May 25, 2010 — The giving away of Public Commonwealth to special interests, Catch Shares and the push toward them by NOAA — regardless of standards of the nation’s fishing laws, and despite Constitutional rights — have become a hotter topic by the day. Recently, the chairman of the U.S. House finance committee, leading Democrat Cong. Barney Frank has put everything on the line and challenged the Obama Administration to get the fishing industry problems straightened out or it will have serious consequences regarding how Frank and others support the Administration.
Source: SavingSeafood.org and WBSM Radio. Listen in…
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.”
May 21, 2010 – Anchorage: NOAA Aquaculture Listening Session held at request of Alaskan Governor – Groundswell speaks out on economic concerns about U.S. taxpayers repeatedly bearing the costs, as ocean pen aquaculture poses increased risks to the ecosystem and U.S. Treasury.
A great deal of caution is required before moving toward a NOAA led aquaculture policy, and Congress should weigh in heavily — establish new national standards and involve other agencies to analyze and deal with what’s under the surface of promised beneftis.
The deadline for written comments is May 28. See
http://aquaculture.noaa.gov to learn more.
May 7-9, 2010 – The Alaska Democratic Party held its 2010 State Convention in Sitka, Alaska The following items were included on the Party Platform, just released. You can visit the official website at http://www.alaskademocrats.org/
North Pacific Fisheries: “We are committed to Alaska-based ownership and maximum local participation in North Pacific fisheries, with a fair share for crewmembers; the protection and sustainable harvest of wild stock fisheries, and the development and aggressive marketing of value-added seafood products.”
A big thanks goes out to Ray Metcalfe for attending the Sitka convention (at his own expense!) and moving the Party forward on behalf of Alaskans, in particular for its fishery crewmembers whose rights and jobs have been trampled on by wrongful federal fishery management plans and NOAA’s push toward giveaways of Public Commonwealth in Catch Share quota allocations.
May 19-21, 2010 – Anchorage: The nation’s 8 regional fishery conservation and management councils meeting’s audio record will soon be available to the public.
To obtain access to the audio file recordings of the Council Coordination Committee session, please contact Maria.Shawback[at]NOAA.Gov this week and ask for access to the Box.net files. You’ll hear firsthand the discussions involving Catch Shares, NEPA, and other topics on the agenda and the different opinions of 8 RFMC chairs and vice chairs, and NOAA administrators.
The issue of allowing the Public to testify in person, and in writing, was a hot topic of the session. And following the CCC meeting, at the request of Governor Sean Parnell NOAA also conducted a meeting in Alaska for input on new policy for national waters AQUACULTURE development to expand seafood supplies.
We’ll be posting articles about the meetings in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we’d like to give special thanks to our new friends from the Caribbean, American Samoa, and Guam who helped ensure that public rights are upheld … Groundswell was only one of two giving any public testimony. And we repeated our earlier Aquaculture concerns regarding government (de facto) subsidies of the budding industry that will compete against wild fish stocks.
In November of 2006, the City of Kodiak stood tall in a letter to Congressional delegates, NOAA and the Secretary of Commerce. So, why was the City having difficulty in 2010 when asked to write the House Oversight Committee on oceans, handling Catch Shares? Well, with two members that work for the large-class processors out for themselves, after harvesting shares for processors, wanting continued restraints of trade by linking fleet coops to particular closed-class processors, our Mayor got weak knees. Meanwhile, the Kodiak Island Borough mayor, Aleutians East Borough mayor and City of King Cove mayor all wrote Congress.
With that opportunity now gone, the least the City of Kodiak could do is stand up against more privatization of catch shares in the upcoming June NPFMC meeting in Sitka, AK (673 miles away as the crow flies.) See also below: Shawn Dochtermann’s 2006 letter to editor in Kodiak Daily Mirror.
PS: Any congressional delegates for sale should just contact us and name their price, we call that good old “market-based briberization.” We might be able to raise a little Monopoly money to stop the next public larceny of GOA Rationalization. Or to have you insert some language in a rider for us… wink, nod. We’ll see you at CRAB FEST on May 28-31.
Delayed for over a month-and-a-half already, The Draft SSL BiOp is now scheduled to be released in July. This means that both the April and June NPFMC meetings, adjunct Observer committee and other meetings continued to go by while NOAA held onto this, apparently at the hands of Dr. James Balsiger, Alaska regional director. This message came in today from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council about the progress on releasing the report.
A special August 16-20 meeting of the NPFMC will be held in Anchorage to discuss the SSL BiOp – once again putting fishermen and communities to the extra expense of attending, and denying fishermen who are busy fishing salmon a chance to be there. Oh well, that’s how the Thalassocracy keeps on marching ahead with privatization and bureaucratic dominance.
Update 5/13 – http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/ the NPFMC website now contains the draft agenda.
ALERT: May 10, 2010 – Monday — We’ve just updated the March 30 piece below on the CCC meeting in Anchorage of May 19 to 21 for all the regional fishery management councils and NOAA high authorities and dis-stinks-wished guests. Check it out below. http://www.fisherycouncils.org/CCC/CCC.htm is where you can find the agenda, because it is still not on NOAA’s tardy site. Maybe NOAA’s chief fox Lubchenco needs to get her own henhouse in order before allowing a public larceny chain of Catch Share carpetbagging?!
Source: SavingSeafood.org Locator: http://www.savingseafood.org/law/fishermen-together-with-the-city-of-new-bedford-and-fishing-related-businesses-challenge-noaa-s-sector-management-amendment-in-3.html
Nations’ Largest Port, Fishermen, and Businesses from Six States Sue Feds Over New Fisheries Regulations:
- Suit alleges NOAA failed to analyze impacts on communities
- Sector plan costs called a regulatory burden that will force consolidation
- City of Gloucester reviewing court filing; may join suit UPDATE: Gloucester joined today 5/10/10!
Favorite quote: The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires assessing impacts on the human environment and “Defendants’ actions [under Amendment 16’s Sector allocations] will permanently and unlawfully modify a centuries’ old traditional way of life for the sake of an Agency’s regulatory convenience, displacing fishermen, their communities and undermining cultural values in a manner inconsistent with the applicable law.”
And the part about how “best years” selection results in inequity smarts! It is the same as the ‘unreasonable’ finding that was made in the Iceland left behind fishermen’s case with the UN re the Convention on Civil and Human Rights ruling that has Iceland on a reverse course re IFQs… and giveaways must be paid back by the original recipients etc.