View Poll Results: Civil Disobedience or Law Breakers
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Civil Disobedience or Law Breakers
This is a hard subject. Do I allow my family to go hungry or do I break the law and fish?
If the number of kings can without a doubt be tied to the commercials in the Bering Sea, then I would agree something needs to be done. However, it would seem numbers are down all across the state, not just the Yukon.
You could also tie this to subsistance I guess, but that seems to be a pandora's box..........
What is law breaking and what is Civil Disobedience
I have worked for more tha a decade to protect our resourcees. Our
Constitution states that the resource are reserved for the citizens of Alaska, when a citizens has to provide food for their family it is not law breaking nor is it civil disobedience it is survial. If an individual has other means of providing for their family it is Law breaking.
a little more on this
The state constitution is one thing but salmon are the property of the federal government. Therefore, the citizens of the United States are the major decision makers in this debate. The Yukon also has fish that moved from the United States to Canada and therefore under treaties.
Originally Posted by bigfisherman
The issue here is allocation and conservation. However, one does not have to break the fishing laws or threaten the conservation of the resource to challenge decisions. That is why we have courts. It is a wrong tack to take if one feels they want to challenge a regulation by breaking it - that is not allowed in the State of Alaska. I ran into this back in the early 80's with the subsistence issue here on the Kenai.
When things were tough and I couldn't afford to feed my family, I didn't break the law and just take it or steal it.
true subsistence use is to be the last use that is shut down. When all other user groups have been fully restricted, then subsistence goes as well. Before forming an opinion to the ethics of the people undertaking this subsistence fishery, I'd need to know the other options available. For instance, pike. If you can go catch a pile of pike, then you will be able to subsist, and not have to jeopardize further the future returns of kings by hammering them when they're already down.
When the health or safety of a person's family is being threatened by an outside source, it is the man of the family's job to take care of that threat as best he can.
I've eaten Yukon chum and it is very good.
I wish that anyone up there could catch kings, but something is going on. The Yukon could end up needing every King possible. While it's easy to say folks COULD eat something else.........I don't have to make decisions like that truly anyway. So it's hard for me to say. I do know, restrictions like this would not be enacted without real concern for the return, and the law is the law.
Think of moose instead of Kings and then how would most feel?
Nick Andrew Jr's...
own father told me, after I asked him about the King Salmon subsistence shut down & he just told me that "there are other fish besides king"...seems that Nick Jr. needs to listen to his own father...if, as a leader of a Tribal Council (Ohogamuit) encourages people to break the law, & allow king fishing, he's only endangering FUTURE stock & shooting himself (themselves if they follow him) in the foot.
I encourage EACH & EVERYONE OF YOU to call the TC (907) 679-6517 & let Nick Jr. know that his actions today will endanger his childrens future to continue to eat WILD King salmon, as is, if subsistence & commercial fishing continues, the numbers will only decrease, causing loss of the resource, & turning to HATCHERY raised fish will be about the only option to save the King run...& that's the last thing that commerical interest want are hatchery raised fish...WILD Yukon Kings are WORLD renowned for the HIGHEST fat content in Alaska & perhaps the world for Kings.
Plenty of Chum, Pinks & Silver run up the Yukon, along with Pike, & whitefish, as well, as lush(eelpout/burbot) shee, & other fish can round out the subsistence menu for the winter, may not be the coveted King but it's still food.
Saving the wild run of the Yukon Kings for future harvest should be Nick Andrew Jr's FIRST priority...not feeding his family a dwindling number of King Salmon, when there's plenty of other salmon & fish in the river for him to get.
I view it as an act of civil disobedience. I'm sure it's just as much about the media coverage as much as it about getting king salmon. Bringing the issue of Bycatch to national attention is a good thing, and my hat is off to these men.
It's breaking the law - hurting the future
Goalie is spot on with his post! Thanks for that info Goalie.
I'm an upper-Yukon chinook subsistence fisherman. And I and other subsistence fishers have been asking for more closures for a couple years now to allow more fish into the system, especially to the very upper stretches of the river in Canada.
Overall, I honestly believe that not enough actual subsistence king salmon fishers (and there are many) have viewed the lower king runs as enough of a problem, and especially as a future threat to their very subsistence livelihood, to support curtailing fishing or outright banning it for a summer or two in order for the system to "reload" as it were. In many ways it has been an education problem, especially because the attitudes of too many users is one that essentially blocks off any notion of them being a part of the problem as well as a part of the solution.
I'm greatly saddened to see the AVCP and Native leaders advocate to disobey the closures. Yes, there are a lot of us who depend upon the kings as a food source. As a primary food source in fact. So this is a great hardship for a lot of folks along the river.
Bottom line for any Yukon subsistence king fishermen/women out there is that if you don't abide by closures now you are likely causing an even greater problem in future and a real threat to this historic stock.
Claiming it's all the fault of the commercial fishery bycatch in the Bering and riling people out of spite to disobey closures isn't a real solution. Catching fish that we desperately need to allow to spawn farther upriver isn't a solution.
I encourage everyone to abide by the closures. Hopefully the chum run will be good. We are all a bit spoiled these days, eh...when too many look at chums as merely dog food. There are whitefish, pike, sheefish, burbot. And there are beaver and ducks and geese legally available as another food source. I know it won't be easy. But if we can't be part of a solution; if we can't promote and advocate that all inriver users need to curtail fishing or stop fishing kings until the stocks begin to replenish themselves...the future is even more bleak for all subsistence users along the Yukon and its tributaries.
Good post Mark.
I don't support a complete shutdown of the subsistence fishery. Filling larders in rural areas is always a mixed bag of thing and each one fills a niche. I do support a limit of days or a limit of gear or a limit of take per capita to decrease pressure, but firmly believe local residents should be able to have some take. Numbers are down but they aren't crashed. Scale things back to half of usual take/effort or somewhat less.
Definitely no commercial fishing, the payoff in the long run of the cash lost right now would not be worth it IMHO. Agreed with others, there are lots of other food sources available and they should be utilized to make up for a lack of kings, but no outright closure for subsistence.
One word on Yukon River Pike...
The big ones aren't considered edible, as mercury studies have shown that trace elements of mecury have been found in Pike that are larger than 2' long...& it may not come from man made environmental pollution but from naturally occuring cinnabar...
deja'vu........ I don't fish much therefore I don't spend much time in the fishing forum. But I laugh every time I drop in and realize that the bear/moose issue is alive and well in this forum too. Just change the names to pike/chinook. People complain that there isn't enough of one while refusing to consume the other.
Not the case here though....
Originally Posted by LuJon
Pike are quite native to the the Yukon system and not likely a contributor to the low returns of kings, just like Bristol Bay they are evolved along with the salmon, often by using different habitats. However GG is spot on that in many areas the source of mercury is natural and accumulates in older resident fishes like pike. Not sure what the consumption advisory is for that area, but it happens in lots of areas for pike, lake trout, walleyes etc. that can be well over ten years old at larger sizes.
as well, Pike have been coexisting with King Salmon for eons...there were record runs in the early to mid 90's & then the King Salmon runs CRASHED...someone told me a legitimate reason & I forgot, I will have to ask around again...
For anyone interested...
here's a nice history of the Yukon Chinook harvest...
Of particular interest is the crash of '96 & & then even more in '98...I just wish I could find pollock fisheries bycatch numbers & over lap the two to see if there's coincidental evidence to ascertain that it's maybe that pollock bycatch is actually causing the decline in numbers...
One has to wonder if the El Nino~ of '97-98 had anything to do with the decline?
Last edited by gogoalie; 06-07-2009 at 15:45.
Sorry, but if you read the Mag/Stevens Act it clearly stated that the salmon resources are owned by the federal government. Here is a part of the Act that starts the discussion. There are more examples in the Act and in case law. In fact, the State of Alaska has recognized this for a number of years via agreements and policy statements between the State and Federal gov.
Originally Posted by Nerka
(b) BEYOND THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE.--The United States claims, and will exercise in the manner provided for in this Act, exclusive fishery management authority over the following: (1) All anadromous species throughout the migratory range of each such species beyond the exclusive economic zone; except that that management authority does not extend to any such species during the time they are found within any waters of a foreign nation.
Alaska Statehood Act - 1959
Originally Posted by Nerka
Magnusson/Stevens Act - 1976
Like ANILCA (1980), is this yet another example of federal usurping of powers in Alaska after statehood since one of the driving forces of statehood was salmon management after the federal mismanagement and economic disaster declarations of the 1950's?
This is in court right now so we should know in a couple of years how it plays out. However, the state appears to agree with the feds since they signed agreements in 1996 to follow Mag?Stevens. We will see. We have highjacked this thread so I think we should stop the discussion or start a new thread.
Originally Posted by stimpy