Public input needed on aquatic farming regs

Posted: Monday, September 13, 2004

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game proposed revision to regulations 5AAC 95.300 and 5AAC 95.610, which will repeal current regs prohibiting on-bottom aquatic farming within Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat area.

I went to the third public meeting on this issue in Homer on Sept. 8, chaired by David Bedford, Deputy Commissioner of Fisheries. State representation also included Guyla McGrady of the Department of Natural Resources; David Petree, biologist; Doug Vincent-Lang, Sport Fish director; and Ray RaLonde, University of Alaska aquaculture specialist. About 30 people from Homer and Seldovia were present, as was a representative from Seldovia Village Tribe.

The absolute feeling these Frank Murkowski drones implied was that no matter what public opinion projects, this proposal is going to happen.

What has happened to the democratic process in which government is elected by the people who put them there?

More than 25 people had questions and comments: one was for; one neutral; and the majority were negative in various degrees.

If this passes, the Kachemak Bay Conservation Society stated they will seek legal action to stop it. Myself and my wife are joining this organization now.

Wednesday is the deadline for public comment. The committee was asked for further extension and did not respond. More input from citizens on the whole east side of Kachemak Bay, where the clams are, need to be heard from; every single person and community.

Where are you Clem Tillion? And Paul Seaton is wishy-washy and stated at this meeting he is neutral.

Jakalof Bay is a projected site. I live in Seldovia and have dug clams there for 50 years, along with every other food-gathering person from all areas of Kachemak Bay. We would definitely be denied our traditional rights to harvest clams, or anything else, if this proposal comes to pass.

Why is the government ignoring our voice? We need comment from people who have ever harvested a clam in Kachemak Bay, so voice your opinion on this.

Will government listen to the little people who elected them? We will see.

I was born in Seldovia 60 years ago and have seen tremendous change and population growth in Kachemak Bay. Not all for the best either, but progress will happen. But it should be in positive ways that benefits and satisfies the majority.

Eric Nordenson - Seldovia

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