Northwest States initiate fight with Alaska’s fishing interests over Catch Shares

August 25, 2011 – Special interests from Oregon and Washington state fishing community write congressional delegates in a political attack against Alaska regarding the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. 

Now that Deckboss.com has made the document public (eagerness over strategy), Groundswell has decided to release its searchable PDF for easier downloading.  Be sure to visit Deckboss though, as W. Loy has a good email posted involving concerns about reallocations of catch shares, by Oregon interests.  How convenient that after years of vote-counting and -rigging on the NPFMC, that as Alaska awakens to the need to protect its offshore interests, the other states clamor for more power.

These actions have effects on crewmembers’ rights that the NPFMC has relegated into oblivion, and for renewed needs for Transparency and Accountability, esp. re the CDQs (Community Development Quota) groups. For now, here’s the PDF: DOC_AppealtoWAORCong_Aug25_verY1

Update 9/15/11 – see website of the Alaska Journal of Commerce, Andrew Jensen article under Fisheries.  http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/September-2011/Washington-Oregon-crab-interests-take-aim-at-CDQs-Alaska-council-majority  /

Senator Lisa Murkowski – one way of Stealing an Election is revealed

 
 Updated: Jan. 24, 2011 – $1.4 billion in government contract to 4 Alaska Native Corporations in 2009.   Please, do not call these kickbacks as that simply could not be true in a mere case of, shall we say, just campaign contributions and “anticipations.”  (Pls excuse spelling error etc.)
 
 

Thank you very much, Senator...

 
 

"I didn't promise anything in return" (wink, nod...)

January 14, 2011 — In an earlier article on this website, Groundswell revealed its reasons why Alaskan voters should not vote for Lisa Murkowski as U.S. Senator.  We noted her desire to do special legislation to grant the for-profit subsidiaries of Community Development Quota non-profits an exemption from federal income taxes.  Since the certification of Murkowski to the Senate, again, she has — along with Alaska’s Democrat in the U.S. Senate, Mark Begich and two Washington State Democratic U.S. Senators (Maria Cantwell and Patti Murray), forwarded a Ted Stevens like end-run legislation on fisheries law, S.1609, to establish a Cooperative for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Cod Longliner Catcher Processors.  Talk about a payback system working quick!  With a little sleight of hand — no thanks to Maria Cantwell for sponsoring S.1609 — the direct kickback nature got washed a little.  But anyone on the ground in Alaska prior to the general election is fully aware of the role played by the Native organizations and Seattle and Tokyo-owned fish companies in providing Murkowski with the money to wage an all out write-in campaign.

“Alaskans Standing Together” — Native organizations gave $895,000 to Murkowski campaign.

In our earlier article, we linked you to the website for the campaign contributions received by Murkowski.  Media across the nation noted the role of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow corporate money to be spent lavishly and largely unrestricted for such campaigns, and Murkowski’s run as a write-in candidate was noted as one of the first major outcomes of that decision.  We’d like to update readers in a simple way, today.  Just take a look at the following table of which “contributors” gave to Alaskans Standing Together, and then ask yourself if it is really fair to steal an election by funneling monies from groups who are large recipients of government no-bid contracts and other special deals, where that very Senator has a lot of pull in Congress.

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SEC Complaint on Catch Shares revealed by Groundswell

Sometimes, I feel like a Ratz...

 Many true harvesters and participants (not the mailbox fishermen) in the fishing industry have expressed their concerns about the ‘asset commoditization’ of fish species, or Catch Share programs that create tradeable quota shares, owned by private individuals or institutions.

For the first time, a redacted copy of Groundswell’s formal complaint filed with the SEC on August 5, 2009 is made public.  SEC_FormalCOMPLAINT_Taufen80509{Jan2011}
  
This complaint was subsequent to discussions that began earlier, as we were preparing diagrams about the Ponzi-like schemes in Alaska’s Crab Rationalization program, involving the Community Development Quota entities’ banking/financing role in securing quota rights, tax exempt in some cases. 

CDQ Subsidiary Partners to Acquire Seafood Plant in Occupied Dutch Harbor

PRESS RELEASE 

A newly formed LLC led by Siu Alaska Corporation and Copper River Seafood’s acquires idle Dutch Harbor plant formerly known as Harbor Crown Seafood

Anchorage, AK, August 9, 2010: A new company known as Dutch Harbor Acquisitions LLC has purchased the assets of the Harbor Crown processing plant located in Dutch Harbor.  Dutch Harbor Acquisitions LLC is led by Siu Alaska Corporation and Copper River Seafoods, who have formed the LLC in order to create a seafood company that reflects the strength and experience of both entities.  

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Community Development Quota (CDQ) groups unveiled by Journal of Commerce

Friday, August 6, 2010 — Andrew Jensen of the Alaska Journal of Commerce wrote two revealing articles about how some CDQ entities excessively reward certain managers and employ Washington DC lobbyists.  For now, here’s the link to the articles, the CDQ’s January 2009 request letter to Alaska delegates in Congress, and a copy of the latest draft of the legislation. 

1. CDQ execs reel in nearly $4 million since 2006″

http://www.alaskajournal.com/stories/080610/fis_cdq.shtml

2. “CDQ groups pursue tax break even as some say they don’t need it” 

http://www.alaskajournal.com/stories/080610/fis_cdqg.shtml

January 2009 – 6 CDQs write Congressional delegates requesting special tax-break legislation:  CDQ_tax_ltr_Jan09 

Nome Nugget article on congressional scoring of the proposed tax break: CDQ Tax Break – NomeNugget

Latest Draft  of the Tax Break Legislation (available to Groundswell):  CDQ MAT10481 Extenders Amdt

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Alaskan group says Bering Sea Pollock is Getting Priority Over Salmon Fisheries

May 19, 2010 — In response to earlier fishery policy-making by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, regarding a higher than desired cap on ocean trawl bycatch of Chinook salmon in the pollock fisheries off the coast of Western Alaska, today’s News Release outlines that, “Low returns of Chinook salmon throughout Western Alaska have caused severe economic distress in recent years as subsistence harvests are restricted and small commercial fisheries are eliminated.”

“A coalition of Western Alaska groups had asked the Secretary of Commerce to reject Amendment 91 because it did not meet NMFS’s legal requirements to reduce bycatch, nor the needs of subsistence users, nor the United States’ obligations under the Yukon River Salmon Agreement, and international treaty with Canada.” 

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Alaska regional fish council to host coordination committee May 19-21, 2010

UPDATED Monday, May 10, 2010

MAJOR QUESTION: Will the NPFMC lend its LiveWeb Meeting broadcast tools to this gathering and let Alaskans and the Nation at least listen in?  If not, why not!!!  Isn’t the NPFMC a trendsetter in FMPs and fish policy and web access, or not?  Reminder:  We’re the taxed masses paying for it all, anyway.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is going to host all of the nation’s regional fishery management councils leaders in Anchorage from May 19-21, 2010.  The Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act established the Council Coordination Committee (CCC) which holds two annual meetings, one hosted by a RFMC (regional fishery management council).  We haven’t seen any public notification of this meeting and the clock is ticking…  UPDATE 5/10/10: we’re getting the council run around about this, as notice in the Federal Register is hardly a region wide notice to the Public!  Aren’t there federal meeting laws being skirted here?  Or can we as taxpayers deny them their silver platter meals and dessert trays that we pay for?

Apparently public oral and written comments may be allowed…. so stay tuned.  NOAA is required to give adequate public notice, as well.  UPDATE 5/10: They will decide on the first day about public input procedures and if any public input will be taken… With all the henhouse guards being foxes, how can the Public ever get even a mere cluck in at the Thalassocratic World of NOAA Fisheries?

UPDATE: Monday, May 10, 2010 – http://www.fisherycouncils.org/CCC/CCC.htm is where to find the CCC agenda… a hive mind website, as it is still not on the official NOAA site below. 

Wedn., May 19th has a 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. item for “CATCH SHARE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN – Status of NOAA Policy and Potential Workshops.”  The presenter will be Mark Holliday.  Will there be any chairs available in the nosebleed section for the media and starving public?

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State Resolution seeks to add 4 Native seats to Federal Fish Council

Resolution by Alaska Senator backs Native pro-Salmon Subsistence needs
 over Pollock industry Bycatch:  bill would also lock out CDQ Representatives
 

March 3, 2010 — SJR029A, a Senate Joint Resolution in the Legislature of the State of Alaska was introduced 2/26/10 by Sen. Donny Olson (District T, Golovin), the chair of the Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee.   

The resolution notes “…the composition of the NPFMC is dominated by state and industry voices that do not advocate or represent the subsistence needs of Alaska’s rural tribal peoples.”  This proposed amendment to MSA is clearly an outcome of the increasing concerns over the amount of king and other salmon bycatch at-sea that occurs in the pollock trawl fisheries that have contributed to decreased Yukon-Kuskokwim and other rivers’ salmon runs upon which native peoples rely for subsistence.

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Alaska fishery CDQ group suffers as tightly-closed fraternity:

Dear Ted Stevens, How much does a seat on a CDQ group’s Board cost today?

$626,500 might not have been quite enough to get on the board of the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC), one of six Western Alaska community development quota (CDQ) groups established into fisheries law at the hands of former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens.  But that’s how much its for-profit subsidiary, the Siu Alaska Corporation donated to two local charitable organizations right before the October 6 election in Nome.

Surprisingly, Siu’s chairman Don Stiles, who was running for reelection to NSEDC’s board, may still have come up short of the number of votes required by NSEDC’s bylaws — by just a single vote. Read more