volunteer to do my part for the national debt by nominating my neighbor to pay his taxes twice. See the difference?

When those who advocate a winter-only crab fishery include themselves, only then will I be convinced that it's about the crab and not "I don't want to have to share". It would certainly seem more genuine. Think about it. Does it really make any sense to say "handling crab in the summer when they are soft shelled is harmful to them so you over there shouldn't do it, but I will continue to do so because...?"

It should also be noted that there are areas close to Ketchikan that are closed year-round to commercial crabbing including Bostwick, Blank inlet, all of Clover pass, Naha, Moser bay, Thorne bay, and Whale pass. And while I'm at it I may as well also point out some misinformation(..'laced with commercial pots every day year in and year out'--what a load of horse pucky). No one is talking about returning to year-round commercial crab fishing. Time spent fishing in the summer comes off the winter season. This issue is charged enough as it is without spouting misleading hysterics.

A common sentiment that I have heard from friends and acquaintances has been "Why doesn't EVERYONE just fish in the fall?"

That's a good question, because it's about what's best for the crab, right?


Chris Snyder
Ketchikan, AK

About: 22 yr. Ketchikan resident; Commercial fisherman since 1992; Recreational fisherman since 1972

Received June 07, 2010 - Published June 07, 2010


Related Viewpoint:

letterCrab Question By Mike Moyer

letterDungeness By Chris Snyder

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