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Thread: The Politics of Fishing

  1. #1
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    Default The Politics of Fishing

    Let me set this straight. I am an outsider and I do not live in Alaska. I never have and I seriously doubt I ever will. Yet I love fishing in this state, so much that as a visitor I was determined to find a way to return over and over without taking it through the nose.
    I did. I became a book author and of my two only volumes, the first has gone to reprint and the second is just about sold out. That's about 6,500 books that have gone into the hands of those who might be interested in making the journey to the Last Frontier.

    I'm small time. Certanily not a notable like a Gunnar Pederson or a Chris Battin, but not bad for a bit player. I represent the commuting visitor who buys into the Alaska sportfishing experience. They average over 300,000 out-of-state liscences per year. That's more than the resident sportfishing angler. They average over 180,000 in-state liscences per year.

    Both of these groups then number easily over 450,000 liscences per year.

    It's certainly not the same for commercial liscence fishing counts. Residents number less than 10,000 and non-residents number a little over 8,000.

    SOURCE: ADF&G 2006 Statistics

    That's a hell of a ratio. Less than 20,000 commercial persons as compared to 450,000 individual persons.

    Yet, look at the politics these commercial guys have. Try the At-Sea Processors Association, or the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association, or the Untied Fishermen of Alaska, or then on to the National Fisheries Institute. These organizations all have officers, charters, dues, and lobbists. Lobbists influence regulations. You don't have to be student of government to know that. Money talks, always. The arms of those organizations reach out far in political influence that affects fishing regulations.

    Now, take a look at the organizations of the indvidual sportfishermen of Alaska. Though they by far outnumber commercial liscensure, the only organiztion I found outside of local clubs was the Kenai River Sportfishing Association and that was it. That's hardly a reach.

    So, what's my point?

    It's easy. The commericial guys are organized and the individuals are not. It's a comparrison as easy as night and day. One sees how to turn on the light and the other is still in the dark. I find that sad, and now with new regulations, alarming.

    Expressing opinions on a community forum is good, but it's just a rant that's wasted in cyberspace. I read everything you say. I am very impressed in your statements and your evaluations. It's your state and your views continue to inspire me.

    And so, here I am. I've put my neck out. I'm asking you to consider organizing yourselves to become a political entity. You can if you willing to make that committment. How powerful you could become. You outnumber the commercial side by the hundreds of thousands. What an influence you might have!

    Me?

    I already told you. I'm the outsider. This is up to you. All I can say is that if you do make it in organization, and want someone to represent the commuting angler, you can count on me for assistance, both organizational and fiscal.

    I hope you don't resent my suggestions. I'm really in it for all of you...

    Bernard R. Rosenberg
    Sarasota, Florida
    941-266-7231
    http://www.alaskanauthor.com
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  2. #2
    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Myopic.


    At best.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    The main problem with an orginization taking place is that many of the non resident licenses are sold mainly to people that take a charter trip. There is more argueing between the charter fleet and the personal fishermen than there is between the comm fishermen and fishermen. Until these two (charter and personal fishermen) groups can start to work together this kind of force unfortunatly will never happen even though these two groups are on the same side they fight amongst eachother and the comm fishermen sit back and laugh at us and reep the benifits. There are too many ME's in the sport fishing side for them to unite and become US.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    No matter the quantities of sport anglers, or in state/out of state, fishing does not pay their bills and hence only a small percentage of them care enough to take part in the politics of fish allocation between user groups. They don't have skin in the game, hence they really don't care enough to take action.

    However a fishing guide, or someone who sells gear, or someone who writes fishing books does have skin in the game and hence a sufficient interest to take action.

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    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    If there was an organization that was truly representing the private sport angler and not guides/lodges/etc, I'd join and be active in it in a heartbeat.

    I'm sure that on many issues, we'd be working right alongside the other organizations that include the other sport sectors, but when it's time to work for our own interests, then that's what's gotta be done.

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    Clue me in.

    What are the disputes between the sports fishermen and the charter operators?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by idakfisher View Post
    Clue me in.

    What are the disputes between the sports fishermen and the charter operators?
    Same here. Have yet to hear any real dispute between the two.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Default yup

    Yup! Me three, I wanna know too
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Its sad but true, but there are many "sport fishermen" who do not not use charter services to fish classify themselves as different and in some cases more righteous than the "sport fishermen" that does use a charter services. It won't be long before the comm fish is at the private sport fishermen's door step. I hope not but it's looks to be heading that way. Best of luck to all the guy's/gals in SE with the new screwing that is going to happen tomorrow, I can't believe this is happening in America. Bernard that is an excellent observation and I wish we all could come together and stop all this bull becasue it is all pollitical. All the politicians are in bed with the comm money from the token responses I got from them. Not to put all the recent changes on the comm guys there were many charter operators from some of my responses from the politicians that supported many changes , but my guess is they wanted to cash in on the permit.

  10. #10
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    fearknot when the preverbal poop hits the fan nobody is gonna worry about fishing for recreation. I don't think they're wetting to many lines in Japan. Speaking of which just think how good the dipnetting will be for all their household goods. Ok then I'll let you tourists continue your discussion in this deadend thread. Hey Benard isn't their more pressing business in Florida to concern yourself w/? what about eligible senior widows running around the shuffleboard area don't they keep you busy enough?

  11. #11
    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    I am conflicted on the sport vs guide issue. On the one hand it really is all about "sport" and who is to say that a guy taking out his own boat and getting it done is much different than paying for a seat and getting it done. It is sport for the guy reeling the fish in either way. I think the difference is, that a guided boat can go out day after day. The guide knows the water and best tactics as he should and is able to increase catch accordingly. I fear the that this is a double edged sword in that the areas with a large group of guides pushes the distance one needs to travel to find good fishing ground further and further. I see where this could possibly rub owner operators the wrong way. I can imagine that not too many years ago guys could pick up good halibut out of Seward, Whittier, Valdez, etc.... without having to burn 3 hours worth of fuel. I also see that the guiding industry brings lots of dollars to those towns. I won't comment on comm fishing as I am ignorant to the issues, I see bycatch as a big problem but I have no numbers (other than the amount of beer I have had). I grew up doing it on our own but I have been on a few guided boats. I have to say that it is always a bit disappointing. Even when we limit the boat on a guided trip I don't feel nearly as satisfied as DIY. The first post is dead on regarding the truth that money talks and unfortunately sports fishers really can't put up the numbers that comm fishing and the guiding industry can. It may be in the best interest for independent sport fishers to join guides. I just fear as the pie gets cut into smaller pieces the little guy gets left with the crumbs. Ask the fisherman in Montana that can no longer fish local rivers without a permit. This was a long beer fueled post and for that I apologize.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    Hey Benard isn't their more pressing business in Florida to concern yourself w/? what about eligible senior widows running around the shuffleboard area don't they keep you busy enough?
    :0 :-) :-) :-)
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

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    Heyduke, it would be nice if the private and charter would join together and level the playing field. Maybe someday it will happen and I hope it does.

    FYI fullbush "I'm not a tourist" guess you assumed wrong and to slam Bernard for asking a question when obviously he doesn't agree with your views. Doesn't make sense.

  14. #14
    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    Financially it makes sense. I just see what has happened with the "guiding" industries in some western states. I fear that in some cases the industry can grow at unsustainable rates. I think that in order for a partnership to work all parties have to address their own negative issues.

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    Couldn't agree with you more Hayduke. I would love to sit down as a group and try and reach some common ground that will work for all. Not that I have ever had any issues with either group but I'm sure there have been some at times. If we don't join together soon there will be nothing but Comm fish. Not that they don't make/buy all the rules already.

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    The fish that are federally controlled (ex. halibut, cod) are the ones where sportfishing/charter guides are suffering now, because Seattle comm. fishing processors have all the power in Washington and used to have Senator Stevens in their back pocket and now they got Murkowski. Look at the cook inlet/resurrection area the charter fleet just got reduced significantly, I'll add so did the commercial IFQ's. They're down about 50 percent they were just 5 years ago. By-catch by trawlers is something that certainly needs to be addressed in these federal fisheries.

    As far as state fisheries go I don't know many areas where sportfishermen/PU fishermen/charter guides are suffering. It's not fishing rights that is the problem, but either poor runs of fish or a bad economy that limits these fisheries currently. Shoot Bernard could go get himself a willie boat, a 6 pack operators license, ADF&G stickers, park stickers, and start guiding on the Kenai. In fact look no further than Cook Inlet; sportfishermen/PU fishermen/charter guides now have more fishing rights than comm. fishermen and possibly more
    influence (debatable).

    The outlook for sportfishermen in state fisheries is good, federal fisheries not so good.

  17. #17
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    I don't know if you guys realize it or not but we have a fisheries management section where you can lick each others boots in depth on how lovey dovey the guides are... Hayduke as a newcomer don't let this flatlander prejudice you against Alaskas largest employing industry. The commercial fishing industry puts Alaskans to work, builds Alaska communities and contributes more than 50% of the sport fish caught on the road system through enhancement projects funded w/ commercial fishing dollars, oh and did I mention it feeds millions of humans much needed healthy protein? Speaking of which my fishing organization in conjunction w/ processors are already shipping pink salmon to Japan for much needed healthy protein. I wish them Godspeed in recovery BTW. Hayduke you're a great guy, you don't wanna fraternize w/ tourists, come hang w/ us real Alaskans, believe me your experience will be more fulfilling than hanging w/ bald guys from somewhere else, they got way to much testosterone .


    <edit> hey hayduke want to know what a "real: Alaskan is? its a person that is secure in themselves to gather what it takes to insure their family is happy, healthy and prosperous. The difference is a "real" Alaskan doesn't worry about what everybody else has got or what they are doing. My friends that don't commercial fish are very thankful to live in the land of plenty and find an abundance of whatever they want. A "real" Alaskan is too busy enjoying life to consume themselves in ruining their fellow neighbors lives..... thought I'd clarify it

  18. #18
    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    I don't know if you guys realize it or not but we have a fisheries management section where you can lick each others boots in depth on how lovey dovey the guides are... Hayduke as a newcomer don't let this flatlander prejudice you against Alaskas largest employing industry. The commercial fishing industry puts Alaskans to work, builds Alaska communities and contributes more than 50% of the sport fish caught on the road system through enhancement projects funded w/ commercial fishing dollars, oh and did I mention it feeds millions of humans much needed healthy protein? Speaking of which my fishing organization in conjunction w/ processors are already shipping pink salmon to Japan for much needed healthy protein. I wish them Godspeed in recovery BTW. Hayduke you're a great guy, you don't wanna fraternize w/ tourists, come hang w/ us real Alaskans, believe me your experience will be more fulfilling than hanging w/ bald guys from somewhere else, they got way to much testosterone .
    This is such a complex issue. I like that comm fish provides jobs, I like that comm fish brings money, I like that comm fish puts food on your table, and heck I even like Fullbush! But frankly, I don't give a double deuce if a housewife in Iowa overcooks a red tonight . The fact is that fish stocks are a very limited resource. I don't really like that all users are carved into competing factions. Commercial fleets pay dearly when stocks collapse. I also don't like the us vs them mentality across the board. Each stock has very different issues that require different management techniques. What I hate is the fact that we even need to worry about drumming up cash to try to get a piece of the pie. In the long run it is EVERYONES best interest to conserve fish stocks. The politics convolutes and muddies everything and really just keeps the status quo which I am thinking isn't good enough. Again I am a naive new comer with some beer on his breath so take this with a grain of salt.

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