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Proposed setnet ban draws fire

Commercial fishing groups worried about initiative

Posted: November 12, 2013 - 10:39pm  |  Updated: November 12, 2013 - 10:45pm

Since the newly formed Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance released its ballot initiative proposition to ban setnet fishing in areas of the state it defined as “urban,” several commercial organizations have met to plan strategy against the new attack.

While a large part of any planned strategic maneuvering includes waiting, another part includes picking apart portions of the AFCA’s initiative that commercial fishermen are calling “vague” and “misleading,”

One issue with the proposed initiative is that it would ban “shore gill net and set net fishing.”

“There is no such thing as a shore gillnet. There is no definition of a shore gillnet in Alaska state statute or regulation,” said Julianne Curry, executive director of United Fishermen of Alaska, a group that represents about 40 commercial fishing groups statewide.

“There’s no mention of salmon. It just says fish,” Curry said. “The initiative really isn’t specific enough for people to get a handle on ... I think the lack of definition for a shore gillnet has a lot of people concerned wondering if that means (drift) gillnets or if that’s an attempt to describe what a setnet is. We have a pretty extensive setnet fleet in the state of Alaska and an extremely extensive (drift) gillnet fleet.”

The lack of clarity in the proposed initiative has many user groups outside of the Cook Inlet concerned at the statewide implications were the proposal to make it onto the ballot, Curry said.

According to a Friday media release the Alaska Salmon Alliance — an organization representing seafood processors and commercial fishing on the Kenai Peninsula — called the proposition a political move that disregarded science, current fisheries management and the participation of all of the Cook Inlet user groups.

“I just think the whole measure is audacious,” said ASA executive director Arni Thomson. “He we are in the 21st century, a number of resource industries up here in Alaska are pulling together and having discussions about collaboration, working together politically at community, state and national levels to try to promote their industries. Here we were at the table — a collaborative table with a representative of the same organization and one week later they dropped a new ballot initiative that is essentially recommending to retire one whole key sector of the industry.”

The organization representative Thomson referred to is Ricky Gease, executive director of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, another controversial sportfishing advocacy group.

Gease took part in an Anchorage Chamber of Commerce panel discussion with representatives from Cook Inlet organizations including the ASA two weeks ago.

While the Kenai River Sportfishing Association and the AFCA share members, the two organizations are unaffiliated said Bob Penney, a longtime sportfishing advocate and controversial figure in the ongoing battle between the Cook Inlet’s competing fishing groups.

The AFCA — previously called the Kenai King Conservation Alliance — was originally formed with the goal of conserving Kenai king salmon, Penney said.

It has since expanded its stated goal to seeing the closure of setnetting in Anchorage and Cook Inlet Area, Fairbanks, Valdez, Ketchikan and Juneau.

“We’re looking at an all time low, scary low, astronomically low numbers of king salmon in Cook Inlet,” said Penney in an August interview. “Those numbers are so bad that we can’t take another year or two doing what we’ve been doing.”

Despite the well documented downturn in production of Kenai king salmon, Alaska Department of Fish and Game data shows the late run of Kenai River king salmon — the only run of king salmon commercial setnet fishermen currently fish — to have made its spawning escapement goal every year for almost 30 years.

Citing escapement goal statistics as well as the lack of proposed restrictions on sport fishermen who target king salmon, several commercial fishermen said they considered the ballot proposition an attempt to re-allocate salmon from commercial fishermen to sport fishermen.

“We’ll have 13 percent of our fish — if setnets don’t fish any longer — given to the sport fishery to make their fishery more lucrative,” said Robert Williams, president of the Kenai Peninsula Fishermen’s Association.

Williams, like many of the people KPFA represents, is a setnet fishermen.

“If the Kenai River late run king salmon was a stock of concern, I would be the first one to sit on the beach,” Williams said. “If we ever got to that point, I would have no problem. The fish come first.”

During an August interview, Penney said inriver sport fishermen are already restricted and represent a larger economic benefit to the Cook Inlet than commercial fishermen and therefore should have more access to any surplus of king salmon.

“Whatever it takes to guarantee the future of the runs comes first. Anything beyond that is subject to harvest by human beings. ... A harvestable surplus is a political decision made by people,” Penney said. “The highest economic return for the harvestable fish should be the first criteria to who catches it.”

Several studies have been done measuring the economic benefit of commercial and sportfishermen to the Cook Inlet — however the results of those studies have been argued and re-interpretated by both sport and commercial fishermen and it is unclear whether either user group provides more economic benefit.

Not every sport fisherman on the Kenai Peninsula supports efforts to rid the area of commercial setnet fishermen.

Dwight Kramer, head of the Kenai Area Fishermen’s Coalition — a sport fishing group — said in an email that he was discouraged by the proposal but not surprised by the authors, Penney and Connor.

“This isn’t about conservation, it’s about greed plain and simple,” Kramer wrote. “In recent years of king declines we have seen a refreshing spirit of cooperation between sport and commercial for the protection of the resource, both willing to accept restrictions for a common resource goal.”

Kramer wrote that he thought the proposition to eliminate a gear group would ruin the recent spirit of compromise.

“Who could ever trust a neighbor who wants to profit at your demise,” Kramer wrote. “Everyone affiliated with this initiative should be ashamed and treated with distrust. Our community, and society as a whole should find this type of allocative maneuvering unacceptable and hold those involved accountable for the divisiveness and distraught they have brought on our area.”

Kramer wrote that the lack of calls for restricting fishing for king salmon on the early run was an indication that conservation of the fish was not the first priority of the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance.

The AFCA does not intend to bring its initiative — if it is determined to be legal —to the ballot until 2016, said president Joe Connors.

In the meantime, members will cross the state raising funds — Penney said in an August interview the group was primarily funded with a personal loan from him — and educating the public about its cause, Connor said.

Despite the wait, the political and economic weight members of the group carry have many in the setnet community uncomfortable with waiting to see how popular opinion of the initiative will pan out.

“Do we spend a bunch of time and resources combatting something that may not even be legal?” Williams said. “The courts could defeat it before it even goes to the ballot.”

But, the measure still makes him uncomfortable.

“I feel threatened. There’s a few people among us that definitely feel threatened and want us to be a little more proactive,” he said. “Not quite sure what that would be but this is a threat. It’s definitely a threat.”

 

Reach Rashah McChesney at rashah.mcchesney@peninsulaclarion.com

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Kevin Hall
28
Points
Kevin Hall 11/13/13 - 12:32 pm
2
3
Fish

This is about the greed of the guides who, by the way, are mostly outsiders, and the dollars they can take back to where ever at the end of king season. Hey, here's a solution; let's call them commercial fisherman instead of sport fisherman and then impose limited entry like other commercial enterprises on our waterways. hmmmmmmm

KenaiKardinal88
398
Points
KenaiKardinal88 11/13/13 - 04:01 pm
2
1
Regular Fishers Are Shut Out Again

Alaskans are supposed to share in the resources of the state, but this does not happen with commercial fishing.

Alaskans get a negative return on this resource. Out-of-staters leave no money and all their trash. Meanwhile sports fishers get less access to fewer salmon every year.

Let's shut down the commie fishers for a couple years and have a state-wide vote on whether to continue or not.

Paul Dale
69
Points
Paul Dale 11/13/13 - 07:17 pm
1
1
set net initiative

Good article, balanced and informative. Often there is not enough context for readers to understand the information. Simply put, setnets in Cook Inlet do exactly what they were intended to do, harvest sockeye, 99% on average. This is considered a very clean harvest by any fisheries management standard. Is the less than 1% kings harvested acceptable? I would like to think Alaskans believe it is a fair price for sharing resources between users. No doubt though, this initiative is not about conservation, it is only, and absolutely, about allocation.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 11/15/13 - 08:14 pm
3
3
INCORRECT INFORMATION AND PERSONAL OPINION.

THERE ALSO ISN'T A STATE DEFINITION OF "FISH WAR" BUT WE HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH "FISH WAR REALITY" NOW FOR ABOUT 30 YEARS! THE LIST OF ITEMS SET GILL NETS KILL IS SO LARGE THAT IT IS DIFFICULT TO LIST EVERYTHING. IS IT SCIENCE TO MANAGE A MIXED STOCK RESOURCE WITH MOST OF YOUR MANAGEMENT FOCUS ON ONLY A SINGLE FISH LIKE SOCKEYES, UNTIL ALL OTHER FISH ARE DESTABILIZED OR EXTINCT? NO IT IS ACTUALLY AUDACIOUS TO THROW AN UNATTENDED NET INTO THE WATER AND INDISCRIMINATELY KILL ACROSS THE BOARD EVERYTHING ATTEMPTING TO LIVE IN THAT WATER? NOW THAT IS REALLY AUDACIOUS.

MOST OF THIS ARTICLE IS A COMPLETE FABRICATION, URBAN SET NETTING MAY REPRESENT MAYBE 10% OF THE STATES TOTAL SET GILL NETTING AND THAT IS NOT ONE WHOLE SECTOR OF ALASKA'S GILL NETTING. FALSE CLAIM. THE SPORT FISH HARVEST HAS BEEN SACRIFICED SO WE CAN MAKE MINIMUM KING ESCAPEMENT, WHILE COMMERCIAL SET NETS CONTINUE HAMMERING AWAY AT THE TOTAL RETURNING KINGS WHICH SOMEHOW MANAGE TO SURVIVE ALL THE NEGATIVE COMMERCIAL FACTORS REDUCING THEIR NUMBERS IN THE OCEAN.

NO THIS STORY IS VERY INCORRECT. ANY RE-ALLOCATION WAS HISTORICALLY PREFORMED BY COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN AS THEY MOVED THEIR COOK INLET PERMITS TO FISHING OFF THE MOUTH OF THE KENAI RIVER. THIS PERMIT MOVEMENT NOW CATCHES MORE KENAI RIVER BOUND KING SALMON THAN BEFORE. THIS BALLOT PROPOSITION WOULD ATTEMPT TO RETURN THIS FISHERIES BACK TO WHERE IT WAS BEFORE THESE NETS WERE MOVED. IT WOULD BE NICE FOR THE PUBLIC TO ACTUALLY GET BACK SOME OF THE KINGS WHICH WERE RE-ALLOCATED TO COMMERCIAL FISHING.

NO MR. WILLIAMS, WE ARE CURRENTLY AT THAT POINT NOW WHERE KINGS ARE IN RESOURCE TROUBLE AND YOU HAVE NEVER DISPLAYED ANY CONCERN FOR THEM IN THE PAST SO WHY SHOULD YOU BEGIN NOW?

WHY ARE PEOPLE CONFUSED ABOUT FISH ECONOMICS? THE NUMBERS ARE VERY CLEAR, OUR ECONOMY GENERATES ABOUT THIRTY TIME MORE REVENUE FROM A SPORT CAUGHT FISH AS OPPOSED TO A COMMERCIAL CAUGHT FISH. THEREFORE IF YOU DESIRE THIRTY TIME MORE STATE FISHERIES REVENUE YOU ALLOCATE TO SPORT FISH. IF COMMERCIAL FISHING DOES NOT FEAR A PUBLIC VOTE OF THE SET NET ISSUE, WHY NOT FREELY ALLOW THE ISSUE ON THE BALLOT AND LET THE PUBLIC VOTE AS TO WHAT THEY ACTUALLY BELIEVE. WHY FIGHT THE VOTE? WHAT DOE'S COMMERCIAL FISHING FEAR? WE ALL KNOW WHAT IT IS, LOSS OF PROFIT.

MR. KRAMERS GREED CLAIMS IS CORRECT. THIS IS 100% ABOUT GREED BUT IT IS COMMERCIAL FISHERIES GREED MR. KRAMER. COMMERCIAL FISHERIES ARE SO GREEDY ATTEMPTING TO CATCH EVERY SOCKEYE THEY CAN, THAT THEY DO NOT CARE IF THEY EXTINCT EVERY BIRD, FISH, WHALES, SEALS OR ANYTHING ELSE SWIMMING IN COOK INLET. WHY DOESN'T MR. KRAMER ADMIT THIS REALITY? BECAUSE HE IS 100% PRO-COMMERCIAL FISHING.

ZERO USER GROUPS HAVE WILLINGLY ACCEPTED RESTRICTIONS. DOES THE CONDEMNED ACCEPT THE CHOICE OF BEHEADING OR BURNED AT THE STAKE? THE RESTRICTIONS WERE "CHOICE OF LAST RESORT" TO ALLOW THE SPECIES TO CONTINUE INSTEAD OF BEING WIPED OFF THE PLANET. THIS IS REAL LIFE MR. KRAMER, IF COMMERCIAL FISHERIES ARE INVOLVED IT IS "PEDDLE TO THE METAL" UNTIL WE CRASH AND BURN. PLEASE SEE OUR ALASKA COMMERCIAL FISHERIES HISTORY AND LEARN FROM IT.

MR. KRAMER ONLY SPEAKS FOR COMMERCIAL FISHERIES. HE SHOULD BE THE FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THAT COMMERCIAL FISHING DESIRES TO PROFIT FROM THE DEMISE OF SPORT FISHING. MR. KRAMER IS ALSO VERY AWARE THAT THE PUBLIC IN GENERAL IS TIRED OF HAVING 90% OF THEIR SALMON RIPPED OUT OF THE WATER BEFORE THEY CAN EVEN REACH A RIVER OR STREAM. MR. KRAMER KNOWS THAT IF THIS INITIATIVE IS VOTED ON, THAT IT WOULD ESTABLISH A DANGEROUS PRECEDENCE EITHER WAY. THE PUBLIC VOTING ON HOW IT CATCHES ITS OWN FISH? OH NO!!!! MR. KRAMER WANTS NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT.

A GREAT MANY PERSONS IN THE GENERAL PUBLIC HAVE BEEN UNCOMFORTABLE WITH SET NETTERS KILLING OFF MOST OF OUR KINGS BEFORE THEY REACH THEIR NATIVE RIVERS AND STREAMS. THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS ALSO UNCOMFORTABLE WITH ONLY BEING ALLOWED TO PICK OVER THE LEFT-OVERS OF WHAT USED TO BE A GREAT PUBLICLY OWNED RESOURCE. OUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES HAVE BEEN UNCOMFORTABLE WITH COOK INLET BEING MANAGED FOR THIRTY YEARS AS IF KING SALMON ARE MEANINGLESS!

IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THIS IS JUST ANOTHER COMMERCIAL FISHERIES LITIGATION WARNING. THEY ARE NOW IN THE PROCESS OF HIRING ATTORNEYS AND PILING UP A MOUND OF CASH FOR ANY ATTORNEY WHO CAN LITIGATE THIS ISSUE INTO HISTORY BEFORE IT CAN BE VOTED ON. THIS IS WHAT COMMERCIAL FISHERIES ARE VERY VERY GOOD AT, THEY MAY NOT ALWAYS STOP THE PUBLIC FROM ACCESSING THEIR OWN FISHERIES BUT THEY ALWAYS DESIRE TO STOP THEM. IT IS A SIMPLE EQUATION, REDUCED PUBLIC FISHERIES ACCESS EQUALS GREATER COMMERCIAL FISHERIES PROFITS.

JOIN THE PARTY MR. WILLIAMS BECAUSE THE PUBLIC HAS BEEN FEELING COMMERCIAL FISHERIES THREATENING THEM FOR THIRTY YEARS NOW. I AM VERY SURE THAT ALL THE COMMERCIAL SET NET FISHERIES WHICH WERE BANNED DOWN ON THE EAST & WEST COASTS AND AROUND FLORIDA, FELT THREATENED WHEN THE PUBLIC FINALLY GREW TIRED OF THEM AND BANNED THEM FROM PROFITING WITH THE DESTRUCTION OF THEIR FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE.

IN GENERAL THE ALASKAN PUBLIC HAS FINALLY GROWN TIRED OF THE WASTEFUL COMMERCIAL USE OF OUR PRECIOUS FISHERIES RESOURCES. YOU CAN ONLY WIPE YOUR MUDDY FEET ON YOUR NEIGHBORS DOOR STEP FOR SO LONG AND EVENTUALLY THAT NEIGHBOR STOPS ASKING YOU OVER FOR DINNER. BELIEVE IT OR NOT SET NETTERS THE PUBLIC IS YOUR NEIGHBOR AND YOU HAVE BEEN WASTING AS MUCH NATURAL RESOURCE AS YOU HAVE HARVESTED. WASTE IS ONE OF THE REASONS SPORT FISHERIES CAN SELL A FISH FOR THIRTY TIMES MORE REVENUE.

MOST OF THIS ARTICLE PUBLISHES PERSONAL OPINIONS WHICH ARE DISTORTED BY GREED AND INCORRECT INFORMATION. I CAN ONLY GUESS THAT THE MOTIVE OF SUCH IS TO ALLOW COMMERCIAL FISHERIES TO CONTINUE SNATCHING AWAY A PUBLIC FISHERIES RESOURCE. THE STATE OF ALASKA NEEDS TO RESOLVE ITS DESIRE TO SELL ITS FISHERIES RESOURCES FOR PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR. THIS IS THE EQUIVALENT OF A CAVE MAN BASHING AWAY AT A RIVER FULL OF FISH WITH A CLUB, BASHING AWAY AT ANYTHING THAT MOVES, WHILE AN ANGLER STANDS A SHORT DISTANCE OFF CATCHING AND KEEPING ONLY THE FISH HE DESIRES. THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO CATCH FISH BUT WE NO LONGER USE FISH TRAPS OR CLUBS BECAUSE THEY WERE EVENTUALLY FOUND TO EXCESSIVELY NEGATIVELY IMPACT OUR FISHERIES. THE SAME CAN BE SAID FOR OUR SET NETS.

Kapco
148
Points
Kapco 11/13/13 - 11:20 pm
1
0
controversial....

Just wondering if this is such a balanced and great article (Paul Dale), why is it that the two sport fishing groups are said to be "controversial"? Not sayin', just sayin'...

borninak
620
Points
borninak 11/14/13 - 07:44 am
2
4
Fishing Guides Negatively Impact Our Fishery

Kenai River Guides are destroying our fishery and are killing far more kings than anyone, yet they are so motivated by GREED that they want to get rid of setnetting so they can have them all. Setnetters have fished on and sustained the salmon runs in Cook Inlet for over 100 years, an incovenient historical reality for Kenai River Guides to explain, for they have ramped up the fishing pressure on the system so badly in the last 15 years that now we have a huge problem on the one fish they target and kill. King Salmon.

Beach Boss
124
Points
Beach Boss 11/14/13 - 10:01 am
2
3
Same nonsense!

KK88 and K123 same old rhetoric over and over again. Do you have anything useful to add?

If commerical fisherman are the reason to blame for the demise of EVERYTHING in cook inlet. Can you please explain why the 2 stocks they target sockeye and pinks are so healthy and abundant. I find it very weird the 2 stocks that sportfisherman harvest: Kings and silvers are struggling.

Sorry I believe there is enough room on the Kenai River for everyone. Not true K123 we have more than made room for the growing dipnet fishery. That is why there numbers are at an all time high of 500,000 sockeye. That is what is reported at least.

I laugh at your comment of commerical fisherman are the greedy ones. Do you see us looking to eliminate ANY user group. ABSOLUTELY NOT!! We know there is room for everyone. So get over yourselves.

jeremyfisher
12
Points
jeremyfisher 11/14/13 - 04:57 pm
4
0
guide greed

Man talk about a hot topic....If I was a set netter....I would be very concerned, it sucks but lets face it, you guys have made a very good living for decades by working a month or two of the entire year. You sell sockeyes some years for under a dollar a pound. Now this year you made double that and got even fatter on the reds. I often hear that lots of guides are from out of state...same with set netters, drifters, slopers...lets face it there are large out of state populations in all of our industries.
A guide can sell a sockeye trip for $250 take a tourist out on the river get him three fish (if the nets have not been out) and the angler is happy as a pig in slop. And get this...not one king wil have been injured in the process. A set netter throws a net out kills a few kings, a pile of flounder, a few halibut, maybe a sand shark or two and a boatload of reds. They throw all back except the king (that goes in their smoke house) and they take the reds to the cannery for $1.50 per pound. Now the tourist is renting a car, buying dinner at Buckets, getting a cabin or hotel room, drinking a few beers in Hooligans. Those three sockeye just brought several hundred dollars to local businesses while the setnetter just got the huge international coorporations that own our local canneries just a little richer with each fish.
Think about a tourist that saved their money or a family from Anchorage that took the time and expense to come to the world famous Kenai River to fish for kings. The returns are so low that they cant keep a fish and sometimes cant even pursue a fish....then they open up the set nets to just hammer anything that swims from Ninilchick to Nikiski??? I once remember an old set netter saying the most kings he caught in his set net in one day was 100...that is more than 1000 anglers catch in the river in an eight hour day. Do the math..
Setnetters, why not sit back and let the people vote? Why not let the masses have a chance to decide the fate of the Cook Inlet and the king salmon in this area??? And as far as the guides benefiting...actually all sport anglers, local and state wide businesses and local goverments benefit from more salmon in the river. These fish...reds and kings alike really do belong to the masses...all of us, why not let Alaskans decide who are the greediest...and who do the most damage setnetters or sportfishermen?

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 11/14/13 - 09:43 pm
2
2
WHO IS KILLING WHAT?

Beach boss, you obviously do not know that commercial fisheries desire all other fisheries to go away but it is what they speak of in the back rooms when the general public is not listening.

Regarding your question on who is responsible for the demise of EVERYTHING in Cook Inlet and why kings are unhealthy while sockeye and pinks healthy?

When a firing squad shoots a person it is not easy to discover which bullet kills the person? The same is going on within our commercial fisheries. We have about six major commercial fisheries factors that are hitting our kings either targeted or by accident. The combined affect is that we have few if any kings surviving the combination of all six. Commercial set nets are one of the six, commercial pollock king by-catch is one, excessive commercial 3 drone to 1 wild, hatchery dumping of salmon into our ocean is one, commercial herring fishing is one, commercial crabbing is one, commercial king trolling is one. There are more but these are the big six.

The largest factor involving the kings is that our crab resources have been wiped out, therefore crab larvae production has been greatly reduced. Both juvenal kings and adult sockeye require vast amounts of crab larvae to survive but sockeyes feed on very small young larvae and juvenal kings on larger more mature larvae. 98% of the larger larvae has gone missing but we still have good numbers of smaller larvae to feed sockeyes. That's right we are starving our juvenal kings to death and if a juvenal king somehow manage to become an adult by beating this starvation game, one of the other five factors kills them. Either way they are just about as good as dead from the get go. If you don't believe try reading anything from Ron Tanasichuk or http://www.pices.int/publications/scientific_reports/Report20/Rep20_REX_...

http://www.pices.int/publications/scientific_reports/Report20/Rep20_REX_...

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 11/14/13 - 07:24 pm
2
1
Greedy, Mental, Riverheads

I cannot believe the gall of Bob Penney. The man hates commercial fishing so much he would ruin families that have been here for generations. Anyone helping this insane person is only there to be a lapdog and curry favors from the big rich man. They are slime and Penney leaves the biggest trail. What he proposes is so ridiculous, I think the media is using it as comic relief. Bob Penney needs a mental health evaluation. His hatred knows no bounds and he may turn violent one of these days. Gease is a bad biologist without an ounce of smarts in him. He's licking Penney's boots for cash and favors. He was run out of Cordova.

This idea is as illegal as he!!.

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 11/14/13 - 07:32 pm
1
2
123

You are the most ignorant person I have ever read. You have absolutely NO CLUE about comm. fishing or comm. fishermen and how they think. I have been a commercial fisherman all my life. Do you really think we sit around and figure out ways to thwart or get rid of sportfishers? What a maroon! We don't think, fear, or otherwise regard you one iota. You mean nothing. Most of us sport fish ourselves. You have got to be the stupidest man on this Peninsula. Do you even have a job? Ya work for the insane Penney? Lick the [filtered word] off his boots, landlubber, and leave the sea for us big brains.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 11/14/13 - 10:02 pm
1
2
Seafarer, Anti-American.

Can anyone see the fear between the lines of Seafarer's declarations that Penny, Gease and all sport fish are ignorant, stupid, insane, slimy landlubbers who are not as smart as himself? All that fear and name calling just because he fears the public actually voting for the way they desire to harvest their own commonly owned salmon resource. Why would anyone fear a democratic vote of the people when they themselves vote for everything else which happens in their lives? I do not know what Seafarer's political leanings are but I do know that he is purely UN-American. Our lands and fisheries are ruled of the people, for the people and by the people. We vote on those rules and as Seafarer resists that vote he is Anti-American.

borninak
620
Points
borninak 11/14/13 - 10:55 pm
2
1
Dream World 123

This doesn't have a thing to do with Americanism. Snap out of your dream world 123. If we voted on everything Alaskans don't like, there would be no hunting, trapping, commercial fishing, oil drilling, etc, and oh wait no Kenai River Guides. Fortunatley, the state of Alaska isn't as Ignorant as you would like, and they want to profit from our natural resources, so they allow the likes of you to guide, despite the deep public animosity against you. This issue won't ever come to a vote because the State doesn't turn management of its natural resources into a popularity contest. Its a nice try at spinning the issue, but most people are much, much smarter than you are 123 and don't buy the garbage you continuously put out.

beaverlooper
2632
Points
beaverlooper 11/15/13 - 04:07 am
2
1
@kapco

The reason they are called controversial is because they are. Bob Penny tried to practically give Kenai river frontage property to a sitting United States senator .That particular deal was so controversial the senator had to give up the land and sell it back to Bob Penny. I seriously doubt good ol' Bob made a profit on it.
As for Rickey Geese and the KRSA ,there controversial actions are so numerous I'd have to write a column on it.Lets start with creating a fishing event in which only the elite are allowed to fish,where lobbyists have access to congress men while they are in a boat all day together. What do you suppose they talk about when they're not reeling in fish?

pengy
250
Points
pengy 11/15/13 - 07:08 am
0
1
Hey Beaverlooper so you think

Hey Beaverlooper so you think selling Lisa Murkowski a parcel of land at borough assessed and not market value is giving it away?

Impropreity? Yes, for a sitting senator. But, giving it away? no. Let's try to keep the hyperbole to a minimum and present the actual facts.

beaverlooper
2632
Points
beaverlooper 11/18/13 - 06:51 pm
2
0
pengy

So how come the senator sold the property back if she got the same deal as any normal citizen would have?
Was there not an uproar about what a sweetheart deal she got?
You must have an answer.

sparky
45
Points
sparky 11/15/13 - 12:22 pm
1
2
BAN SETNETTING

Banning this controversial fishery,would do several GOOD things:
It would return our beaches to a more natural state by eliminating a lot of damaging activity by boats,atv's,old trucks,make shift camps,garbage,human waste,etc.
It would make our beaches a safer place,by eliminating old stakes,ropes,&other abandoned gear.As I recollect,there was a young man killed there,last year.
It would eliminate a fishery that I don't feel should have ever been allowed.AKF&G nearly shut them down the last 2 years.That should be a clue..
Hopefully this subject will make the ballot.!

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 11/16/13 - 01:30 pm
2
2
A real dream world...

borninak, I will tell you what a real dream world is. A dream world is a world where set net commercial fishermen actually study our Alaska history, current laws and regulations BEFORE typing on an issue.

The residents of Alaska are the force which votes to decide a great many things which we can and cannot do with regard to natural resource access. Our constitution does guarantee private and commercial public access to things like waters, lands and fish & wildlife. So you are correct in that we cannot normally change this general public access with the initiative process. Our constitution does not guarantee specific fisheries gear types. So we may not be able to ban hunting, trapping, commercial fishing, oil drilling or guides with the initiative process but it is legally very possible to ban a commercial fishing gear type. You should know this but you do not.

Does anyone happen to remember how the residents of Alaska managed to VOTE TO REMOVE a commercial fishing gear type back in 1959? borninak certainly does not remember this historic fact. borninak your own quote betrays your ignorance of Alaska fisheries history. You said "the State doesn't turn management of its natural resources into a popularity contest". Well I am happy to inform you that this is precisely what the State of Alaska did back in 1959, it allowed a public popularity vote to decide a commercial gear type issue. The State of Alaska had a "PUBLIC POPULARITY CONTEST VOTE" on an amendment to the Alaska Constitution to remove the FISH TRAP commercial gear type from use in Alaska. In the end THIS POPULARITY CONTEST VOTE banned the commercial gear type "forever". Is that a close enough illustration to what is actually possible within Alaska with regard to "a popularity contest banning a commercial gear type". Does anyone out there see any FISH TRAPS being used by commercial fisheries? Does anyone believe this to be a giant coincidence? With the "popularity contest voting issue" now being an established fact of life in Alaska what is next borninak?

The legal facts are very plain regarding this issue. The public has always had the legal right to remove or add commercial gear types. Now if borninak would like to address an actual issue, he could tackle the difference between an initiative proposition and a constitutional amendment. It may be that this issue could end up being pushed from the initiative proposition format, into the constitutional amendment format or even a Board of Fisheries format.

If you would like to research the "gear banning" Board of Fisheries format take a look at the follow Alaska Supreme Court Case. (Alaska Fish Spotters Assoc. v. Dept of Fish and Game (9/11/92), 838 P 2d 798) This case was brought by The Alaska Fish Spotters Association against the ADF&G and The Alaska Board of Fisheries because Fish Spotters believed that banning a commercial fishing (gear type, user group or method and means like fish spotting) was illegal. The Alaska Supreme Court decided that the Board of Fish and the ADF&G does have the power to ban a gear type or specific methods and means. http://www.touchngo.com/sp/html/sp-3884.htm So it is a confirmed fact of life that we can legally ban commercial gear types in at least two ways, one is by a popular statewide vote of the people within a constitutional amendment and the other by a vote within deliberations of our Alaska Board of Fish.

It may be possible that the initiative proposition process will be found to not function to make this gear type ban but it doesn't really matter because in the end it will be just a matter of time before one of these legal gear banning formats is used to make the ban. When this finally happens the people of Alaska will have AGAIN forced commercial fishermen to stop using yet ANOTHER commercial gear type. You can call these processes whatever you wish but the bottom line is that there are at least two proven and legal ways to make this ban and maybe an initiative third. If it doesn't happen within an initiative, it will happen within a popularity vote of the people or a vote from within The Alaska Board of Fisheries. There are three possible ways to do it so it is no doubt just a matter of time before one functions.

With my point now proved, borninak should be blankly glaring at his monitor. The next thing he should be doing is performing an internet search with the keywords "selling Cook Inlet set net permits". There is very good news on that subject as an entire group of websites have been created to buy and sell these commercial permits.

kingsize
34
Points
kingsize 11/16/13 - 10:02 pm
1
0
Let the People have their say.

Wanted to jump in here and give my 2 cents worth. There isn't much positive in this forum, lots of negativity. I read everything and there is a bunch of BS being passed along in this comment area. I wouldn't even try to take a side here as from what I can see, each person sounding off here has his own opinion of what will happen, what has happened and what should happen. Not to mention agenda's!

Ban Setnets,,,seems to me the only side of this issue that is important or really carry's any weight is the side of what the majority of the RESIDENTS of Alaska would want. The only way to find that out is to hear from those RESIDENTS. Put it up to a VOTE of the People of Alaska. Let the chips fall as they may.

Having been here before statehood, having a wife that was born here before statehood and over 70 relatives born here and living here today, I do remember some of what went down with the fish traps. I will admit I was a youngster then but my wifes parents stayed alive till I was in my 30's. I remember the talk, even years later. The commercial factions in control of the fish traps, residents and non-residents alike, put up a heck of a fight to keep their way of commercial fishing. They told the State of Alaska legislature that if their fish traps were banned that the State of Alaska would not survive, that the state would fold up. It didn't.

My wifes parents where fish trap commercial fishermen. That ended for them at that time. There was bitterness for a while. Today that side of my family still has an active set net site on Bunt Point located on Kodiak Island. About 20 miles from Akhiok. The more things change, the more they stay the same,,,,,,,somehow.

As for me, in my 60's now, I look back and am surprise at how many times I have reversed my feelings or beliefs concerning many different issues during my life. I hope it was wisdom that helped mold me thru that process. I have commercial fished, sportfished, guided, dip netted, subsitence fished. All I hope is that before I die I get to see the Kenai River full of King Salmon again,,,whatever it takes. We need bioloigists that only care about the King Salmon. Maybe some of the Fish people of Fish and Game need to go away and be replaced only by the conservation of a species minded people. After all, while everyone blames each other for the why and the how, try to remember that ADF&G were the ones that were at the helm, the ones managing these fisheries. And they still keep getting a paycheck from the State no matter how well or how poorly they do their job.

Anytime you can take an issue that concerns so many people out the hands of the State, the majority of the people win, everytime. Put it to a vote.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 11/17/13 - 03:57 am
1
1
I agree, put it to a vote.

Why spend years arguing about what is right and wrong? Just vote on banning set nets and be done with it, just like they did for fish traps.

beaverlooper
2632
Points
beaverlooper 11/17/13 - 10:55 am
1
1
I agree put it to a vote.

Why spend years arguing about what is right and wrong? Just vote on banning guided fisheries reachable by the road system and be done with it, just like they did for fish traps.

borninak
620
Points
borninak 11/17/13 - 12:05 pm
2
1
Put it ALL to a vote

I agree, how about an initiative to ban setnetting AND guided fisheries reachable by the road system in one intiative. Just like they did for fish traps. I wonder if guides would be in favor of it then. Because you know, its all about saving the Kings right? Hey why stop there. Lets vote on Drifting and Dipnetting also.

Beach Boss
124
Points
Beach Boss 11/17/13 - 12:17 pm
1
0
Popularity Contest

So lets say the setnetters are eliminated. Does the in-river stop fishing for kings or they just grow their businesses and continue to more pressure on the spawning beds and ruin the late run just like the early run? Is that what I am understanding??

This is so crazy to me I can't believe its even being talked about.

Lifer
40
Points
Lifer 11/18/13 - 02:09 pm
1
1
Corruption

Don't forget how Penney contributed to the downfall of Ted Stevens. Can we ever trust this guy?
http://thehill.com/homenews/news/12928-catching-fish-netting-earmarks-up...

Raoulduke
2889
Points
Raoulduke 11/18/13 - 08:46 pm
0
2
downfall

There was only one person that contributed to any of Ted Stevens downfall.The person was Ted Stevens HIMSELF.When you are corrupt.You don't need anyone's assistance in the downward spiral.You do know.He personally DID ADMIT his GUILT.So! The question should have been."Should you trust anyone that has had close association with Ted Stevens".

beautiful lightning
25
Points
beautiful lightning 11/23/13 - 02:39 am
2
2
Shut The Nets Down Before Its To Late

If history has taught us anything it is that nets can cause a prolific demise in fish stocks throughout an ecosystem with sometimes irreversible consequences.

All you need to do is look to the Atlantic fisheries, netters going out of business, stricter regulations etc., no one wants to say it but their demise is of their own doing.

Perfect example is the Atlantic salmon: Stocks remained robust when the netters couldn't find where the salmon went after spawning and returning to the ocean. Then when the technology of tagging and tracking fish came about the jig was up, the fish could no longer hide from the netters and the Atlantic salmon stocks were doomed, the nets absolutely decimated them. In turn the netters brought about their own demise as it became hard to stay profitable in a decimated fishery. At present the Atlantic cod fishery is facing that very same unfortunate situation.

The only solution I see to help all involved and allow the netters to stay profitable is to strictly limit the catches and raise the price of fish accordingly, allowing supply and demand to take over. Therefore allowing netters to stay profitable at the same time giving the salmon populations a break. At $20/lb the Japanese can afford it, It truly could be an answer to save fisheries.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 11/23/13 - 09:36 am
1
1
beaverlooper

beaverlooper... Hello.. earth to beaverlooper, it is not legal to ban people types like private or commercial fishermen... You can only legally ban gear types. This is why folks don't propose to ban set netters, just set nets. Why would you even want to go there? Banning people types? Would you enjoy seeing people asking to prevent only natives or non-residences from fishing? If you think that would be so great maybe you could even refine it further to also prevent folks with dark hair or skin from fishing? Sound good? If all that sounds good maybe you should just start knocking on doors and forcing anyone that you don't like to leave town? You could have your own flag and military, maybe even eventually take over the planet... we could all salute you maybe?

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 11/23/13 - 12:06 pm
0
1
Lifer, Ingore industrial wipeout and focus on non-profits?

Lifer, there may also be corruption involved within our poor fisheries management but could you please provide us with the links proving the corruption you are referencing? Penny is not the issue, Stevens is not the issue, excessive commercial fishing is the issue, set net gear type is the issue.

You have got to be kidding, we have commercial fisheries extracting billions of dollars worth of publicly own fisheries resources and all you can come up with is Penny and Stevens shifting around a couple hundred grand? I have one word for you, pathetic.

All the funds in your little http://thehill.com/homenews/news/12928-catching-fish-netting-earmarks-up... story were utilized by nonprofit groups trying to save the planet and all you can do is mud-sling the non-profit operations while allowing multi-billion dollar commercial fisheries operation to continue destroying our oceans? These funds were used to benefit all user groups but all you can see is how they might benefit anglers, again the word is pathetic.

We can forget about Penny or Stevens, we need to keep our eyes on guys like you who are so totally interested in stopping public projects while turning a blind eye to billion dollar industry, which is totally intent on mining our oceans like a pit mine. Instead of digging a hole and leaving a nightmare behind they work to extract elements of our marine food web thereby causing it to fail. This is where our king salmon have gone. Commercial fisheries have knocked substantial holes within our marine food web and that has resulted in a lack of juvenal king salmon prey. You are what you eat and if you don't eat you don't return to the Kenai River.
---------------------------------------
Implications of variation in euphausiid productivity for the growth, production and resilience of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) from the southwest coast of Vancouver Island
Ron W. Tanasichuk, Pacific Biological Station, 3190 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, B.C. Canada. V9R 5K6. E-mail:
tanasichukr@pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

http://208.71.46.190/search/srpcache?ei=UTF-8&p=Ron+W.+Tanasichuk++eupha...
-----------------------------
Krill, Euphausiacea, - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphausiid
---------------------------
PICES-GLOBEC INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND CARRYING CAPACITY - http://www.pices.int/publications/scientific_reports/Report20/default.aspx
--------------------
Euphausiid Life Cycle by Ron W. Tanasichuk
http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/species-especes/shellfish-coquillag...

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 11/23/13 - 12:16 pm
0
1
Beautiful lighting, raising the price isn't going to do it.

Beautiful lighting, okay so you say just limit commercial nets catches and raise the price of fish accordingly. If that theory works we should be able to solve all fisheries conflict with it.
If you have to many anglers just increase angling costs and the problem is eliminated? If we have to many hunters just increase the price to go hunting and problem eliminated, to many miners just increase mining costs?

There is a problem with this increase the cost logic, why would we want to artificially drive up the price of a natural resource to the point where people might not be able to afford it? Some people are forced to purchase these products in order to survive and you want to place them beyond their reach, therefore drastically changing their way of life just so some fisherman can continue his way of life? It really does not matter if you are messing with a Japanese life or a native Alaskan life, why would you want to make this kind of a trade off? You are going to "save a commercial fishery" so it can do less work while making the same money, while someone else starves?

I think the issue that you are not considering is that these are publicly owned fish in the first place. This would be like a person owning a car and you steal his hubcaps. Then you offer to sell his stolen hubcaps back to him. When your pathetic actions are discovered you then offer to reduce this kind of crime by raising your hubcap price, so you can steal fewer hubcaps but make the same income. What you are doing is completely ignoring who owns the hubcaps or "the fish" in the first place. This is the complete limited entry commercial fisheries argument. Limited Entry Commercial Fisheries are so addicted to selling these "stolen hubcaps" that they actually believe that they have a right to steal and sell them. They believe this because after all they were doing it last year so they should be able to continue doing it this year also? right ....

Before you gill netters start rolling your eyes, try thinking for just a second, who do these fish legally belong to in the first place? If you are honest with yourself you know that our fisheries are publicly owned and that the only correct and legal way for the public to access these resources is by lining your fisheries access up with our State Constitution. Our constitution requires equal or common access by all users and limited entry fisheries resist that common use intent. Our limited entry amendment attempts to resolve this tension between common use and exclusive limited entry use. The amendment does this by allowing limited entry fisheries "all or none" of a specific fishery. In other words if the public "does not require" the surplus fish, they may all be allocated to limited entry fisheries and if the public "requires" them, they may all be removed from limited entry fisheries. It is as simple as common use fishery are always constitutionally guaranteed access to surplus fisheries but limited entry is not. This is the difference between a common use and limited entry fishery. So what does this all mean? It means that the public (not limited entry fisheries) is in the drivers seat when it comes to deciding what gear type we use to access our fisheries. If the public decide that you are trying to sell them back their own hubcaps, then your little fisheries scam is not going to work. So in conclusion I do not believe that the public is going forget that they own the hubcaps or the fisheries. Therefore the public will have little problem banishing any type of fishing gear type which they do not like and they will NOT be paying set netters to stop fishing.

beaverlooper
2632
Points
beaverlooper 11/23/13 - 12:34 pm
2
0
ok 123

Quit trying to make me a racist just because i think your full of it.You CAN ban where and how (no snagging)and how often people fish. It happens all of the time as you should well know.. As for gear types ,how about banning bait and hooks with barbs on them,in the Kenai River for EVERYBODY? Oh but wait ,the rod and reel fishery has absolutely no effect on the Kenai, it's set nets, until a reasonable argument s made against that, then it's trawlers,(I personally feel trawlers should be illegal)then it's the size of crab larvae (crab are fished with pots ,as are lobster which have also been badly decimated)but NEVER does the in river commercial fishery ever affect the fishery at all.I have two words for you ,pathetic and greedy.What really kills a fishery is money and people like you.

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