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Coalition's research limited

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Kenai Area Fisherman's Coalition claims to be an organization composed of only scientists and nonguided anglers who fish on the Kenai Peninsula. The KAFC is self-proclaimed as existing to provide objective scientific information on fisheries issues that impact Kenai Peninsula rivers and streams.

The KAFC claims to have about 15 members, of which eight are fishery biologists with a combined experience of over 120 years studying Kenai Peninsula ecosystems.

These are the KAFC claims, but even a preliminary examination of the group shows that these claims do not describe an organization that is interested in objective conclusions. How can any group of persons expect to obtain an objective prospective when its main claim to enlightenment is that it is composed of only scientists and nonguided anglers?

Scientists may represent less than 1 percent of the residents in Alaska and persons who have never been out fishing with a sportfishing guide may grab another 1 percent.

The KAFC has openly declared themselves to represent less than 2 percent of Alaska's residents. The KAFC then attempts to add its members years of scientific study into a giant 120 old ball, thus concluding that anything 120 years old deserves to be listened to.

Last I checked, a scientist was a person who used the scientific method to figure stuff out and the way they figured it out was to gather up measurable evidence and then make and test theories. How do you obtain "objective scientific conclusions" about Kenai Peninsula public fisheries when you claim up front to eliminate large hunks of the general public from your membership?

When you eliminate the public prospective from Kenai Peninsula common user fisheries issues, your scientific method definition has been totally destroyed. True science collects all the evidence or prospective in this case, and then lets the theories result from that evidence. The elimination of large blocks of common fisheries users from the KAFC membership only perverts any scientific conclusions the organization may obtain.

Such conclusions can only be referred to as the production of pseudoscience, which is the production of claims that result from not adhering to the basic requirements of the scientific method.

If the KAFC has no problem utilizing pseudoscience to adjust its membership list, what can the general public expect from their other efforts and opinions? It is clear that any Alaska fisheries organization that pre-empts common user prospective from its membership, has rigged its possible conclusions before even doing the research. Such illogical practices produce "opinions" and not the "science" hoped for by the KAFC.

Don Johnson

Soldotna



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