Fish lobbyists helped bilk taxpayers to serve Alaska cronies

A reprint from in late March of 2007, this article was third in a series by Victor Smith and Stephen Taufen, exposing fishing corruption/  This piece explains the role of Ben Stevens (son of then US Senator Ted Stevens) and former-fisheries aide to Ted, Trevor McCabe (Ben’s business partner)  in requesting a $50 million vessel buyback program for Alaska seiners.  Trevor and Ben’s take was to be a cool $500,000, and the legislative trail was hot… but when exposed, the changes reveal the obvious attempt at a cover-up — and Watergate fans know the cover-up is often worse than the crime.  The buyback was to be administered by clients of the lobbyists and friends of Ben (who was president of the state senate), in a building near Alaska’s capitol building in Juneau.  The program was funded for about half that amount… and the financial flows through the Alaska Fishermen’s Building (sic) gave rent payoffs to friends of the buddies…

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Fish Councils need Improved Process for Problem Statements


 Fishermen often observe a need for a change in the management of federal fisheries, and legal counsel or the states and municipalities or regions themselves may want to bring suggestions to the RCMPs (regional fishery management councils).  The best way to start a new Fishery Management Plan (FMP) or modify it with an Amendment is to file a standard format outlining first thoughts on the definition of a Problem, its Needs and Justifications, etc.  What is needed at the level of all RCMPs is a more standardized protocol that ensures due process, in order that all stakeholders are involved from the start. 


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Catch Shares bring Restraints of Trade against Alaska processor

Global Seafoods North America, LLC — a U.S. owned corporation — operates a groundfish and salmon processing plant in the Gulf of Alaska, located within the city of Kodiak.  As larger and primarily foreign-owned and -controlled seafood processors pursued GOA RATIONALIZATION, they developed a Rockfish Pilot Program that former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens drove into statute — circumventing normal Congressional committee channels — via a Rider on the must-pass 2004 Consolidated Appropriations Act (late 2003 legislation).  It enacted a de facto Restraint of Trade against smaller processors, as five major processors and their fleets formed what have been shown to be illegal LINKED COOPERATIVES (a catch sharing regime, destined for later Quota allocations).

Now, the corrupt parties behind this want to extend the RPP instead of having the new Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization rules apply … and Groundswell believes the existing program should sunset … as we oppose this major step to Gulf of Alaska Privatization.  We also believe that the RPP served as an effective Antitrust mechanism for horizontal price fixing, and that the Department of Justice should review the 5 year program in depth. — Stephen T.

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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