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Thread: Coast Guard Oversite for Safety

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    Default Coast Guard Oversite for Safety

    http://www.adn.com/money/industries/...ry/955086.html

    From ADN:

    "Throughout the years, for decades, we've recommended that the Coast Guard have authority to inspect these vessels. These vessels are exempted from inspection and we think that the statistics show, unfortunately, that this is the deadliest industry. There are more lives lost per million, for fishermen, than there are for any other profession in the United States. We need to rectify that."

    I personally find it intersting that the guide fleet (Kenai River and more) are subject to Coast Guard inspection, and more, including TWIC cards while the the commercial fleet is not subject to the same regulations, including random drug tests.

    This is a step in the right direction to ensure all fishers return safe. THe Coast Guard does a great service for us and hopefully the can help save more lives without firing up their helicopters.

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    One would expect that providing commercial fishing services to the mass public would require more strict regulation than non-public commercial fishing. Most things are that way...public vs private aircraft/pilot, public vs private bussing/operator, etc.

    The tradgedies in the Bearing Sea can almost always be attributed to captain error or bad judgement, whether it be equipment or weather. I certainly support safer vessels, as long as it's not just more government intervention, expansion, and red-tape bureaucracy. That would make the fishery less viable with the expenses passed on to consumers. Unfortunately the Bearing Sea is an unforgiving beast and home of Murphy...bad things will always happen no matter the regulations imposed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    One would expect that providing commercial fishing services . .
    Do you mean "providing sportfishing services" commercial fishing services tells me that I will be using nets and selling my catch.

    I do think commercial captains should hold Coast Guard Licenses as well as they should be drug tested and have a TWIC card. I think that would be fair, especially since they are traveling into ports, harbors, and rivers that are used by the public.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    One would expect that providing commercial fishing services to the mass public would require more strict regulation than non-public commercial fishing. Most things are that way...public vs private aircraft/pilot, public vs private bussing/operator, etc.

    .
    Not neccessarily, the Coast Guard can also board and inspect any private vessel it wants to, although, Coast Guard licensed operators are held to different standards of regulation, ie: drug test, twic cards, but they all need the same safety equipment (except CG licensed operators need type 1 PFD's while the average operator just needs type III PFD's.

    Commercial fishermen are using publicly navigateable waters, such as a tractor/tailer operator on the public roadways, they don't carry passengers but are still held to higher standards for safety reasons.

    I was very surprised to find out that guides need TWIC cards and commercial fishermen don't as well as guides must be part of a random drug test program while commercial fishermen don't. Commercial fishermen also don't need Coast Guard licenses, I find that interesting. I think the above items would be a good start for safety, agreed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon
    Do you mean "providing sportfishing services" commercial fishing services tells me that I will be using nets and selling my catch.
    No, I meant exactly what I said. After all, charters and guides provide a commercial fishing service.

    I am not necessarily in agreement with you. I have heard you and other sportfishing guides complain about the licensing and requirement burden. I support safety, but I question the requirements when no one is paying for hire. Do drivers of those big diesel pusher RV's require a CDL? No. Does the flower delivery lady require a drug/alcohol test to drive? No. Some laws would certainly have to be changed to force the same requirements charters and guides have on commercial fishermen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    No, I meant exactly what I said. After all, charters and guides provide a commercial fishing service..
    I wish I got the same low interest loans as commercial fishermen do when there are lean fish years. I wish I got a permit I could sell, like a commercial fishermen, then my business would have more value. Grampy, please lobby for us to be commercial fishermen, heck I could sell fish as well. I really like the idea of being a commercial fishermen, do you think we could team up to lobby to make this happen?


    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    I am not necessarily in agreement with you. I have heard you and other sportfishing guides complain about the licensing and requirement burden. I support safety, but I question the requirements when no one is paying for hire. Do drivers of those big diesel pusher RV's require a CDL? No..
    Actaully, the drivers of the big Class A motorhomes with airbrakes are supposed to have an airbrake endorcement.

    What about the semi-truck driver, a dump truck driver? I used to drive a dump truck and I needed a commercial endorsement and had to pass a drug test. I think it is fair for a commercial fishermen to do the same. I saw in the report in ADN that drugs may have been an issue on board the boat the sank. I don't want to share my roads or river with anyone under the influence.

    I really don't think a Coast Guard license, random drug test and a TWIC card is not too much to ask. Do you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon
    I wish I got the same low interest loans as commercial fishermen do when there are lean fish years. I wish I got a permit I could sell, like a commercial fishermen, then my business would have more value.
    Then similarly you would also have to wish for Federal regulation and management, with laws like limited entry, etc...restrictions the guide and charter industry have rejected. As for the "value" of your business...it would be more if you were one of 50 guides, not 400 (for example).

    We all had equal choice to take up commercial fishing, apply for low interest loans, and sell the permit. You chose a different path...to provide a commercial sport fishing guide service that falls under different regulation. But don't fret. You can still have your wish granted! Commercial fishing permits are available! You can still become a commercial fishermen regulated by federal limited entry, with low interest loan programs, and a permit you can sell. But be careful what you wish for.


    Quote Originally Posted by yukon
    Grampy, please lobby for us to be commercial fishermen, heck I could sell fish as well. I really like the idea of being a commercial fishermen, do you think we could team up to lobby to make this happen?
    No need to lobby. You're already a commercial fishermen, specifially a commercial sport fishermen who provides a commercial sport fishing guide service. You exchange money with a client (the commercial part) who you assist, accompany, and physically direct, in taking fish (the fishing part).

    In my opinion, your ideas in this discussion started out with safety and have deviated into negative sentiment toward commercial fishermen, using apples to oranges comparisons along with the idea things aren't fair.

    As for the topic, I certainly support safer vessels, as long as it's not just more government intervention, expansion, and red-tape bureaucracy that makes the fishery less viable, passing on the expenses to consumers. But I said that already.

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    No, I started the discussion about safety, you called me a commercial fishermen, I pointed out the differences, you brought up other entities, comparing apples and oranges, not me, such as RV's and the flower lady, and I presented another side. And yes, the flower lady should have her vehicle registered commercially if she uses it for business, just like I have with my truck, an additional $200 or so every two years.

    Yes or no, do you think the commercial fleet and public would be safer if they had CG licenses, drug testing and a TWIC card, since they are using our ports?

    All I am saying, if you are calling me a commercial fishermen, lets play by the same rules. Are Cook Inlet comfishers managed by the Feds? Did i ever say I wasn't in support of limited entry for guides?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post

    As for the topic, I certainly support safer vessels, as long as it's not just more government intervention, expansion, and red-tape bureaucracy that makes the fishery less viable, passing on the expenses to consumers. But I said that already.
    Using this logic, this seems like a great argument for less regulations for commercial sport fishing guides.

    I think Yukon is right about the lack of required safety standards.

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    tcman, I am a proponent of eliminating unnecessary government intervention and red-tape bureaucracy from the commercial sport fishing segment.

    But I don't think an apples to apples comparison can be made between the requirements of guides and commercial fishermen. They are very different...a big one being that commercial fishermen do not take the public for hire on their vessels. There is less need to protect the public on a commercial fishing boat.

    I have not contested yukon's idea. In fact I have said at least 3 times that I support safer commercial fishing vessels. However, I do contest the contentious use of comparisons between the guide fleet and the commercial fleet.

    For example, a comparison to CG licensing was made, but the guide fleet is required to have a CG license as a "for hire" vessel that operates within 100 miles of the coast. That makes little sense for a commercial fishing vessel that is not "for hire" and commonly travels farther than 100 miles off coast. Similar concerns exist with drug testing and TWIC. It would be short-sighted haste to simply give a "yes" or "no" answer.

    I contest yukon's idea that guides/charters are not commercial fishermen, per Alaska Administrative Code....

    "commercial recreation" means recreational use of land, water, and resources for business or financial gain; commercial recreation includes guided sport fishing, guided and outfitted sport hunting, guided recreation, and air and water taxi services that provide transportation to recreational users of state land; "commercial recreation" does not include solely anchoring a vessel overnight on state shoreland, tideland, or submerged land;"

    "guide services" include the following: operating a vehicle to provide transportation for any recreational activity including hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, mountaineering, photography, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, and flying; supplying equipment and personal instruction for its use while in a park; baiting hooks; netting and cleaning fish; cooking meals while in transit; assisting with rod and reel operation; assisting in the taking of wildlife; leading; teaching; training; supervising; protecting; or choosing routes, paths, and recreation use methods;"

    "sport fishing guide" means a person who provides guide services to another person in pursuit of catching or taking fish, or the experience associated with attempting to catch or take fish."

    I will refrain from engaging negative sentiment that really doesn't belong in this discussion.

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    Thanks, I see nowhere in there guides are directly called "commercial fishermen".

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    As usual someone is trying to pull this into a diatribe against guides....that was not the topic nor did it seem to be the intent of Yukon when he started it.

    I agree that the public and crew members onboard would be safer if the Coast Guard requirements for inspection and training that the guides have to meet applied to all commercial fishing vessels.....no matter how you choose to define them. If a vessel is operated in any way to generate income then the captain should be required to meet all Coast Guard standards that were deemed appropriate.

    How about cutting out the guide bashing and staying on topic for a change??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post

    But I don't think an apples to apples comparison can be made between the requirements of guides and commercial fishermen..
    What??? I thought guides were commercial fishermen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    They are very different...a big one being that commercial fishermen do not take the public for hire on their vessels...
    I thought you just gave a huge explaination on how guides are commercial fishermem???
    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    I have not contested yukon's idea. In fact I have said at least 3 times that I support safer commercial fishing vessels. However, I do contest the contentious use of comparisons between the guide fleet and the commercial fleet...
    Drug testing shouldn't be a common thread?


    .
    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post


    For example, a comparison to CG licensing was made, but the guide fleet is required to have a CG license as a "for hire" vessel that operates within 100 miles of the coast. That makes little sense for a commercial fishing vessel that is not "for hire" and commonly travels farther than 100 miles off coast. Similar concerns exist with drug testing and TWIC. It would be short-sighted haste to simply give a "yes" or "no" answer.
    Hmmmm....how many commercial fishing boats do I see in the Kenai. How often do commercial fishermen use ports and their services? A TWIC might be a good idea, more applicable to commercial fishermen than guides.


    .
    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    I contest yukon's idea that guides/charters are not commercial fishermen, per Alaska Administrative Code....

    "commercial recreation" means recreational use of land, water, and resources for business or financial gain; commercial recreation includes guided sport fishing, guided and outfitted sport hunting, guided recreation, and air and water taxi services that provide transportation to recreational users of state land; "commercial recreation" does not include solely anchoring a vessel overnight on state shoreland, tideland, or submerged land;"

    "guide services" include the following: operating a vehicle to provide transportation for any recreational activity including hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, mountaineering, photography, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, and flying; supplying equipment and personal instruction for its use while in a park; baiting hooks; netting and cleaning fish; cooking meals while in transit; assisting with rod and reel operation; assisting in the taking of wildlife; leading; teaching; training; supervising; protecting; or choosing routes, paths, and recreation use methods;"

    "sport fishing guide" means a person who provides guide services to another person in pursuit of catching or taking fish, or the experience associated with attempting to catch or take fish."

    I will refrain from engaging negative sentiment that really doesn't belong in this discussion.
    See above, you clearly make a case why guides and commercial fishermen are different. BTW, anywhere in your quoted material does it directly say "commercial fishermen"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gusdog44 View Post
    As usual someone is trying to pull this into a diatribe against guides....that was not the topic nor did it seem to be the intent of Yukon when he started it.

    I agree that the public and crew members onboard would be safer if the Coast Guard requirements for inspection and training that the guides have to meet applied to all commercial fishing vessels.....no matter how you choose to define them. If a vessel is operated in any way to generate income then the captain should be required to meet all Coast Guard standards that were deemed appropriate.

    How about cutting out the guide bashing and staying on topic for a change??
    Sorry Gusdog, had to make that post. I agree that we should stay on topic to make all industries safer and not make excuses for not making safety changes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    Thanks, I see nowhere in there guides are directly called "commercial fishermen".
    We seem to be splitting hairs here...for what reason, I am not sure.

    For what it's worth, someone who does something commercially does so for financial gain. I don't think it's a stretch to refer to a guide as one who fishes commercially (for financial gain), thus commercial fishermen. It's not the general connotation of that term, but it fits.

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    Please re-read my comment. It doesn't call yukon a "commercial fishermen". It specifically calls him a commercial sport fishermen who provides a commercial sport fishing guide service.

    "You're already a commercial fishermen, specifially a commercial sport fishermen who provides a commercial sport fishing guide service." -

    That comment is supported by Alaska Administrative Code which I already posted. It defines guided sport fishing as a commercial activity. For a guide not to be a commercial fishermen, he would have to remove himself from either the commerce aspect, or the fishing aspect. But then he's not a guide.

    I honestly don't know what the big deal is or why guides were brought up in the original post. We could certianly use the term commercial sport fishing if it will help move things along here.

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    I thought TWIC cards were only required for people who have, or need, access to secure areas. I'm not sure why TWIC excludes commercial fishermen, or anyone at a port or harbor who doesn't have a CG license for that matter (like you or me). There must be a reason. I know cruise ship crews are not required to have them. I would expect if it was a matter of national security, commercial fishermen would be required to have them already. I'd like to know more about TWIC before deciding if commercial fishermen really need them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    We seem to be splitting hairs here...for what reason, I am not sure.

    For what it's worth, someone who does something commercially does so for financial gain. I don't think it's a stretch to refer to a guide as one who fishes commercially (for financial gain), thus commercial fishermen. It's not the general connotation of that term, but it fits.
    Brian, I do see what you are saying, but there are differences, that is why guides are not directly called "commercial fishermen" anywhere. We are totally different than commercial fishermen. Try telling someone you are a commercial fisherman as see how many ask, "what kind?" "set netter, gill netter, long liner, troller, crabber, river guide, halibut guide?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    I thought TWIC cards were only required for people who have, or need, access to secure areas. I'm not sure why TWIC excludes commercial fishermen, or anyone at a port or harbor who doesn't have a CG license for that matter (like you or me). There must be a reason. I know cruise ship crews are not required to have them. I would expect if it was a matter of national security, commercial fishermen would be required to have them already. I'd like to know more about TWIC before deciding if commercial fishermen really need them.
    Then why do I have a TWIC card?

    According to you I am a commercial fishermen, I have a TWIC card, I do not and never had a need to access a secure area, I have a TWIC card.

    TWIC cards came about as a direct result of Homeland Security.

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    Because commercial sport fisherman are required to have a Coast Guard six-pack license. And the TWIC laws require anyone with a CG license to have a TWIC card. They go together, by requirement of law. Currently commercial fishermen (non-sport commercial fishermen) are excluded from that. There is probably a reason...I don't know it.

    I understand you don't have, or need, to access secure areas. That is my point, and why I don't jump to mandating one for the commercial guys (non-sport commercial). I can't see making a new law or regulation if it's not necessary.

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