Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, August 10, 2001

High seas trawler fleet to blame for destruction of Alaska's fisheries

It is time for the state, the borough and the Kenai Peninsula cities to start planning for the end of sport and commercial fishing for salmon and halibut in Cook Inlet and all of Alaska.

While all the attention is given to the feud among the commercial fishers, sports fishers and guided fishers, the real damage is being done elsewhere. The high seas trawler fleet is going to do to Alaska fisheries as they did to the Atlantic fisheries. How many countries with trawlers operating in the North Pacific are doing salmon farming? The value of those farmed salmon will skyrocket once the Alaska natural runs are destroyed. Many are reported to be trying halibut farming.

Anyone else see a connection here?

"By-catch" is such mild sounding word, but it is what is killing the fisheries. In 1999, over 600 million pounds was caught, killed and dumped into the ocean. Much of this was salmon and halibut. Every major Alaska salmon fishing area is in decline.

The trawler fleet is well financed, and it spread its campaign contributions around Congress. For this reason the federal government will continue to ignore the rape of the Alaska fisheries until there is no more fishery.

It is up to Alaska and Alaskans to plan for the post-fishing era. We had better not wait too long to start!

William J. Phillips


Borough should delay prison feasibility study until after vote

I read with interest the story regarding the lack of respondents to the Kenai Peninsula Borough's "Requests for Proposals" for the private prison feasibility study. This would appear to hamper the borough's hopes of having a completed study done before the Oct. 2 election.

As a cost-saving measure, the borough should put a hold on requesting companies to participate in the RFP process, until the voters have made their decision. I would hate to see a glowing, positive feasibility study report mysteriously appear just prior to the election.

Dee Hubbard


Alaska should be farming fish instead of killing its wild runs

Why would we want Costco to sell wild salmon? That would only promote more killing of our wild runs of salmon. Why don't we have fish farms in Alaska? Because they are illegal in Alaska, that's why. Gee, I wonder who pushed that law through?

Alaskans could of been in on the ground floor of the farming business with all the knowledge about salmon that we already had. That would have been an industry we could have all been proud of, but now the name "Alaska salmon" only means wild fish that were strangled by a curtain of death on the way to their spawning grounds.

I know that fish farming means working all year long and that sounds like more work than coming here to pillage and plunder our streams and rivers for a month or two and then returning to Hawaii, California ,Washington, etc.

If Costco sold wild fish, would you buy it? I doubt it. Wouldn't you just pick one out of your nets? Or, would you take the chance on buying a wild fish that sat in the back of someone's truck in the sun for awhile on the way to the Japanese-owned processing plant?

You just want to manipulate Costco into buying something it can't sell, just to line your pockets. Thank you, Costco, for not participating in the annihilation of our wild salmon runs.

Jeff Webster


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