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Thread: State Appeals Setnet Initiative

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    Default State Appeals Setnet Initiative

    From the Alaska Journal of Commerce

    http://www.alaskajournal.com/Blog-Fi...iative-ruling/

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    I can see the low-information crowd really going for this sort of thing if it ever makes it to a vote. I hope it doesn't get that far.

    Somewhat unrelated to the ballot initiative, but is there any report on how the shallower nets performed this season?
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    I can see the low-information crowd really going for this sort of thing if it ever makes it to a vote. I hope it doesn't get that far.

    Somewhat unrelated to the ballot initiative, but is there any report on how the shallower nets performed this season?
    No way to know given the fishing was limited and the staff has no way to evaluate the outcomes.

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    Agreed. It's a blatant attempt to manage and allocate by emotion - a gross violation of our State Constitution and fishery allocation laws.

    It is important that we take it upon ourselves to educate others on this, and work hard to see that the judge (Catherine Easter) who allowed the initiative to continue is not re-appointed by the next Governor.

    http://www.courtrecords.alaska.gov/w...judges/cme.pdf


    Also, I will point out that the "Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance" who brought this set net ban initiative to the courts, is Bob Penney's brain child. I will also add that the leader of our South Central Alaska Dipnetter's Association, member thewhop2000 here, sits on Penney's Board. This is the same Bob Penney who's anti-commercial fishing Kenai River Sport Fishing Association brain child brought the Kenai King fishery to it's knees.

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    The Whop has stated a number of reasons for the set net ban and sited the organizations rationale. I would like to take those on.

    First, he claims a conservation issue. Not true. The Kenai River late run chinook salmon have met the goals and while harvest is down the fact is that a conservation concern only exists when there is a chronic inability to meet a sustainable threshold goal. That goal is much lower than the MSY goal of 15,000 to 30,000.

    Second, he claims that set net are indiscriminate killers of fish. Yes, the gear catches other fish but the question from a biological viewpoint is whether that harvest is significant to the populations caught. So far there is no indication of that. Typically sand sharks and starry flounder arethe species caught along with a few dolly varden. Back in the 80's there was some concern about steelhead but that was found to be a non issue. In all of these cases the by-catch of sharks and flounder and other species is insignificant. Salmon, all species, are not bycatch as he claims.

    Third, he claims that indiscriminate gear is outdated and should be replaced. This is interesting since the ban is only in urban areas. Exclusion of Bristol Bay, SE, Kodiak, and subsistence areas reeks of hypocrisy. If the gear is bad then it is bad and should be banned statewide. Why not? Because this is not about gear.

    Fourth, he claims that thousands of Alaskans and tourists are being denied fish at the benefit of a few commercial fisherman. This is also false. Harvest records indicate that PU fisherman and Sport Fisherman in UCI are taking significant numbers of fish and the BOF has increased the allocations as the population of users has increased. He also ignores the thousands of Alaskans and citizens of the United States that rely on commercial caught salmon. One cannot ignore the thousands of jobs created by the commercial industry to process fish, transport and sell them. To only reference permit holders as impacted or who benefit is bogus. If one wants to add up users I would suggest that every one who has purchased a salmon steak in a restaurant, store, or fast food place counts. That far exceeds the number of PU fisherman and their families.

    Fifth, he claims that the BOF has failed to act to protect PU and Sport Fisherman. Again false. The PU fishery has grown without limitations since it began. Sport fishing bag and possession limits have been increased. The establishment of OEG's which raise goals for social reasons have been done to benefit these other user groups.

    Sixth, the claim permit holders are not eliminated they just have to get different gear. False. There is no provision for doing this under CFEC regulations. Transfer of set net permits to drift permits - the other legal gear in UCI or seines will not meet CFEC rules for number of participants in the fishery. The permit number was set based on fishing power and economic viability so double or more of the permits is just not valid. It really does mean elimination of these family fisheries.

    So Whop give us one reason that stands up to the test of facts for why you support the ban. It appears simple to me. You want to eliminate the commercial fishery, despite you claims to the contrary, and for that reason I have no respect for your position or ability to comprehend what you are doing. If you just want all the fish in UCI without regard just say so and be honest about it. Do not hide behind the lies and misinformation given to you by the Penney group. I really do doubt that you understand the issues as you claim.

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    It is obvious why the head of dipnetters wants setnets banned. Without setnets, dipnets and rodnreel would HAVE to be relied upon to control escapement (which won't work BTW), which would no doubt lead to a significant increase in bag limits for those user groups. It's all about greed and allocation.
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

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    my question is- do most dipnetters really feel this way. Does the president of scada really represent the views of most of the members? Furthermore, it would be interesting to know just how many dues paying members there are in this organization. How about the board of directors for this org.- do they approve of their president being involved with something this divisive. How long has this president served and when is the next election? Inquiring minds want to know

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    Gunner, I would say a majority of dipnetters and sport fisherman feel this way. They want the fish allocated to them. Bigger bad limits and more fishing time
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

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    Hoose-
    I am not so sure. Many of the locals I know who are avid sportfihermen and who have participated in the dipnet fishery no longer go and believe it should be done away with. They are true alaskans and are tired of the madhouse.

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    Locals is the keyword. Non locals outnumber locals in the dipnet fishery.
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

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    ok- you are probably right. I still would like to know more about this scada org. How many members- who is on the board of directors-, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    Locals is the keyword. Non locals outnumber locals in the dipnet fishery.
    More like the new Alaskans are outnumbering the old Alaskans.


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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    Gunner, I would say a majority of dipnetters and sport fisherman feel this way. They want the fish allocated to them. Bigger bad limits and more fishing time
    I do not believe this. I think some dip net fisherman want more fish available on weekends and these are the Anchorage and Mat/Su group who will never be pleased. Every fishery has them and they become spoke persons and everyone thinks they represent the majority. I bet the dip net association does not have more than a couple hundred members. Most people have better things to do with their lives.

    So when this comes down to the facts and emotion of putting an industry out of business I think most people will be voting to allow this fishery to continue. The money will be flowing from both sides but once it is tied to Bob Penny the reaction will be intense. Has anyone ever met Bob and walked away saying I like that human being. He is a good guy. All my interactions, even with some who support his cause, cannot come to that conclusion. I have had numerous Commissioners tell me how they dislike his attitude and strong arm tactics. It will be ugly but in the end I think the people of this State will not support his greedy approach to life.

    There are some who just want to hurt people for their own self interests. Those individuals need to listen to their mothers and kindergarten teachers more.

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    I agree Nerka. However, we live in a time where emotion rules, not facts and laws. The whole reason Penney and thewhop2000 want the set net ban to go to a public ballot initiative, is to use public emotion in their favor - feed on the uninformed. We can't deny that one judge was already in favor of using the public initiative to manage our fish, disregarding law, and the State may lose the appeal if the planets align for Penney and thewhop2000.

    What we need is public outcry from dipnetters against the way they are being represented by thewhop2000 and his SCADA group. There are plenty of fish for all users. What we need is outcry from guides and sportfishermen about what Penney did to the River through KRSA. Until those folks step up, and step up loud, the fishery and it's users will be steamrolled. We saw it happen on the Kenai Kings. Sad thing is, I doubt the people will rise up - the emotional path is too easy.

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    Just some history from another part of the PNW.....

    Oregon has put gill-net bans (on the Columbia River) on their ballot twice in the past 15 years (2000 and 2102). Both initiatives were supported by recreational angling groups. Both initiatives failed at the ballot box. I would have thought that if a gill-net ban would have been successful, it would have been in Oregon. But that didn't happen.

    However, the failure of the 2012 ballot initiative was planned. In the months leading up to the vote, the Oregon Gov recognized that the gill-net ban was likely to succeed. The Oregon gov recognized that F/W planning by the ballot box completely undermines the authority of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (as a similar gill net ban would in Alaska). So he asked the recreational angling groups what specific measures fishery management measures they wanted. He promised them to propose those measures to the F/W Commission, if the recreational angling groups switched positions, and OPPOSE THE EXACT BALLOT MEASURE THEY PUT ON THE BALLOT.

    The plan worked. The recreational angling groups opposed the ballot measure, it failed, and the F/W Commission passed the management measures proposed by the Gov and supported by the recreational angling groups. The Washington State F/W Commission followed suit, since the Columbia River is a shared management area. The commercial fishermen aren't very happy about all of this. But they got alot more from the F/W Commission than they would have if the ballot initiative had passed.

    There is alot more to the story, but the point is that even in ultra-green, highly liberal, granola-crunching, waffle stomping Oregon, two gill-net bans failed. How likely is a similar gill-net ban to succeed in Alaska? I'm not holding my breath......

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    I get your point, but the Columbia River bans in Oregon are a completely different animal. So is the audience.

    Up here we aren't at the stage of voting on the issue of banning set nets...yet. We are at the stage of deciding if our fishery management should be done via public ballot initiative. One judge up here ruled it does. That is scary here, since the majority of the population lives in urban cities like Anchorage and the Mat Su Valley where dipnetting and sport fishing dominates. In my opinion, most of those Alaskans are oblivious, or completely misinformed, of the importance of the commercial fishery and how the complex mixed-stock fisheries of Cook Inlet must work. However, they do understand emotion and entitlements very well. Being desperate, that is what Penney and thewhop2000 are counting on.

    I can only ask my fellow Alaskans to inform themselves, support the State's appeal, take 5 minutes to send out e-mails and letters to politicians, judges, and spread the word.

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    Fun - I agree, but I would also suggest that Alaska has already rejected the idea of deciding whether fishery management should be done via public ballot. That's why the Alaska Constitution is written the way it is, and it is also why they have a BoF and a BoG. Voting on whether to ban gill nets is contrary to how the State manages it's F/W resources, which is precisely the point of the State's appeal. But nobody can vote on the appeal. Nor will they ever get that chance. The State Attorney General's Office makes that decision. I can understand why everyone in the Great Land should support the appeal, but they should also understand it's not their decision. But if it ever comes to a vote, that IS their decision.

    But my sense is..... they already know this.

    I won't pursue this thread much longer since it's not an issue for anyone who lives in Washington State....... Just thought I'd provide some perspective from down here.

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    Apparently the signature gathering process is moving forward. A family member ran into a Kenai River Guide standing with a signature clipboard outside a retail outlet in Anc. saying "Save the Kenai Kings". When questioned, he tried to tell them that the setnetters were killing all the kings. What a joke.

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    WHAT? Are you saying they are gathering signatures in ANCHORAGE? Who would have dreamed that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    There is a process and it should be respected. .
    As Nerka said, there is a process, for initiatives (whether one agrees with the initiative or not) and other legal matters and the courts are dealing with it based on the law. If the process continues then it will be up to the voters. Every year there are initiatives on the ballot, I use my vote to agree or disagree, but I respect the process.

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