I've been a commercial fisherman for nearly all my life, spending my summers on the waters of Bristol Bay, or working on beach sites on the Kenai Peninsula.
I've read the Pew commision report, and the attacks on Tony Knowles and the Pew Trust are unfounded.
Those who are making complaints must not have read the complete report, or somehow overlooked the important issues raised, and the praise for Alaskan fisheries management, for there is a great deal about the report that is clearly in the best interests of both Alaskans and Alaskan fisherman.
For instance, the report is critical of farmed fish, they note that "Commissioners learned that despite the wealth of the seas, salmon fishermen were losing ground because they could not compete with low-priced farmed salmon flooding the market". The report talks about such problems as farmed fish escaping into the wild; the disease problems of farmed salmon; concerns over 'genitically modified organisms'; the waste they generate and the impact it has. Clearly, improved regulations on farmed salmon will be of benefit to Alaskan fisherman as well as the general public.
The commission also raises valuable issues such as the impact that global warming might have on things such as spawning and fish size and the spread of invasive species and disease.
The report is also full of praise for Alaskan commercial fisheries management i.e. " ... the best managed single-species fisheries in the country," and, "Alaskans have done more to control bycatch and protect habitat from fishing gear than any other region in the nation". The report clearly sees Alaskan fisheries practices as ones to be emulated, not displaced.
It is my belief that tne Pew Commision report was in our best interests, both as fishermen and as Alaskans.
Tom Musgrove Jr.
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