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Thread: Commercial fishermen, who believe they own the halibut fishery,

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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Angry Commercial fishermen, who believe they own the halibut fishery,

    That says it all! This is a long article, but worth the read. I hope it hasn't been posted yet.


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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Yeah, it does say it all. It shows how absolutely blinded some are by their own bias. I generally like Medred, but that line bothered me more than a little bit. I am a commercial fisherman, and I absolutely do not believe I own the resource. It is amazing to me that folks think they know what other people believe and that the beliefs of a large group can be easily defined for all members of that group with blanket statements. This is an important issue, but rhetoric like that does nothing to advance the discussion - it only further alienates user groups from one another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    It is amazing to me that folks think they know what other people believe and that the beliefs of a large group can be easily defined for all members of that group with blanket statements. This is an important issue, but rhetoric like that does nothing to advance the discussion - it only further alienates user groups from one another.
    Welcome to being a guide on the Kenai...........

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    IMHO, it's not that commercial fisherman think they own a resource. It's that they are infinitly more regulated than other user groups, and when halibut numbers go down the first place the finger always points is..... straight at the commercial guys. I'm glad to see the charter operators getting some attention lately. I've been a commercial fisherman, I've worked in the charter industry, I've sport fished for halibut, and I've done the subsistance thing. I've seen it from all sides and I'm glad that the IPHC is finally spreading the love across more user groups.

    And I haven't been impressed with Medred recently.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Quite honestly, I'm stunned by the non-reaction from the State of Alaska on this issue.

    Traditionally, for marine species, NMFS sets the overall allocation (not to exceed XYZ.......) but the State manages the allocation between user groups (commercial, recreational, tribal, subsistence, dip netters, etc.) This happens in Alaska and every other coastal State. But this issue is different. NMFS is saying, in effect, that recreational anglers are taking too much. Presumably recreational anglers are not exceeding the total allocation, so it's not a conservation issue. It's an allocation issue. But allocation is STRICTLY a State responsibility. Why is NMFS telling the State of Alaska that their recreational anglers are taking too many fish when the overall allocation is below the conservation limits? Since when did NMFS become the BOF?

    The silence from the State is absolutely stunning. They are losing their regulatory authority without so much as a whimper. Even the commercial folks ought to realize that if NMFS can re-allocate the catch to their benefit, they can also reallocate it to their detriment. That's why they ought to be opposing this rule, even if it benefits them in the short term. But they remain as silent as the State. The State is losing it's moral authority to complain when the Feds begin intruding on the allocations elsewhere (e.g., Kenai Rv Chinook).

    And don't say it can't happen on the Kenai........
    Last edited by Cohoangler; 01-25-2011 at 12:37. Reason: typo

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    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/magact/ The Halibut are govern by the Feds which is the North Council, NOAA, and the IPHC. The IPHC sets the bag limits on sport caught halibut. The North Council and the NOAA set the limits on what charters can catch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    Traditionally, for marine species, NMFS sets the overall allocation (not to exceed XYZ.......) but the State manages the allocation between user groups (commercial, recreational, tribal, subsistence, dip netters, etc.) This happens in Alaska and every other coastal State. But this issue is different. NMFS is saying, in effect, that recreational anglers are taking too much. Presumably recreational anglers are not exceeding the total allocation, so it's not a conservation issue. It's an allocation issue. But allocation is STRICTLY a State responsibility. Why is NMFS telling the State of Alaska that their recreational anglers are taking too many fish when the overall allocation is below the conservation limits? Since when did NMFS become the BOF?
    First of all Allocation isn't changing, hasn't changed for years, the state shouldn't have a problem with it, and shouldn't be silent, most of the people who profit in cash and protein in SEAK charter fisheries are from out of state. Its just like non res sheep hunters guiding non res hunters, SAME DEAL. Its an entirely different deal in SC where half of the commercial sport fishermen are from AK (including on occasion myself) notice how limits haven't been lowered for charters out of homer? I think a very good argument can be made for the idea that the current allocation scheme is in the best interest of the state's economy. Sport fishing should not be about selling halibut like the charter sector claims it should be about having fun on the water, if you want halibut, buy some, or if you are a resident fish subsistence either federal or state, charter a boat in SC (where the limit has been unchanged as long as I can remember) or if you live in SEAK knock on your neighbors door if you don't have a boat, I bet they do, because everybody does. Not sure how these rule changes affect any more than 2% of you. What I'm saying essentially is that the state has no reason to complain.

    Second Federal Management happens outside of 3 miles just like migratory birds. The only cases where federal management supercede state management in Alaska are the following:
    -The animal moves travels/resides of the 3 mile limit (such as halibut, berring sea crab)
    -International treaties dictate managment (such as Migratory Birds)
    -Subsistence on federal lands and waters which get allocation priority (Under ANILCA)
    -ESA listed species

    Currently Kenai King allocation is partially controlled by the federal government under ANILCA as there is a federal subsistence season for them (or there was last I heard). Same with sockeye on the kenai.

    Even under state rules subsistence allocation takes priority over commercial, sport, and personal use. At least the Feds are limiting charter anglers rather than all sport anglers.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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