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UCIDA sued and "won", they got their prize........

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  • #31
    Thanks hoose, but I don;t believe that is the link to the article I was referring to. The article, which lays it on the line in my opinion is on the ucida facebook page.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by gunner View Post
      Thanks hoose, but I don;t believe that is the link to the article I was referring to. The article, which lays it on the line in my opinion is on the ucida facebook page.
      It really seems like it's the opinion piece you were referring to, since it is the opinion piece you were referring to, but maybe if you have a different one you could link to it?
      I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned. Physicist ― Richard Feynman

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      • #33
        Guess that is it. Thanks hoose

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        • #34
          And then there is this take :

          https://inletkeeper.org/2020/12/10/d...in-cook-inlet/
          "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

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          • #35
            Originally posted by 68 Bronco View Post
            Drama.

            Quote from the link:" Can anyone today imagine the incredible views across Kachemak Bay pocked with belching, spewing oil and gas platforms? "

            On the other hand one needn't imagine views in Kachemak Bay pocked with belching, spewing commercial fishing and other vessels since they are for real. I guess it's best to be dependent on oil and gas from countries that would behead you and that lack environmental guidelines like ours?

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            • #36
              Not sure how much to jump in on this but the amount of misinformation and misdirection is causing everyone problems. I have followed this fairly closely and talked with UCIDA and others about motives but in reality because of the misinformation people put motives on decisions and positions that are wrong. So so history -

              1. Salmon are federally owned and their management is required by the Feceral Gov. This can be a co-operative agreement with the States but any management must meet the standards of the Mag/Stevens Act.
              2. In UCI there has been a Fishery Management Plan and the State and Federal Gov have comanaged but the Feds basically said to the State go do it we are fine with what you are doing. Unfortunately the Feds failed to follow M/S on annual updates of the FMP and since 1980 I do not believe the UCI FMP has ever been updated. The Feds in updating must meet their own standards and inallowing the State to manage must hold them to those standards. This is done across all the coastal states.
              3. UCIDA was not happy with the Board of Fish regulations and asked that the FMP be updated and brought into compliance. Basically the Feds said go pound sand. UCIDA sued for an updated FMP they did not ask for Federal management just Federal oversight so Federal law was being followed. In fact at the 9th circuit one of the judges said I guess we will see you back here if the new FMP does not meet Federal law in UCIDA's opinion. There was no discussion of anything more than updating the old FMP. The State tried to make a State rights argument but lost that all the way to the Federal Supreme Court.
              4. The Feds stalled the process via administrative actions and after 2 years and no progress UCIDA went back to court and won that the FMP must be completed by December 2020. Over the past two years the Feds and State have not played fair and even tried to meet the federal standards. There are 10 standards and one should read them to get an idea of where the State manages meet them and where it does not.
              5. There are no winners or losers right now. One point of contention is what is meant by M/S when it says the Feds must manage salmon through-out their range. That of course could mean in both Federal and State waters. A non allocation example would be dealing with invasive species under M/S.
              6 There is no FMP written yet and the vote to close commercial fishing in the EEZ is probably illegal under M/S. The State position is just silly. They have been managing at no additional cost in this area for decades and the State co-manages a number of resources with the Feds - salmon, crab, groundfish, and these fisheries cross State/jFederal boundaries.
              7Once the FMP is written it must go out for review internally by the Federal Gov legal teams and scientific panels, review by the State, and review by the General public. There could and probably will be major changes in this process.
              8. I am sure UCIDA or some group will sue if the FMP has the EEZ closed. There is no justification and if the State says they will not do it that does not mean the Feds get a pass. They must manage unless they can make a case why the provisions of M/S cannot be met. For example, the FMP has certain requirements for fishing communities and the impact of regulations on those communities. The act is very long and complex and one should read it to fully understand what is happening. One provision is that there can be no resident only fisheries so the PU fishery may be an issue depending if the FMP must go outside the EEZ. Also there are sport fisheries in the EEZ that must be managed co-operatively with the Feds. The State position is just blowing smoke.
              9. Relative to motives everyone has some different objectives - UCIDA wants Federal review of the goals and whether the State approach meets the scientific standard. UCIDA also has pointed out that pink and chum salmon stocks are not being harvested in accordance with M/S. That may mean no more fishing time for UCIDA but a seine fishery may be developed. Seines are legal gear in UCI> There are lots of options that must be on the table. UCIDA has said from day 1 they do not want Federal biologists making in-season calls. They want the State to do it but with oversight. For example at the Board of Fish a Federal member of the Board might be appointed to provide that oversight (I made this up as an example). Some have said the Federal motive and State is to run the commercial fishery out of business by delaying action on the FMP and writing positions that will require more litigation. A judge actually sided with UCIDA on this when he required the FMP be done by December 2020.

              So at this point there is not even an FMP to review and the action of the Council could change depending on how the legal review goes or a judge rules on this particular vote. I suspect UCIDA and other groups will wait for the final FMP and go to court on a number of points.. I think this is one of those issues it is better to watch and see what happens rather than spend a lot of time trying to dissect each action and what it means. The courts have a lot of decisions to make on this one and should - hopefully UCIDA and other groups will not run out of money. There are lots of good things in M/S the State should be doing =. It would be nice to see them deal with some of them.

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              • #37
                Interesting turn of events. In a letter to the Council the Administrator James Balsiger of the NMFS stated the following. " When the Council recommended Amendment 14 for Federal management of Cook Inlet EEZ, it did not specify a distinct annual catch limit (ACL), maximum sustainable yield (MSY) or Optimum Yield (OY). Under Section 303(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, these are required reference points necessary to implement the Council's recommended actions"" So breaking this down Balsiger is saying MSY applies to Cook Inlet fisheries and must be defined. He goes on to recommend some new language for the plan. " MSY is established for the upper Cook Inlet salmon fishery based on State of Alaska escapement goals for Cook Inlet. This includes the use of indicator stocks to manage where escapement is not directly known." So one problem with this statement and language is the State has few MSY goals anymore. They are SEG's or and reflect the State setting of goals for other reasons. This appears to be a direct conflict with what is required by MS and stated by Balsiger. Also MS requires a scientific review of the goals by the Federal Gov. They cannot just accept the State's goals. Also this recognizes what UCIDA has claimed from day 1 - the Federal Gov must look at the whole UCI fishery not just the EEZ portion. The OY as stated by Bilsiger is " derived from the MSY, as reduced by relevant economic, social, and ecological factors". There are limits on the OY in MS. Bilsiger concludes that " the ACL for the Cook Inlet EEZ commercial salmon fishery is zero. This ACL reflects that the OY is fully achieved in State waters of Cook Inlet by State salmon fisheries. In order to implement this ACL, NMFS prohibits commercial fishing for salmon in Cook Inlet EEZ Area" This has some technical errors by Bilsiger. First for pink and chum salmon the MSY, ACL, and OY is not achieved in State waters. This is a flat lie in the recommended language. Next, if the harvest can be achieved in State waters then all users should be closed in the EEZ - not just the commercial fishery. This appears to be potentially illegal as the groups are not being treated equally and MS has some strict criteria for this type of allocation. Bilsiger has not stated how the Federal Gov will monitor the State to achieve the MS goals of MSY, OY, and ACL. He recognized that this is needed for compliance with the law and that the Federal Gov must set these goals in the Fishery Management Plan. In order to justify the closure the State must meet these goals. Allowing millions of salmon to go unharvested is not compliance with MS. In summary this letter appears to validate UCIDA's position that MS applies to all of UCI, that the Federal Gov must set MSY, ACL, and OY for the whole fishery (all user combined), that the State must meet these goals in their management plans, and that without State compliance and monitoring the Federal Gov must act. This is a partial win for UCIDA. Now that the Federal Gov has finally agreed to this then the question becomes how they will implement review of goals and management actions - what UCIDA has asked for and sued to get. Too bad the Council wasted thousands of dollars delaying action and still today is trying to circumvent the law. Spot on UCIDA for making Government follow the law regardless of your motives. .

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                • #38
                  Nerka. I have read your post several times,but it isn't sinking in. Was this letter from balsinger sent before or after the decision to close the lower inlet? And does it any way alter this decision?

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                  • #39
                    After the decision and is contrary to his position prior to the vote.

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                    • #40
                      Thanks Nerka. We will see how this works out. On a side note, was at the Tarbox viewing platform today and the ducks have returned. No geese, but lots of mallards and pintails.

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                      • #41
                        We miss Alaska and the Peninsula. I heard the Commissioner wants to experiment with fishing only State waters this year to see how it works for next year when the FMP is final. Of course law suits will probably stop the Plan as closing the EEZ is questionable at best. The Commissioner does not realize he is not God and cannot just use E.O authority for an experiment. I doubt he has ever read any of the lawsuits on e.o and emergency regulations. He is allocating fish when he modifies the Board of Fish plans and the regulations state clearly he can only do this for meeting escapement goals. Also UCIDA won an injunction when a past Commissioner tried to implement an emergency regulation to get around the law - he lost. It is too bad that the Feds and the State cannot accept MS and just try to work with people to implement it. It is doable but this is UCI and common sense and the law go out the window.

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