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Thread: Who owns the Halibut

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    Default Who owns the Halibut

    I have a question that has been nagging at me so here goes. It is my understanding that the halibut are owned by the people of the US. Is that true? If it is then how can they distribute the catch so unevenly?? Comfish gets a huge cut and the sportfishery that is made up of the people of the US who own the halibut get a very small fraction of the catch. That does not seem right. I agree we need to cut back on the harvest. It seems to me that the people of the US are taking it on the chin. When even bycatch has more take than sportfishing something is wrong. Dont charter boats just provide access to the resource they already own?

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    It's the golden rule, He who has the gold makes the rules. In this case commfish has the money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    I have a question that has been nagging at me so here goes. It is my understanding that the halibut are owned by the people of the US. Is that true? If it is then how can they distribute the catch so unevenly?? Comfish gets a huge cut and the sportfishery that is made up of the people of the US who own the halibut get a very small fraction of the catch. That does not seem right. I agree we need to cut back on the harvest. It seems to me that the people of the US are taking it on the chin. When even bycatch has more take than sportfishing something is wrong. Dont charter boats just provide access to the resource they already own?
    I own the halibut

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    If it is then how can they distribute the catch so unevenly?? Comfish gets a huge cut and the sportfishery that is made up of the people of the US who own the halibut get a very small fraction of the catch. That does not seem right.

    Dont charter boats just provide access to the resource they already own?
    Couldn't it be said that commercial fishermen are providing the halibut to the vast, vast majority of US citizens who will never travel to Alaska to go catch their own? If the people of the US do indeed own the halibut, then the person in Topeka who will never leave Kansas has just as much right to that fish from a grocery store as the person who travels to Alaska every year to go on a charter. The argument that charters provide access to the resource owned in common but that the commercial fishing fleet does not is a non sequitur.

    To follow your last line...Don't commercial fishing boats just provide access to the resource that the people of the U.S. already own? Same argument.

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    I'd say, we all own them, but have elected/hired managers to do the job for us, to keep them in a sustainable condition,

    for the sake of long term sanity, versus, let's all go out and do the last Buffalo Hunt deal,...

    Then those managers are also hired by us to manage a bunch of other species, as well as the variety of users and various fleets and geartypes,

    that it takes to get them ALL harvested sustainably

    and apparently, we in Alaska, are known for the Absolute Best Sustainable Fishery Management in the world, so far anyway
    probably a nightmare of a job to have,

    So many unhappy, ....yet most anyone who wants it, has Halibut in their freezer at some cost or other

    That being said, I also heartily disagree with trading Pollock mashed into mealfish, or P Cod taken by Trawling, for Millions of pounds of Halibut thrown overboard,

    Seems like a REALLY POORLY thought out trade-off in a management sense,
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post



    So many unhappy, ....yet most anyone who wants it, has Halibut in their freezer at some cost or other

    That being said, I also heartily disagree with trading Pollock mashed into mealfish, or P Cod taken by Trawling, for Millions of pounds of Halibut thrown overboard,

    Seems like a REALLY POORLY thought out trade-off in a management sense,
    I agree wholeheartedly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Couldn't it be said that commercial fishermen are providing the halibut to the vast, vast majority of US citizens who will never travel to Alaska to go catch their own? If the people of the US do indeed own the halibut, then the person in Topeka who will never leave Kansas has just as much right to that fish from a grocery store as the person who travels to Alaska every year to go on a charter. The argument that charters provide access to the resource owned in common but that the commercial fishing fleet does not is a non sequitur.

    To follow your last line...Don't commercial fishing boats just provide access to the resource that the people of the U.S. already own? Same argument.
    Good points Bryan. I just think the current split rate is not fair. When sportfish gets less than even bycatch its not a fair split

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    All halibut that are taken as bycatch should be kept and processed, then sold with the proceeds going to buy out IFQ's, If you want to keep your IFQ then thats OK if you want to sell it thats ok too. No leasing it back to the state either sell it or you fish it yourself. leasing them back would only be a temporary fix. That would put a monetary penalty on bycatch, stop the waste, be a pain in the ***** for the trawlers so they find ways to cut bycatch and lighten up the harvest of halibut by comfish with no one being pissed off but the trawlers that are now killing millions of pounds of halibut

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    Couldn't it also be said that the vast, vast majority of Americans can't afford halibut at $20+ a pound? ;-) Sorry I don't buy the feeding the masses argument unless it is cheap fish, i.e pollock, tilapia, etc.
    Mike
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    It could be said that the concept of "owning a resource" with the goal of turning into money is ass-backwards, like many things we do.

    Perhaps viewing any "resource" with more humility and respect than "how much cash will it make me" is the place to start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
    Couldn't it also be said that the vast, vast majority of Americans can't afford halibut at $20+ a pound? ;-) Sorry I don't buy the feeding the masses argument unless it is cheap fish, i.e pollock, tilapia, etc.
    Of course they can't, but neither can the vast majority of Americans afford to come to Alaska to go on a charter. Just pointing out that both commercial and charter sectors are providing access to the resource to the owners of that resource.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
    Couldn't it also be said that the vast, vast majority of Americans can't afford halibut at $20+ a pound? ;-) Sorry I don't buy the feeding the masses argument unless it is cheap fish, i.e pollock, tilapia, etc.
    tilapia? do we have those? Hey Gooch you forgot about pink, chum, sockeye, and coho salmon. All of which can be purchased for less than what hamburger costs. Theres often times sockeye is for sale at NewSagaya for 4 dollars a pound. Coho on the grounds sells for around 1.00lb, chum, .65 and pink .45......Thats some good cheap fish my man!
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Of course they can't, but neither can the vast majority of Americans afford to come to Alaska to go on a charter. Just pointing out that both commercial and charter sectors are providing access to the resource to the owners of that resource.
    This post should end this discussion for once and for all. If this discussion rears its ugly head again---refer to this post





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    Quote Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
    Couldn't it also be said that the vast, vast majority of Americans can't afford halibut at $20+ a pound? ;-) Sorry I don't buy the feeding the masses argument unless it is cheap fish, i.e pollock, tilapia, etc.
    I don't know about you, but here in Washington State, I can buy halibut for 8.99/lb most of the time. When it gets higher, I don't buy it. If nobody buys it, the price drops. So if the price is high, it's because it's worth it to somebody.
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    In principle I agree with commercial fishing, not meaning to bash the industry, and we get a long well with our Comm guys here in Coffman. I buy lots of commercially caught fish especially salmon - GO FULLBUSH! Mine are gillnet caught but cheap and well taken care of when they get to the dock. I also have to buy halibut often to feed to folks and it isn't $9 per pound. If you find it for that TwoDux, pick me up a case and take it to Northland for me ;-) I paid $17 here on the island last year. Much of the halibut is sold to restaurants which is cool with me, folks love to eat it and yes simple economics dictates the price.

    I don't agree with the bycatch issue, nor do I agree with the giving of a public resource to private folks (IFQ's). Outside of that I will recant my feeding the masses statement, salmon ARE cheap as Bush stated. Many folks also cannot afford to go on a charter I agree I guess I am just a little sensitive to the halibut fight as it has truly impacted a LOT of folks I know in the business. Sad state of affairs for my friends.

    Fish on.
    Mike
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    Prince of Wales Island

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    NOAA must own the Halibut as they can make up changes to the rules as they go. The following email was in response to a letter that was written by a person who had a Sport Halibut Limited Entry Permit and sold the permit. The individual wanted to take military people fish on the Valdez Military Appreciation Day but could not because that person still has a state guide LC. To make everything right you should be able to go long lineing for Halibut as long as you do not make any money and you give all the fish to the military or some other goverment agency.




    I am so pleased to report that last week I spoke to Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ron Antaya with NOAA. Both non-LEP charter boat operators and private boat owners may take Military representatives out. We are able to proceed with Military Appreciation Day as usual with the following condition – what the boat owners receive must be in the form of a “zero-sum gain.” So we need to be careful about tracking fuel consumption. If a boat owner uses 100 gallons of fuel and is reimbursed 100 gallons of fuel they are not being compensated, they are just being brought back to “whole.” This means all boat owners must go out with a full tank and must be brought back to full when they return.

    I explained about the City providing bait and lunches. Again, the bait is being provided only for the use of this trip, which is being donated. Lunches were a non-issue.

    The examples of “compensation” that Special Agent Antaya gave to me were:
    1) If a boat owner uses 100 gallons of fuel and gets 150 when they return;
    2) If the boat owners were to get a reduced moorage rate for participating;

    As long as the boat owners are not receiving anything above what they are using for the day to provide the trip then it is not considered compensation. As the date gets closer and we have all the details ironed out I am to correspond with Special Agent Antaya and Kevin Heck the enforcement officer for our area out of Anchorage.

    If anyone has any questions I am happy to provide a contact number for Special Agent Antaya. Thanks, Lisa

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
    I don't agree with the bycatch issue, nor do I agree with the giving of a public resource to private folks (IFQ's).
    And you know what. Fullbush and I agree with you on that. For starters, it adds another layer of cost to the products. Secondly, it cost way too many people their jobs and made people, who's only stake in the fisheries was monetary, filthy rich at the cost of the people who were doing the actual work of catching the fish. Third, as the fleet gets consolidated, and gets consolidated even more by the practice of leasing quota, it creates a monopoly. Without competition, there is little incentive for prices to drop. Fourth, the loan system that was set up to buy quota was rigged to favor the haves, not the have nots. But the system for buying quota lets the value for shares run amok on sheer speculation and hope. All in all it's a horrible system.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
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  17. #17

    Default It's obvious

    The attached graph indicates who currently "owns" the resource. The comfish controlled managers have purposely lined their pockets with millions. Meanwhile the remainder of the state has lost millions in economic impact to the tune of $211M just between 2006 and 2008 and lost over 1200 jobs. I can't wait to see what happen when the recession hit in 2009 and what the LEP impact is going to have on jobs and economic impact. The select few of IFQ owners as a whole would have gained $9M extra annually even at 1995 catch levels just because of the price/lb increase. Instead however these select few were provided with an average annual increase of $53M annually because of the increase in catch limits. The question we must ask ourselves is did the added $53M/year provide any job growth? I seriously doubt it!!! Same old boats, same crews. Take a look at the NOAA economic reports and you'll see the losses on the recreational fisheries in Alaska. It's truly disgusting. America benefits the most when our resource provides the maximum amount of economic impact on the least amount of harvested resource. Providing a select few with large amounts of income utilizing 90% of the resource just so it can be turned into feterlizer is waste of commonly owned resource. I believe most Americans would like to see more jobs and economic benefit by utilizing the least amount of the resource and would careless if wasn't available in the store. If you want moose meat you have to hunt for it. Same principle would eventually apply for halibut. Most can't afford the $21.99/lb at Wasilla Carrs either so they'll now fish for it on their own or just go without.
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    interesting how in that chart the commercial catch is plummeting while the "sport" catch continues to rise
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    I own the halibut that are in my freezer. That's about all I know about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twodux View Post
    I don't know about you, but here in Washington State, I can buy halibut for 8.99/lb most of the time. When it gets higher, I don't buy it. If nobody buys it, the price drops. So if the price is high, it's because it's worth it to somebody.
    How is it one half the price there, that our stores charge in AK? That just doesn't make sense to me.

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