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Thread: Privatizing a Natural Resource

  1. #1

    Angry Privatizing a Natural Resource

    Below is a great article in Kodiak's Friday paper. It just goes to show that everyone looses when our Governing bodies privatize our natural resources.

    It's not just Commercial vs Sportfish anymore. It's everyone against the system.

    http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com/?pid=19&id=5778

  2. #2

    Default "Econ460"

    Good point and an interesting question.

    I'd like to know some of your thoughts on this...



    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/T...heCommons.html



  3. #3

    Default It's Unfortunate

    It's very unfortunate that we need the government to show us right from wrong. . It's not much different than the Columbia river fishery 50 years ago.

    If your ever in Astoria Oregon check out the Maritime Museum. Fisherman used horses to drag nets down the length of the river catching salmon. They didn't know what the effects back then would be, they we just trying to make a living.

    When we take something that is a private resource and give it to a select few, those people begin to believe it is rightfully theirs. With the amount invested and the amount they get in return, who can blame them.

    Like it or not Commercial and Sportfish need to find a way to work together. I honestly don't think you can have one without the other. People come to fish with me because they have gotten a taste of the product produced by COMMFISH. When they leave Alaska and run out of sport caught fish, they go to the market and get more.

    I'm not going to make many friends on the Charter side, but yes we do have a problem in 2C. I don't think it was on purpose, it just happened. What started as guys just trying to make a living turned into a pretty lucrative business fueled by the tourist industry. That being said, I don't think we would have as many problems if Sport fish was allowed to grow when the commercial fish grew.

    Now don't take this the wrong way and hear me out.

    Long liners started at 35 million pounds in 1996. Through the years they had an increase of 46 percent...that is state wide. If the power's to be would have increased the sportfish 1 percent for every 5 percent (just throwing numbers out) the COMMFISH grew, I don't think this would be such and issue.

    If you remember, all the problems started when sportfish was given a GHL. Now this GHL was never set to increase with the TAC just go down with the TAC. The COMMFISH was happy with the original 35 million pounds but when it increased to 59 million pounds then dropped back down to 50 million pounds they got upset. This is were the problem lies.

    When people get accustom to something one day then have it removed, they feel threatened.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is we need to work together to save it for our future generations.

    P.S. The whole thing with the set net permitts was brought before the BOF by a very wealthy lawer that has more than one permitt.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shawn View Post
    It's very unfortunate that we need the government to show us right from wrong. . It's not much different than the Columbia river fishery 50 years ago.

    If your ever in Astoria Oregon check out the Maritime Museum. Fisherman used horses to drag nets down the length of the river catching salmon. They didn't know what the effects back then would be, they we just trying to make a living.

    When we take something that is a private resource and give it to a select few, those people begin to believe it is rightfully theirs. With the amount invested and the amount they get in return, who can blame them.

    Like it or not Commercial and Sportfish need to find a way to work together. I honestly don't think you can have one without the other. People come to fish with me because they have gotten a taste of the product produced by COMMFISH. When they leave Alaska and run out of sport caught fish, they go to the market and get more.
    And the salty commercial fishing culture is part of the mystique and draw of Kodiak as well...

    I think that one of the natural functions of our government is to promote the general welfare, and as such, is well within it's powers to regulate a commons for the common benefit.
    The Tragedy of the Commons is real. A common resource must be regulated to prevent pillage and loss of the resource. I don't think it's a matter of individual ethics until a person examines the issue. Self regulation is not a natural act. Nor is it 'rational' in an economic sense to operate in less than one's perceived best interests. Folks can't be expected to work for the Galactic Federation, they work for themselves and their families.
    It's government's job to look out for the Commons.


    That being said, what do you feel is the best way for our government to regulate our common halibut?

    I look at IFQ as the best idea so far to regulate and manage the commercial take and stabilize the market, while putting the resource foremost.
    How it was instituted and how it's managed are separate issues to the validity of the tool for managers.
    I believe scientific resource managers want the maximum amount of halibut for everyone. Not only is it the overriding mandate of their job, but it keeps complaints to a minimum. Happy faces.

    There may be better ideas to manage commercial groundfisheries. I'm not much of a scholar on the subject, but I haven't heard many that seem to work as well for managers.

    That being said, the only way I'd like to see it applied to charters is as something they can sell over and above their client's sportfish limits.
    A means to maximize yield.
    The TAC for this Q could be a percentage of the previous year's unused sport allocation, to include sport catch from charters. The raw weight could be multiplied by a factor (1.1, 1.2...) for deepwater fish, or fish from chosen locations to offer an incentive for the charter fleet to work sustainable habitat.
    Charter skippers could log their catch electronically before they moved from the location of the catch with a datalogger or a realtime system to take advantage of the quota premium.

    Just an idea. I'm sure it's full of holes...




  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shawn View Post
    Now don't take this the wrong way and hear me out.

    Long liners started at 35 million pounds in 1996. Through the years they had an increase of 46 percent...that is state wide. If the power's to be would have increased the sportfish 1 percent for every 5 percent (just throwing numbers out) the COMMFISH grew, I don't think this would be such and issue.

    If you remember, all the problems started when sportfish was given a GHL. Now this GHL was never set to increase with the TAC just go down with the TAC. The COMMFISH was happy with the original 35 million pounds but when it increased to 59 million pounds then dropped back down to 50 million pounds they got upset. This is were the problem lies.

    When people get accustom to something one day then have it removed, they feel threatened.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is we need to work together to save it for our future generations.
    I agree. Very much. We must be the best stewards we possibly can.

    We all need limits or we'll destroy the resource just to earn a living.

    I think the comfish industry wants to see the charter industry allocation locked in to biomass like them. Trouble is, charters fish different waters generally, and use different practices. And the charter industry has grown, and needs to take more to stay profitable with that business model.

    I think the model needs to change on both sides of the equation.
    Managers need to allow the charter industry to prosper within the confines of the resource, and the charter industry needs to sell itself as something other than fish mongers if the resource is lagging.

    Guides everywhere sell an experience and careful stewardship, not just meat. Mixed bags make fun fishing. Pressure on the guide to produce whopper fish makes it a job for everyone.

    We all want the best resource possible. We certainly have that in common. If we can all strive to see the other side of the issues and realize that we have much in common and have legitimate interests in the resource, things can be easier.

    Maybe...

  6. #6

    Default Hit the nail

    I couldn't agree more.

  7. #7
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    Thumbs down The love of money. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by shawn View Post
    . . It's everyone against the system.
    That's because the "system" is politicized.

    "Though the fate of salmon rests in human hands, it is not clear that we will be able to save them even if our society wants to. Part of the problem lies in the conflict between the inherent uncertainty of the natural sciences and the certainty demanded by policy makers when balancing natural resource protection against economic opportunities." (King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon, Montgomery, Westview Press, 2003)

    Why be surprised?—we're watching it happen before our very eyes. Whether it's the NPFMC, KRSA, BoF, the halibut charter industry, commercial guiding/fishing, right down to 50-horsepower on the Kenai, the Commons sucks hind-tit to economic opportunity, which ruthlessly politicizes the "system" in an attempt to gain advantage favoring a particular, economic self-interest.

    The Kodiak Daily Mirror article referenced above asks, "Please explain so all of us can understand why majority doesn’t rule." Indeed!

    Consider the 50-horsepower/Kenai River thing. Over 60% of public comment opposed the increase to 50-horsepower on the Kenai, something the guide industry has relentlessly worked for for years, yet it has happened. Majority rules? I don't think so. Economic opportunity rules.

    Economic opportunity will always be camouflaged in the rhetoric of some higher but abstract good: jobs, conservation, etc., and economic opportunity will always depersonalize the opposition. For instance, kicking 2-strokes off the Kenai during the peak month, July, of commercial sportfishing is not about depriving people of opportunity, kicking 2-strokes off the river is about "motors." Motors aren't people. The Moral Law forbids we abuse our fellow man, but it doesn't forbid us abusing "motors."

    Relax. Professor Montgomery is right. As long as the Commons exist, economic opportunity rules. That's just human nature.


  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post

    Guides everywhere sell an experience and careful stewardship, not just meat. Mixed bags make fun fishing. Pressure on the guide to produce whopper fish makes it a job for everyone.
    Common dude.......fishing guides have the same interest as commercial fisherman; economic opportunity.

    The "idea" that guides sell an experience is retarded when the "guided experience" is specific to; and entirely dependent on............taking a natural resource.


  9. #9

    Thumbs down I'm Lost.

    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post
    The "idea" that guides sell an experience is retarded when the "guided experience" is specific to; and entirely dependent on............taking a natural resource.
    Avalanche,

    What are you trying to get at? I was really hoping we could open an intelligent dialog amongst Commercial and Sportfisherman alike.

    I do sell the experience to take a natural resource. Sportfishing is all about the experience. People sit on edge all day hoping what every tugs on the line next maybe that giant of a life time. I don't think it's much different than hunting. If I hunted just for the meat, I'd go hungry, but I crave the experience.

    Everyone is entitled to there own opinion, but if we don't treat each other with some kind of respect, where will we end up?

  10. #10
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    Smile Long-term care. . .

    Agreed, but these are touchy subjects, which require a degree of emotional detachment.

    With that in mind: It's often seemed to me that, as opposed to a long-term, committed, marriage-like relationship to a particular place and its resources, a guided experience is more like a one-night-stand with a stranger.

    Kind of like, "Will you still love me tomorrow?"

    It's hard to care, except rhetorically and abstractly, about the Commons when that Commons is not an integral part of us.



  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    That's because the "system" is politicized.

    "Though the fate of salmon rests in human hands, it is not clear that we will be able to save them even if our society wants to. Part of the problem lies in the conflict between the inherent uncertainty of the natural sciences and the certainty demanded by policy makers when balancing natural resource protection against economic opportunities." (King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon, Montgomery, Westview Press, 2003)

    ....

    The Kodiak Daily Mirror article referenced above asks, "Please explain so all of us can understand why majority doesn’t rule." Indeed!




    Can fisheries, or any limited limited valuable resource, stand the tyranny of the majority?


    I don't think fisheries can be properly managed by popular vote. Science is the most objective mode of human thought. It produces real results based on the best information and working theories.

    The allocation of those real results is where the process of politics can't be avoided and where science gets dribbled around like a basketball.




  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post
    Common dude.......fishing guides have the same interest as commercial fisherman; economic opportunity.

    The "idea" that guides sell an experience is retarded when the "guided experience" is specific to; and entirely dependent on............taking a natural resource.
    What I'm getting at is that slingin' meat is a bad business model for the majority of charters; something they need to avoid if they want to stay in business long.

    Charters should focus on selling opportunity and a fantastic experience for their clients, not tonnage. Success need not be measured by the dead weight of fish. Especially for the majority of clients who are not focused on that anyway.

    The clients who are should know where to do it and not expect whopper fish as their due and just right from the nearest convenient patch of ocean. Especially when they are not willing to pay a nickel more...



  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shawn View Post
    Avalanche,

    What are you trying to get at? I was really hoping we could open an intelligent dialog amongst Commercial and Sportfisherman alike.
    Explaining that a "guide sells an experience" is like explaining that a "commercial fisherman is there for the cultural experience". Both would give up on the "experience" and become "sport-fishermen" if they were not engaged in the commercial aspect of trade; exchanging dollars for the right to take a public resource.

    Quote Originally Posted by shawn View Post
    I do sell the experience to take a natural resource. Sportfishing is all about the experience. People sit on edge all day hoping what every tugs on the line next maybe that giant of a life time.
    Sport-fishing unguided is a different "experience" than a guided fishing trip; and commercial fishing is different yet.

    Both unguided and guided are recreational "experiences"; where "People sit on edge all day hoping" ............ however the "guided experience" is an intent and deliberate contract between a guide and a client in which an exchange of money for professional services is made and specific to "taking" a resource.

    The intent of every guide must be to catch the most (limit the client out), the biggest and the fastest; and as you said, "what every tugs on the line next maybe that giant of a life time." are important (critical elements) to guides because these are standards by which "clients" measure guide services; absolutely relevant to credibility as a "guide".

    The same can be said about commercial fisherman. No commercial fisherman is going to get a crew to come work for "the cultural experience" and no bank is going to be satisfied with the boat/permit owner who says; "I had a good cultural experience this year".

    Quote Originally Posted by shawn View Post
    Everyone is entitled to there own opinion, but if we don't treat each other with some kind of respect, where will we end up?
    Your "opinion" and now your argument that guides sell experience puts into question the credibility of resource allocation discussions.

    I hope the open and intelligent dialog we had about that enlightens you a little; not everyone buys into the concept that guides who take a public resource are actually only selling "an experience".


  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
    The clients who are should know where to do it and not expect whopper fish as their due and just right from the nearest convenient patch of ocean. Especially when they are not willing to pay a nickel more...


    I get ya.....BUT your last point "Especially when they are not willing to pay a nickel more..." is exactly the issue.

    Either as a client you buy a boat ride or a fishing trip.........

    It is very hard to "sell" something in between..........he who tries will not likely make it.

    Just the nature of the beast.


  15. #15
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    Unhappy Size matters for most. . .

    I don't think fisheries can be properly managed by popular vote. Science . . produces real results based on the best information and working theories.

    The allocation of those real results is where the process of politics can't be avoided and where science gets dribbled around like a basketball.

    Charters should focus on selling opportunity and a fantastic experience for their clients, not tonnage. Success need not be measured by the dead weight of fish. Especially for the majority of clients who are not focused on that anyway.
    Ishmael,

    While I certainly agree with you in principle, I don't think it works out that way in the real world. Politics and greed are unfortunate facts of life. Witness the alleged decline in halibut charter bookings in the face of a one-fish limit.

    Though it should be about science and the experience, it seldom is.


  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Ishmael,

    While I certainly agree with you in principle, I don't think it works out that way in the real world. Politics and greed are unfortunate facts of life. Witness the alleged decline in halibut charter bookings in the face of a one-fish limit.

    Though it should be about science and the experience, it seldom is.

    Of course not. It takes a lot more effort to inform oneself and apply hard principles that to form a kneejerk opinion. (I think I can defer to your experience dealing with it here!... )

    Back to the "Tyranny of the majority" thing. Folks are much more influenced by politics and rhetoric than they are by statistics and measurements, (and those get twisted to what ever end serves the user). Remember, the "rational" herdsman (who only considers himself) has a lot more upside than down when he uses the commons...

    That's why people's motives are necessarily called into the mix, and "I want it because I want it" shouldn't fly far in a just and proper allocation based on scientific principles used for the common good.
    Science can assume that all groups "Want". It can prioritize those wants as variables in an equation. It has. Many times...

    What it can't do is make people rich enough or happy enough....

  17. #17
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    Red face Social kaka. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
    . . What it can't do is make people rich enough or happy enough....
    When St. Paul warned Timothy that the love of money is the root of all evil, the Greek word Paul used for "evil" was "kakos," the root word of the still, universally understood "kaka."

    St. Paul was effectively telling Timothy that the love of money is the root of all "kaka" in society.

    There is nothing new under the sun. . .


  18. #18

    Angry

    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post
    Both unguided and guided are recreational "experiences"; where "People sit on edge all day hoping" ............ however the "guided experience" is an intent and deliberate contract between a guide and a client in which an exchange of money for professional services is made and specific to "taking" a resource.

    Last time I checked we still live in America. Many people are in business to "help" others catch, kill, obtain a natural resource and yes at a price.

    Currently I pay for that right, Captains license, CPR, Drug testing, TWIC's card, four business license, insurance, fishing license.

    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post
    The intent of every guide must be to catch the most (limit the client out), the biggest and the fastest; and as you said, "what every tugs on the line next maybe that giant of a life time." are important (critical elements) to guides because these are standards by which "clients" measure guide services; absolutely relevant to credibility as a "guide".
    Don't every lump me into the everyone is the same group....you have no idea how I run my business. Stereo typing people is a crappy thing, it would be like me running around saying all COMMFISH guys are drug and alcohol abusers.

    I've made great friends throughout the years that come back year after year. Just a little heads up, a trophy to them may not necessarily be a trophy in you mind. People from the Midwest catch a 35 pound halibut and they think its the biggest every and I treat them as if it were, and that's why the come back.

    Instead of *****ing help us come up with a solution, if not move one. I was hoping we could get some intelligent opinions but once again this forum has proved me wrong.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post
    I get ya.....BUT your last point "Especially when they are not willing to pay a nickel more..." is exactly the issue.

    Either as a client you buy a boat ride or a fishing trip.........

    It is very hard to "sell" something in between..........he who tries will not likely make it.

    Just the nature of the beast.
    I agree with Shawn. A guide sells many intangibles. Indeed, a quality experience is the cornerstone of his business.

    I'll go further and say the only tangible thing he sells is opportunity and bait. The client does the fishing.

    The client should also be aware that very few "Guaranteed Kill" game ranches are in the ocean around Alaska. They only exist on our grocery shelves and frying pans up here...


  20. #20

    Default

    I think everyone is talking principles here. I know I'm enjoying the attempt at meta ethics and the hands offered in the search.

    High standards are making this thread a decent forum for my views so far, but I certainly want to be tolerant of any honest attempt to examine any idea here, even if it's not framed like I would say it. In fact, i expect Avalanche to kick our points around and eventually either question our logic further or accept it. He's also perfectly free to reject it on whatever grounds he feels defensible.


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