Saturday, December 23, 2006

Fleet Consolidation

Fleet Consolidation in SE

This has been a long time coming, gentlemen.
We finally have our loan and implementing legislation.
I guess you probably don’t need to be told that.

We have a lot of preparation work prior to the final plan and then the publishing in the Federal Register, et. al., prior to the permit holder vote. Just before summer if we’re lucky on the vote although the entire deal will take us well into next fall to complete.
Here are some excerpts from one of SEAS fleet consolidation letters:

SEAS ..”formally request(s) that the state of Alaska, CFEC, investigate the means and methods of initiating a buyback program to reduce the number of permits…..”
This would return …”economic vitality to the fleet”.
“There are numerous reasons for the present economic condition…this fishery require(s) the highest capitalization costs for vessels, gear and operational expenses in the state.” SEAS believes that we “have the smallest return on investment of any salmon net fishery in the state”.
“Increased fleet efficiency …. has increased dramatically. Through new and more efficient methods of gear recovery, advances in on-board electronics, and extended holding capacity through refrigeration, skippers now have means to higher productivity. Also a number of more effective skippers in the highliner category have entered the fleet…”

Guys.. This was a 1984 letter from the SEAS board of directors, signed by Mr. Bruce Wallace.

Our plan was set in motion at a November, 2001 meeeting of SEAS at the Sixth Avenue Inn in Seattle. But this has been a long time coming. Many of the conditions that existed in 1984 are even more evident in 2006.

From the onset limited entry in SE needed relimiting.
Many of the permits were issued to a increased bunch of us who were in SE because of the permit issue itself ( the 1969 “Alaskan”implementation had failed so more folks were keen to the issuance of permits) as well as the major influx of displaced Boldt decision folks from Washington state.
Boats hold 70% more product on average than in 1984.
Our gear is stronger, heavier.
We didn’t even have GPS in 1984…. Think about that.
Sonars are now on 20% of our boats. Back then we may have had 5%.
In 1974 we had no pumps. In 1984 many of us had no refrigeration yet. Any of you hand pitched a load lately.
And the list is pretty much inexhaustible. We’ve changed
Limited entry needed relimiting in SEAK seine.

Any questions over the holidays, call me on my cell. Should be in the office off and on but the cell phone will be better.

There's a great article on the SEAS fleet consolidation plan @

Merry Christmas


Sunday, December 17, 2006

New Board Members

Actually there are no new board members. The votes were counted by a board member and one witness in Juneau on December 12th. (Kind of slow on the trigger on this blog, eh?)

From Alaska, Brad Haynes and Dan Castle won uncontested 3 year seats that will expire in 2009.

For At- Large , Bryan Benkman and Jim Zuanich won their seats back in a 3 way election.
Their seats will be up in 2009 as well.

Congratulations to all of the nominees as well as to those of you who will have to continue to work for the rest of the fleet.

Although we are not yet --at this time-- soliciting nominations for 2007's Board of Directors vote, you are welcome to call in and nominate someone when you think of it so that you can be reminded when the actual nomination forms come out.... Be sure the nominee is willing to spend the time and energy to help make SEAS function as effectively as possible.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Fleet Consolidation

The buyback implementing language and the loan passed both bodies of Congress last weekend as part of the Magnuson-Stevens Act Reauthorization.

Once again, as is always the case, many thanks to Senator Ted Stevens for the fantastic work done by he and his staff on behalf of Alaskan independent commercial fishermen and their families.

Although there remains a bit of clearing and a whole lot of work to do, this puts us on the map and now there will indeed be a buyback....


Friday, December 08, 2006

Task Force Short Report

November 28 Task Force Meeting.

The meeting was attended by over 50 people including ADFG personnel and SEAS board members. The Petersburg seiners, along with a few gillnetters were out in full force.
This was the best attendance we’ve ever seen at a Purse Seine Task Force meeting.
Last year in Ketchikan was the 2nd best attendance. Looks like we’re having the meeting in Sitka next year.

2007 Forecast: The ADFG prediction gets into the 40 plus million range, although the NMFS guys forecast falls to 38 million SE wide. Joe Orsi of NMFS just completed year 2 of sampling fry outmigration patterns in Clarence Strait. Icy Strait has several more years of sampling than Clarence.

McDonald Lake: The department laid out their plans to return more sockeye to McDonald Lake and it includes major reductions in time and area in lower and outer District 7B, late start on District 6 and then a closure of Lincoln Rock and Marsh and Screen Islands, and partial closures on Gravina Island as well as the Ship Island shore.
Weakness in McDonald Lake is going to reshape the 2007 Clarence Strait fishery.

Kanalku subsistence: Ben Van Allen from USFS joined us in Petersburg. Among his many claims are that upper Chatham is a new fishery with too much fishing occurring there since the late-1990’s. It is apparent that there is a major obstacle to sockeye salmon getting from the stream to the lake as over 60% of Mr. Van Allen’s tagged sockeye did not make it to the lake from the stream. It is also apparent that Mr. Van Allen’s statistics and science had no basis in fact but that won’t preclude the RAC from attempting to justify Extraterritorial Jurisdiction if they are so convinced.

Hatcheries: Exceptional 2006 contributions across the board, especially to the seine fleet from NSRAA and SSRAA.

Anita Bay: As it turned out, seiners and gillnetters caught a fairly even split of Anita Bay chums. However, the seiners caught most of theirs in the bay and the gillnetters caught most of theirs in front of the bay. Discussion was had regarding the mixed stock corridor fishery in front of Anita Bay.

4 on 1 off management: Discussion occurred about our most recent management regime. There was no move to revoke this management but the point was made several times that there should be a divide when one region of SE isn’t doing as well as the others, i.e., Clarence Strait and the south end. This point may be made for us with the closures for McDonald Lake.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

November Newsletter Articles


The Purse Seine Task Force meeting for 2006 is scheduled for Petersburg on November 28th. If you have topics that aren’t covered below please call ASAP to the SEAS office at 463-5030 or 723-8267 and leave them on the machine or talk with me. You can also email your topics of concern to or leave them with a comment on the running blog at

This year the Task Force will be co-chaired by Bill Davidson and Bob T. Since the SEAS and SRA board meetings follow on November 29th, most of the SEAS board members should also be in Petersburg to attend the Task Force meeting as well. So if you have any burning issues you can contact the board members in your town or area.

Preliminary Task Force Issues

Chatham Strait corridor fisheries impacted by USFS Federal Subsistence management of Kanalku sockeye.

Clarence Strait changing back to 2-2 rather than 4-1

Cholmondeley Sound fall chum issues.

1.9 million cohoes behind on all species allocation- 19% target for seiners, 13% of total all-gear coho harvest.

Seiners out on 2 on the 5 year rolling average on enhancement allocation.
Gillnetters out on high side 3 on the 5 year rolling average.

New Otilith data showing SSRAA hatchery contributions in mixed stock corridors.

McDonald Lake issues.

Potential Homeshore openings during years of high pink salmon abundance.

Odd-Even Cycles.

Explanation of what went wrong with pinks in 2006

Anita Bay corridor fishing in District 8.


Hawk Inlet conservation time and area closures for sockeye in 2006.

ADFG Personnel and longer term retention issues.

Pacific Salmon Treaty renegotiation.

So, add to this list if you would or add to the information so that I or the board might benefit with your added knowledge of many of the issues we’ll be tackling this fall.
You of course are all invited to attend. We’ll find a place to put you up in Petersburg if you can indeed make it.


United Fishermen of Alaska Executive Director Mark Vinsel handed out a cheatsheet to all 3 gubernatorial candidates in Anchorage October 11th. On it were the accomplishments of UFA during the past 3 ½ years as a result of both Governor Murkowski’s cabinet and agenda as well as the leadership and both bodies of the legislature. It’s worth taking a brief look at what’s happened recently when SEAS has been at the core of UFA, helping out by volunteering the time of it’s Executive Director.

43 fisheries bills passed .
Board of Fish changed.
False Pass and Cook Inlet resurrected and almost saved.
And on and on.

Undoubtedly outgoing Senate President Ben Stevens provided tremendous impetus as part of the follow through from his tenure on the Joint Legislative Salmon Task Force. And it certainly reminded us of the task force days when past state Senator Alan Austerman was there every step of the way for the administration this past term as senior fisheries advisor.

Mrs. Sarah Palin met with the UFA board after both Mr. Andrew Halcro and former Governor Tony Knowles. Although all three meetings maintained exceptional dialogue on the important issues facing commercial fishermen today, it was former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin who wowed both small and large boat fleets, earning a bipartisan endorsement reminiscent of the first Murkowski endorsement. The only caveat is that this endorsement was a bit broader, including Sitka and Homer, and a few other places where FHM was weaker.

Sarah Palin is married to a North Slope worker/Bristol Bay setnetter and former drifter. Her understanding of many of the rest of the state’s commercial fisheries issues is yet being shaped but she is very intelligent and a quick study. She is the most likely to allow other reasonable, non-competing uses for our natural resource base in Alaska.

UFA Environmental/Fish Farm Issues Chairman Mr. Bruce Wallace hosted Cam Toohey of Dutch Shell and Bruce Jenkins of Northern Dynasty to speak on Peninsula Offshore Drilling and the Pebble Project respectively. It is apparent that there needs to be more work and studies completed prior to any assessment of future impacts by either of these projects. A preponderance of UFA groups are very wary of the severity of Pebble’s impact. A small group of Bristol Bay native commercial fishermen showed up to support the Pebble Project.

UFA’s board roster numbers 37 people. Thirty three (33) fishing associations from around the state along with 4 at-large board members elected from the UFA individual membership. These are amongst the most knowledgeable and talented individuals representing commercial fishermen in Alaska. The average Executive Director at the UFA board has been around for over a decade at this game and the board list is like a who’s who list of Alaska commercial fishing industry icons. I am always in awe of this group when I’m working with them. Our newest group to rejoin is the CRAB group, represented by the talented Linda Kozak of Kodiak.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

EXXON date for SO1A is December 1st....

If you are unsure of your EXXON unoiled claim, please call me. All of my numbers are on the newsletters.

December 1st is the final date to have any changes to Exxon's numbers for your poundage for the years 1989,1990 and 1991. ( for SO1A, SE purse seine)

Call me at the office or on my cell phone if you are unsure of your status.


Friday, November 10, 2006



Hope your hangover is over from the worst pink salmon harvest in Southeast since 1987. And although not enough time could ever pass to help us forget the lousy aspects of the summer ( besides the biblical proportions of rain), there were a few bright spots in 2006.


Nakat, Kendrick, Anita Bay all came through with decent chum salmon production. The SSSF(Southeast Sustainable Salmon Fund) investment and direction from USAG to return chums to Anita Bay has paid off. Certainly it was a bittersweet Nakat season since that will go to the ugly section in 2007, with the discontinuance of summer chum purse seining there. {For what it’s worth, fall chum seining will still be allowed until the end of 2007} But it was with renewed optimism that we saw a resurgence in survival at Kendrick Bay this year. Whether there were remote site problems or whatever the issue we are pleased to see a rebound there. In 2006, SSRAA continued to be a major player in providing production to the seine fleet when we needed it most.

Chichagof Island
Tenakee, Slocum, Basket Bay, Salisbury Sound and the Augusta shoreline were some of the few areas that produced harvestable numbers of pink salmon this past summer. Even the odd-year-only stranglehold that has always gripped Lisianski was broken this past summer with the first meaningful harvest on an even cycle since statehood.

Taku River and Hawk Inlet
Once again the gillnets were swamped with pinks in District 111. We were unable to prosecute a meaningful pink harvest with the weaker overall SE pink runs. Sockeye conservation time and area restrictions at Hawk Inlet also allowed too many swim through the district. This could have placed Hawk Inlet in the BAD or UGLY category but for the fact that we at least had quite a few Hawk Inlet opportunities. And we are pleased that the Taku is remaining extremely productive.

Both Hidden Falls and Deep Inlet made the chums this year. The front office of NSRAA wouldn’t even consider 2006 a blip compared to their historical success. Yet even the leadership at NSRAA must be relieved to see the recent chum productivity slide reverse itself. NSRAA should be rewarded with praise for their longstanding success and contributions to the purse seine fleet. Cohoes made it a great finale when the total of 1.3 million pounds was harvested in August and September by cost recovery at Mist Cove and Hidden Falls. Season ending prices were $1.35 for seine caught coho in the round.

ADFG Management
The men and women in ADFG blue have to be commended for their conservative approach to the overall SEAK pink harvest. I walked a big indicator system in Security Bay this fall and there was a 30,000 escapement where there were 90,000 in 2004. ( That 90K was William Bergman’s estimate—mine was more like 200K). So without any directed fishing at Kingsmill in 2006, with little accompanying harvest rate, the spawner recruit was about .33. That’s 1 fish returning per 3 spawners. At that rate, with management error, we would find ourselves with endangered or threatened species within a few cycles of similar errors.

The Pink Price
Pink prices have inched up to 19 cents at the dock of one large processor. Of course those who got that at the dock paid dearly for the privilege of getting there, most likely eating up the extra 3 cents in fuel costs. The recent frozen price of over $1.00 and the latest bids by the processors to sell to USDA at over $60 a case ( on a 48 tall basis) would indicate that that price is quite some distance from where the price will settle out at and start for the 2007 season. Now there are a number of factors contributing to this price increase and some of those are UGLY like the lack of supply.

II. The Bad

2004 Drought
It wasn’t just that the summer drought that didn’t break until the 2nd week of September, but there were also anecdotal reports of regions that experienced drought-like conditions throughout the winter of 2004-05. Pinks that had held out in salt water until mid-September didn’t have the geographically diverse and healthy spawn that they might have had with earlier entry to fresh water. Perhaps later run systems(mid-August through early September pinks) could have gotten a few more fish by the fleet and into healthy spawning conditions but the normal timed summer pinks were obviously susceptible to the 2004 summer drought.

It was an interesting combination though in Southeast pink salmon spawning streams. Where streams weren’t accompanied by glacial systems, upwelling springs, or high mountain watersheds, we saw virtually the lowest spawning numbers we’ve seen in decades*- even allowing that this was the sub-dominant even SE pink cycle. In the case of Chichagof Island and the Taku, these systems have the necessary drought-survival tools- or at least they worked beneficially to the progeny of the 2004 spawning adults.
However, along the West Admiralty Island shoreline, and in many of the POW and Kuiu Island systems, pink salmon suffered.
*notwithstanding that we still met minimum escapement goals nearly everywhere.

2005-2006 Near-shore Marine and Ocean Conditions
Accompanying the drought were ocean conditions that stunted the growth of each and every hatchery and wild stock pink salmon in the state except for West Kodiak.
Certainly one can attribute to the drought a high percentage of the blame on the SE pink failure. But perhaps equally as important were the low marine survival that seemed to plague statewide pink salmon hatcheries. In Southeast’s single pink salmon facility, 82 million pink fry returned less than 1 million adults to Armstrong-Keta. Likewise, the large spring of 2005 releases of PWS pinks never made it back home in 2006.

Coho apparently fared better than pinks in 2006, even though they both shared the drought issue 2 years ago. The coho were likely large enough to escape the lowest, hottest water and perhaps were able to emerge from the drought with overall less harm than the pinks. In some systems the coho smolts must have entirely left the system in order to survive.

Cholmondeley Sound
Even though escapement was decent in Disappearance and exceptional in Lagoon Creek, 2006 marked another sub-par year at Cholmondeley. This was particularly disturbing since the hatchery chums seemed to enjoy an excellent survival year in southern Southeast.


Southern Southeast
For only the 3rd time in several decades, Northern Southeast ruled supreme over Southern Southeast, throwing the regions’ renowned manager, Mr. Philip Doherty, into such a tailspin that he had to quit and take Julie Deckers old job over at SARDFA. More on Mr. Doherty at another spot in this newsletter. ( He doesn’t belong in the ugly column).

Fuel Prices


Lack of Pinks to fulfill market orders

Need I say more.

Friday, November 03, 2006


SEAS, the Southeast Alaska Seiners Association, endorsed Sarah Palin for Governor today. Sarah Palin’s close connection to the commercial salmon fisheries along with SEAS belief that she will be able to bridge the gap that can exist between the Governor and the Legislature were cited as two of the major reasons for support.

The UFA, of which SEAS is a longstanding member, had made this similar decision on October 12th, over 3 weeks ago. SEAS 13 board members are all commercial salmon fishermen and have had a busy and difficult season, but were able to teleconference today. Although there is great respect and admiration for Palin’s two opponents, Andrew Halcro and Tony Knowles, the SEAS board determined that Sarah Palin is the best choice for coastal Alaskan communites where our members live. SEAS is very impressed with the vast majority of Murkowski commissioners and directors and is confident that, with a Palin administration, there will be less change and turnover of our favorite leaders in Commerce, Labor and Fish and Game.

SEAS board of directors hail primarily from Petersburg, Sitka and Ketchikan. They also represent members from the Alaskan communities of Wrangell, Klawock, Juneau, Hoonah, Kake, Homer, Cordova and Craig.

The rest of the SEAS endorsement slate is as follows.

House of Representatives
Bill Thomas- Haines (iceworm district of smaller communities, 34 permits in his district)
Beth Kertulla- Juneau downtown (7 permits)
Peggy Wilson- Wrangell (Petersburg, Sitka, Wrangell, 100 permits)
Kyle Johansen-Ketchikan (33 permits)
Randy Wanamaker- Juneau (3 permits)
Alaska State Senate
Mac Meiners- Juneau (10 permits)

US Congress

The Honourable Donald E. Young

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Here's Johnny

Note to Johnny Rice, the original founder of the Alaska Report and operator solely from 1999 until sometime in 2005.

Johnny. Bobbyt here on a crewmembers laptop, blogging from Hope Island, Washington.
Hauling gear as I type.

In case any of you wondered where came from it was Johnny.
He's been trying to get SEAS and myself more wired up since forever.

And SEAS and myself are usually about 5 years late on everything internet or computers.

Anyways. Here's to you Johnny. Hope your day in Ketchikan was as bright as ours down here.


Friday, October 27, 2006


I guess that's crewmember memberships.
Good news and bad news about crewmemberships at SEAS.

As reported earlier in a newsletter, Crewmember memberships have gone up to $50 per crewmember. That's from $40. And that's the bad news.

The good news is that for a one-time low price of $150 you can have your entire crew sign up for the entire year. That's right, only $150 gets you crewmemberships of as many crewmembers as you have for the entire season. And that's getting shorter, thanks to 1}Cholmondeley's lack of late return chums ( I didn't say there was a non- natural reason for this) and 2}for the fact that so many SEAS members appear to either 1} too busy or 2} too busy getting a whacking that they ignore the fact that they should be fishing cohoes in the fall in September like the other gear groups do.

Yeah. Those same gear groups that are our friends and have wanted to share in the effort to maintain some sense of equilibrium to the fleets. Our historical average isn't very close to the mark

That's atopic for another discussion but I would assume that the other groups would be as responsive and helpful as SEAS has been when the shoe was on the other foot... i.e., witness the allocation spending under the SSSF 2000-2001-2002 under the Knowles administration when alot of it really was spent in Southeast...

And the advent of PNPs like DIPAC have certainly helped augment the 3% Regionals production and much of that followed the enhanced plan. Certainly no credible marine scientist nor biologist would have accused DIPAC of actually having a return come back when this SE Regionwide allocation plan was adopted in the spring of 1994.

DIPAC's first blue chip pink return came in on its last pink release, in the summer of 1994.
Then we- I say we since I have served on DIPAC's board since the spring of 1994 - got some dogs back in 1996 that surprised even us as we had not sold them yet....another story.
Suffice it to say that DIPAC has been a big boost to gillnetters fortunes. And this boosts the seiners fortunes as well since these non-3%ers are added into the SE regionwide enhancement allocation formula. Even were a few seine fish this year.

Back to memberships. Back in 1993 a young impulsive SOB wrote a nasty note to the SEAS board and criticized them for not signing up their crews. My logic ran thus "If a skipper cannot convince his crew of the need for SEAS, then how is that skipper to persuade city councilmen, representatives, his neighbors, etc, of the importance of commercial salmon seining in SEAK."
Of course once I got on the board I was probably the first guy to forget to sign up my crew once I got to working on the issues the guys had already worked on. So the SEAS board invited me to fill a vacant seat for the remainder of 1993, until I could get elected on my own to serve my only term on the SEAS board, 1994-1997. Same way I got on the DIPAC board, I guess.

We need crewmembers. We need input from crewmembers. We need you to help us to help you.
Tell us what you think about the buyback. Ask us what's really going on, not the new article coming out in the ADN next month or the latest blog. There is an amazing "National Enquirer" attitude about commercial fishing lately-- since the Crab show on TV really-- and there is a bunch of sex, lies and videotape out there. OK, another story.

Anyways. Sign em up. $150 for your entire crew. Sorry, doesn't include Puget Sound.
These guys are the guys who make our industry what it is today. They are the next generation of seine skippers in Southeast. It's a bit disconcerting how well you all taught these young guys coming up. They really aren't shooting for #2. We all just lost the last 1 1/2 hours of sleep we've been saving each night in August.

After all, did any of you start out as skippers or did you crew a season or two??

Sign em up. We're doing this for them.

Oh. And in case you didn't know the coho allocation number represented by the drop in recent historical percentages, it's around 1.9 million coho. On 2006 dollars and prices, that's around $20 million.

Just catching a couple hundred silvers for a few days in September may never get you there but it will get you more free fall crewmembers for that one low price of $150 for your entire crew, entire year.
Heck, if you forgot their names, just send in for your kids. Who knows, maybe one of these years we'll even send out hats again.

good day


Thursday, October 19, 2006

SEAS Board of Directors Election

Election time is near. The next newsletter will have the ballots for this years election.

The ballots will read as follows. 2 names will be elected for each category of seats.
Vote for only 2 in each category...

Alaska seats Dan Castle- Ketchikan
Brad Haynes-Ketchikan

At large seats Jim Zuanich-Bellingham
George Hamilton III-Seattle
Bryan Benkman-Seattle

The remaining board members of SEAS are

Mitch Eide- Petersburg
John Barry- Sitka
Troy Thomassen- Petersburg
Alan Jacklet-Carnation
Randy Stewart-Burlington
Jeremy Jensen-Petersburg
Gary Haynes-Ketchikan
Nik Nebl-Ketchikan
Sven Stroosma-Bellingham

This board continues in the tradition of excellence that has been put forth from SEAS boards from as long as I can remember and as long as I have been associated with SEAS.

We will be meeting in Petersburg at the Purse Seine Task Force meeting and the following day as well with the SRA board. NOVEMBER 28th and 29th. SEAS members are welcome to join us for one or both days. All seiners are welcome to join us on the 28th at the Task Force meeting.

Petersburg members. This is obviously your chance to air your views on the buyback.....

Indeed if we have any issues with the buyback that make it impassable this winter then it's going to be the old heave ho to the buyback as we have no mandate from the board to continue hiring Trevor McCabe as our lobbyist and consultant on the buyback-- nor anyone else for that matter--past the end of the year. Without a nearly automatic lock on the loan in very very early 2007, this dog ain't a huntin.

That would indeed be tragic if we couldn't get the buyback through but I guess that'll at least give us more guys to get in lineups and we can then watch more movies and take more naps. As if the 19 boat lineup at Long Island wasn't enough this past summer. I keep imagining 19 International Harvesters running down the same row of corn in Iowa because they hadn't figured out how to do it otherwise.

good day and good luck to those of you who are at Point Roberts or the Salmon Banks fishing chums right now.....


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Puget Sound

Commercial fishing in Puget Sound has fascinated me for as long as I can remember.

Where else can you fish in plain view of Qwest field and the Space Needle. Folks tried again and again to run us off in 1995 and 1999 and we beat back both attempts with million dollar campaigns. Folks sometimes say this fishing stuff isn't about money but when your states' residents vote to take away your livelihood you're happy to have a checkbook to write that check that saves your job.

Many of the issues that we face in Puget Sound and many of the struggles we've survived are a harbinger of things to come in Alaska. Puget Sound has more resource issues although the chums have had a great series of runs lately on the Nisqually, Puyallup, Skokomish, Skagit, Snohomish and other wild rivers.

But we've got the resource in great shape in Alaska and especially Southeast. The ADFG track record these past 30 years is incredible. Streams near Petersburg, where my great-grandfather Loui Martens began fishing in 1903,( he moved there for good several years later) are generally at the healthiest levels of abundance that they've seen since the 1930's. Certainly there are systems that wax and wane with regime shifts.

But one thing is for certain, we've got a great resource to work with and we've been commercial fishing for salmon for 130 years in SE Alaska and we have more fish than we started with in some cases. Now certainly we may have more fish if no one ever fished, but wouldn't that then sort of defeat the purpose. I mean, what are fish for, if not to catch and eat. Certainly the brood stock always needs to be maintained, but we should righteously be entitled to catch, sell and eat that part of the fish stocks or runs that are surplus to escapement needs. I have to admit, with all the time I spent outside between residencies (1990-2003) as an Alaskan, I got soft and I do immensely enjoy just seeing jumping salmon in a river or lake or school upon school of bright red sockeye on their spawning grounds. But fish need to be more than just watched.

One other important aspect of Puget Sound is its proximity to SE. Certainly the permit numbers in SE were inflated in 1974, right after the Boldt decision hit Washington state. That leads to another buyback point, that the swelling permit numbers in 1974 need to be taken back a few notches. There were an unsupportable number of permits issued due to the Boldt decision and therefore we need to have the buyback.

Yet another very instructional idea here supporting buybacks is that Puget Sound has only 75 permits rather than the 282 available at the time of the 2001 buyback. The benefits of less nets for public viewing runs hand in hand with the benefits of having a hookoff where you can share with a couple others rather than having lineups with over a dozen boats, engines idling, with 60 guys waiting aboard to do the job that 2 boats could have done.

Good fishing and hunting and hope it's not raining where you are.
I'm feeling like a rainmaker this year. I even missed the 5 day mini-heat wave in Juneau in June.

Oh. And one last question that defines why many of SEAS members come south to fish Puget Sound in the fall. Where else in North America can you find salmon available to harvest between Alaska Day and Thanksgiving.

Only in Puget Sound.


Thursday, October 12, 2006


Well it's UFA week again. Dropped the boat off at 630 am yesterday to get ready for Hood Canal chums and flew in for the UFA semiannual meeting.

Although my UFA duties as chairman certainly clear out a larger circle than just my SEAS duties, it has been SEAS belief for decades now that UFA is an integral organization. We need UFA to deal with statewide issues, board of fish, adfg funding, subsistence, marketing, choosing a fish-friendly governor, and all of the important core issues that affect SEAS that we can join with other likeminded groups across the state.

The atmosphere here in Anchorage is electric. UFA will endorse for Governor tomorrow- those of you who know us easily will know whom that is - and the buzz surrounding her and the 2 other exceptional gubernatorial candidates and their running mates is phenomenal.

We have another new group and rep at UFA, Linda Kozak of Kodiak. She will be a very valuable asset to the group as she brings a ton of experience in the council process. Certainly not everyone shares that perspective at UFA and I wouldn't expect them to. Likewise, being from Kodiak, she is likely to be predisposed to disliking yours truly but that will change in time as it always does at UFA.

Meaning either she will really, really like me in a couple of years or really really hate me.

Never seems to land on lukewarm for anyone.

Next annual meeting for both SEAS and UFA is JANUARY IN JUNEAU.
Come if you'd like if you are a UFA member. We'll figure out a place to put you up.

Thanks to those of you SEAS members who are also UFA members. YOU are the best represented group in terms of total numbers at UFA. Keep up the good work and keep writing the $150 check to promote and protect the commercial fishing interests of your neighbors in Cordova, Kenai, Sand Point, Kodiak, etc.. as well as your fellow fishermen from SE.

Keep the faith. And remember, don't believe anything you read on the internet unless you read it here


Tuesday, October 10, 2006


The subsistence issue is boiling again.

Seems the US Forest Service's chief scientist for the northern SE region, Mr. Ben Van Allen, is insisting upon managing upper Chatham Straits for us. -- Managing used loosely here to mean-- shut down.... Oh. And if you like to fish MacNauti (sp) by the Sitka airport-- forget it.

The precedence is hardly a surprise, since the SE RAC has been in the forefront of pushing for Federal takeover of state management ability.

So folks. One more big one to add to the list this winter.

Look for the results and news of the SE Regional Advisory Council from Sitka later this week. The meeting is the 11th through the 13th, Wed. through Friday.... I'd imagine it's at the Centennial Hall if any of you from Sitka can make it.

SEAS believes that the Federal interpretation of "need" based management is seriously flawed.
And the United States Forest Service has no track record of managing salmon fisheries. Alaska should not be the experimentation grounds.

Fisheries can only be managed by one entity-- the STATE. And any fishery that is managed upon a constituent's needs rather than based upon the very best available science is doomed to extinction.

Be certain to alert your local city council members, state senator and representative-- Bert Stedman, Kim Elton, Beth Kertulla, Bill Thomas, Peggy Wilson, and Albert Kookesh.

good day and thanks to those of you whom have responded positively and constructively both emails and in person throughout Southeast.


Friday, September 22, 2006

The 20 cent pink salmon

Gentlemen and others

So the latest rumor-- haven't been home to check the mail yet-- is that one major is up to 19 cents- dock- for 2006 pink salmon.

That company had a low of 11 cents- dock- in 2002. So we're up nearly 80 percent ex-vessel.
Now I know that none of the pink salmon marketing funding spent by the Alaska Fisheries Marketing Board probably had little impact, since it was the most relevant and major federal infusion given to Alaskan fisherman in exchange- post mortem- for almost killing off our industry with a gladhanding foreign relations trading program whose gratuity has already cut over half of our folks out of a livelihood.

And where did the $36 million in AFMB funds come from.
REQUESTED BY UFA, 5 members of whom were UFA board members initially when, the board was formed, and FORGED BY TED STEVENS, the AFMB takes SK funds-- which are import duties and tariffs from the very few countries that we actually make pay them on seafood products imported into the US>

The AFMB is one of the purest and sincerest of the many many efforts to help the AK Seafood industry by Chairman Stevens.

Certainly the frozen market has surpassed that for a real value and the canned market is heading for the rafters as well.

But of course I've been at least up 30% in the market but after losing 80% that doesn't make up much...

Thus it goes with us right now. With diesel prices (albeit falling lately) and insurance rates, gear, bread and milk not slowing down on their increases, our 20 cent pinks are only worth about 8 cents compared to the purchasing power of the 20 cents we got for 1982 pinks. So we have alot of ground yet to cover. Even at 30 cents, which would be a very reasonable pink price considering the market coming up in 2007, you'd have been far better off to just get the 20 cents back in 1982.

Hey, remember to nominate somone for the board.

We're riding the 20 cent pink wave and let's hope it ramps up a bit.

Should be on here a bit more now.


Monday, September 04, 2006

call for nominations


This is the time of year that the critics really hate. It's when they have to put their jock straps on and sign up for volunteer board service or else just spit into their coffee all winter about how "they" would have done it better.

I know. I was one of those guys, badmouthing the John Peckhams and Bruce Wallaces because I had never met them and wasn't having a great season.

So it had to be someone else's fault.

In any event, we could use a few good men. I don't have my books with me since I'm on the boat, but there are at least 4 seats up for the SEAS board of directors and you will be receiving nomination ballots in the mail. You may send them in or you may nominate someone on here by sending in your name along with the nominee and your phone number just so one of these spoofs- not that all who comment on here are such spoofs- who comment on here doesn't nominate someone who isn't serious about their committment to our coastal communities and commercial fishing.

So, you have from now until October 1st to nominate somone for the SEAS board. Then you will have 6 weeks to vote for that slate.

Hope you have good falls or other fisheries to those of you who have them.

We're all reeling from a very tough season. Here's to next season being a bit better, eh?


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

PS: This is a website for members


I see some of you have come to comment on blogs. This is the official SEAS website and I am working for SEAS.

If you are a SEAS member, please comment in any way you wish.
If you are not a SEAS member, but wish to comment or make some rash or insulting observations of SEAS workers, then you may want to moderate or try to be constructive in those comments or else we may have to just restrict this website to only the card carrying, dues paying 134 SEAS members and their 600 crew members and our 44 business members and their employees.

Thanks for your constructive comments insofar as how we help to maintain and improve on our Alaska coastal communities economic situation.

If the next Governor does half as much to stimulate the salmon price and rescue False Pass and Cook Inlet commercial salmon fisheries like Big Frank did, then we'll love him or her.


Now on to the General Election

It's going to be a great primary for some of our favorite legislators.
Not so good for some of our other favorites this time.

Onward and upward. Thanks to Governor Murkowski for 4 fine years of leadership and for including UFA and SEAS in his many of his decision making and strategizing these past 4 years. Anyone with a bit of a brain would just continue with the same programs that were spawned under Mr. Fields, Mr. Zuanich, Mr. Schactler, Mr. Childers, Mr. McCune and others at UFA in concert with this administration and somewhat with the last as well.

Have a great rest of the summer and catch a few more fish if you find 'em.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Check out the July issue of Fishermen's News.
No it's not another choice, juicy Vic Smith letter.

Bob Tkacz has a great article on the UFA endorsement.

"UFA Endorses Murkowski for Governor"

I wish I didn't have to rush out to go fishing or I would figure out how to reprint that here.
It's a great piece. And though Bob is no friend of Franks necessarily, he does what a "real" journalist does and reports on the facts and basics of the story.

Oftentimes there are folks who call themselves journalists or "the very best of the "fishery analysts" or whatever, and all they really are is a whackjob with a computer.

But Mr. Tkacz here, he is for real.
Do I like what he writes about me. Does he like me? Probably a big NOT.

But in the end he is not just a gossip columnist, Weekly World News variety that some of the bloggers push, but he really is a writer and he really lives in Alaska and he really gives a darned about the Alaska seafood industry and Alaskans. Like him or dislike him, he's the real mccoy, he's no phony.

Keep the faith.


Monday, August 07, 2006


Fellow seiner

I see the whack jobs over in the lower 48 have been busy blasting the Governor.
Same guys who drool on me as well. Well fire me but vote for Frank Murkowski this primary on August 22nd, 2006.

I guess that just settles it and soothes the concerns our folks had ever had about Murkowski.

We like him more today than yesterday and not as much as tomorrow. I heard that one camping with my parents in Duncan Canal in 1975. ( That's just for show, that last sentence. I won't bore you with that kind of personal dribble ever again, nor will I show you a picture of a cute rainbow trout on this website either. I would assume you are fishermen or women or fisherkids)

So there you have it. Put your trust in Palin from Wasilla or Binkley from Fairbanks if you know them well enough to place your kids and kids' kids fishing future. I don't know them well. But I wish them well, just not well enough to beat our guy. Frank Murkowski for Governor, 2006.

Tough season for seiners in Southeast. Best of luck


Friday, July 14, 2006

mid-July salmon blues


This is the time of year when you wonder if your run is going to come in.
Then if and when it does, how and how much are we going to get paid.
Not quite like longlining anymore but we're trying to get the market back for pinks and chums along with all the other salmon species.

One thing you can be sure of, however.
The whacko fish bloggers will be on here all summer because they are not fishermen.

SEAS, like UFA and other sister and brother fishermen's organizations across the state, is going to do all it can in it's power to help enable you to power your salmon fishing business. Both when you are at home and when you are fishing. This is what we exist to do.

Since 1968. Not just last year when someone gave me a laptop to keep me off foodstamps.
And SEAS has nothing to do with the temporary personality of it's ED. SEAS was here 18 years before I became a member and 35 years before those guys hired me. And SEAS will be here long after I am gone. SEAS is about fishermen period and nothing more nothing less.

It's interesting what the gossip columnists can throw out there, like "leadership" in fishermen's organizations. All of our board members and officers are all voted on, except for where at SEAS, I'm an executive director and I'm hired.

All the blogger poop-scoopers out there from Oregon and Washington state don't even have a fishing operation so they cannot even become eligible for UFA or SEAS membership unless someone hires them and gives them a job representing fishermen rather than ripping our leadership. Leaders don't become such unless they are chosen by those who are likeminded.

So, as always, remember. What you read on here you can take to the bank.
What you read on other blogs you cannot.

It's that simple. Ask them when the last time they helped you get a TAA check ($10,000 for most SEAS members, $20,000 for some). Marketing money to raise salmon ex-vessel prices($36 million since 2003). A Pacific Salmon Treaty that we can live with. And so on and so on.

The lies and deceit are out there but think of what can really be done for you and your fishing business and community and you come to one option. SEAS for SE seiners, and UFA overall for Alaskan fishermen. Great men founded SEAS and UFA. Men like Fred Haltiner, Ole Haynes, Joe Demmert, George Hamilton, I could go on and on.

If you think we could do things better or do more for you, contact us at anytime.


Have a great July.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Another season is upon us!!

So guys. This is the time of year when the real fishermen come out. Certainly the real, real, yearround fisherman is about halfway or better through his season.

But if you'll notice with normal folks is that they just keep going on right along 24-7, when they are of the completely landlocked breed. I have cousins whom I won't mention here, but were unable to become fishermen due to inner ear stability and whatnot so they were forced to become "processors". Probably worked out fine for them and would have either way.

The absence factor reminds me of Johnny Rice, the founder of the, when it was something to behold. Every several months in the spring and summer there would be prolonged absences while Johnny went out and caught black cod, halibut or salmon- as well as spotting salmon- for Russell. Then the would go on autopilot until Johnny returned.

Johnny did a great service to the industry by starting up that site, but unfortunately, as with all businesses and such,changing ownership changes the integrity and insightfulness along with it.

People, whether you are on the internet or not, beware of folks who give advice who aren't commercial fishermen themselves and who don't currently live in Alaska. And I don't mean a professional journalist like Wesley Loy, Laine Welch or Joel Gay. These folks are real writers.

I've fished commercially, albeit just summers and falls, for 30 years. I'm hardly qualified to really know and understand just what I'm supporting here in Alaska in the way of planning for future generations of coastal Alaskan fishermen so that my 5th generation Alaskan fishermen sons will have a vibrant industry to pass along to another 5 generations of Alaskans.

But I'm trying my darnedest.
And the important thing to remember is that unlike many folks who blog , I don't speak for myself. At times I speak as a volunteer rep. for UFA, and I also speak for SEAS In fact, if the SEAS board deems this to be too personal they can command me to yank this from the site on the spot.

SEAS has been around since 1968.
For reference, UFA was founded in 1974.

We represent commercial fishermen, through and through.
We have a 13 member board of directors, 3/4 of whom live in Sitka, Petersburg and Ketchikan.
Like UFA we run primarily on dues and each year over $100,000 is collected from commercial fishermen and support business members-- over 200 including crew and business members in 2005. In fact, dues right now for active fishermen are $750. This isn't just a sewing club here.

So we really speak for something, as UFA does statewide.

This isn't just some half-cocked, never been involved in a commercial fishing career( aside from processing-- oh, I guess one of these fisheries "writers" fished as well as owned a processor), news junkie from Oregon or Washington state.

When you hear from SEAS what you hear is the collective voice of commercial fishermen who have paid their way with their dues and their feet and seats and are here for the long term.

And it's not about bobbyt, kate troll, kris noroscz, bruce wallace, john peckham, cliff skillings or david bedford or the continuing line of SEAS ED's that willl come after me.

SEAS is about generation upon generation of commercial fishermen achieving their economic, social and community goals of continued reliance upon the salmon and seafood resources of the state of Alaska. We don't take time, aside from a pause once every few years, to respond to critics outside of our organization. The several hundred fishermen and support businesses who are our members will serve our guidance structure just fine thank you.

Year after next, we'll celebrate 40 years as an organization of commercial fishermen doing good things for commercial fishing communities and fishermen in Alaska. 2 years ago UFA celebrated 30 years as an association.

In any event have a safe and prosperous season.

Since, like Johnny, I am a commercial fisherman, I will be out of the office most of the summer so these blogs will be sporadic. Just remember, don't believe anything you read unless you read it on here.

Best Fishes


Sunday, June 18, 2006



UFA had its endorsement meeting yesterday in Anchorage and endorsed Governor Frank Murkowski for another 4-year term.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

SEAS Primary Legislative Endorsements

House Districts

Ketchikan- Jim Elkins (R)

Wrangell- Peggy Wilson (R) (Wrangell-Sitka-Petersburg)

Juneau- Beth Kerttula (D) (Downtown Juneau- Douglas)

Haines- Bill Thomas (R) ( Iceworm District, SE rural plus Cordova)


SEAS is not going to endorse any Senate Races at this time, deferring until after the primary is finished. Also SEAS will wait until that time to determine the direction SEAS will take in the Juneau valley legislative race.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

SEAS Endorses Murkowski for Governor

For Immediate Release: SEAS Contact # is (907)723-8267.

Today, June 8th, at noon Alaska time, the Southeast Alaska Seiners Association (SEAS) voted to endorse Frank Murkowski for Governor.

SEAS has been at the center of the economic rebuilding of what was the beleaguered commercial salmon industry at the beginning of Governor Murkowski’s tenure in 2002. Our local fleet had lost nearly half of their jobs, numbering 1200. Global market competition from farmed salmon and Russian wild salmon began eating Alaska’s lunch by the mid-1990’s. But there seemed to be a lack of strategic vision in state leadership at the time.

Then 22 year United States Senator Frank H. Murkowski moved back to Alaska to provide that strategic vision that the salmon fishermen direly needed.
This administration has really rolled up their sleeves in Commerce, Labor and ADFG to address the long- term economic concerns and needs of the Alaska salmon fishing community”, reported Mitch Eide {Mr. Eide is a SEAS board member, 3rd generation Petersburg fisherman and recent Murkowski appointee to the Pacific Salmon Commission.}

{{SEAS is a group of 135 Southeast Alaska purse seiners representing approximately 1100 direct jobs, from Craig, Klawock, Kake, Wrangell, Sitka, Ketchikan, Hoonah, Juneau, Petersburg, Homer, Kodiak, Cordova, and even a handful from Anchorage. SE salmon seiners harvest between 200 and 300 million pounds of salmon annually worth approximately $100-150 million wholesale. We see our mission as one that allows users of sustainable seafood resources to gain the fruits of the continually necessary steps of conservation, seed and growth, thus ensuring the livelihoods for those who work in our industry both on our boats and also on land in our coastal Alaskan communities. It is estimated that for every job fishing it takes 3-4 people cutting, packaging, shipping and selling our salmon so our industry, so the direct and indirect jobs involved in our specific fishery are approximately 4000, with the vast majority of these jobs occurring in Alaska.}}

The Murkowski administration has worked on a multi-front agenda to help the commercial fishing industry to regain profitability for the little guy. The fruits of this aggressive campaign, led by the Murkowski Fish Cabinet, have been bearing out to the small boat fisherman. Southeast gillnet and troll fleets have seen dramatically higher prices over the past 3 ½ years. Longtime SEAS member and Juneau resident as well as UFA Marketing Co-Chair, Scott McAllister, had the following to say about the administration: “And although we recognize that we seiners have been the last to the money table with our pink salmon prices lagging at the ex-vessel level, we are extremely cognizant of our good fortune at having Governor Murkowski crack new pavement by leading the way in new USDA food aid programs to new and developing countries. And Murkowski’s administration accomplished this all the while maintaining a market presence in our normal markets to eat up a pack of salmon in 2005 that would have killed the pink salmon market with anyone else at the helm.”

On the environmental front, the administration has not allowed one stone, rock or tree to impede a single spawning salmon from the policy changes that occurred, in spite of all the hoopla over mixing zones and the habitat division move to DNR from ADFG. Not one single fish lost due to this administrations’ environmental actions. “There needs to be a balance between the users of Alaska’s natural resources and the Murkowski administration has a 95% grade in my book, and that’s an A folks” concluded Mr. Bruce Wallace, Ketchikan resident, one of SEAS founders and current UFA Environmental Chairman.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

May Brailer Scoop Part Two ( Final Part)

SEAS thanks the following BUSINESS MEMBERS for their tremendous support
(And since we don't aggressively pursue some businesses, such as our tender members, maybe if you are a SEAS member you can suggest to your favorite tender that he or she join up. Or your favorite paint store or shipyard etc...)

In any event,Thanks business members..... Thanks for all you do for SEAS and for our fishing communities.

1.Richard L. Prout, Attorney at Law
3.Milner, Howard, Mortenson and Palmer
4.Harbor Bar…
6. Covich Williams
7. Redden Net
8. Murray Pacific
9.ECPhillip and Sons
10.Trident Seafoods
11.Port Townsend Shipwrights Coop
13.Icicle Seafoods.
14.Tender Seldovia
15.Service Auto Parts
16. Nordic Air
17. Hoonah Cold Storage
18. OBSI
19.Anderes Oil
20. Madison Lumber and Hardware
21. Norquest Seafoods.
22. Menendez Law Firm
23. Southeast Diesel & Electric
24. Sitka Sound Seafoods
25. Mecham and Richardson
26. Delta Western
27. LFS
28. AGS
29. Orca Bay Foods
30. Radtke Marine
31. Schmolck Mechanical Contractors
32. Petersburg Fishermen’s Services
33. Petro Marine Services

34. Chicken of the Sea
35. Clearwater Bay Corp—dba Newtown Liquor
36. First Bank
37. Great Western Pump Company
38. Southeast Stevedoring-

39. A&P Markets
40. Fairn and Swanson/Cloud Trading
41. The Trading Union Inc.
42. Piston and Rudder Service
43. Thompson House
44. The Boat Company

45. Ballard Electric
46. Wrangell Seafoods.


Fleet Consolidation Program to be ready for 2007 season

This is it. We’ve traveled way beyond the patience of the SEAS board, the SRA board, the PSVOA board and even Mr. Z at times. So here is what has happened and what hasn’t with the SE fleet consolidation program.

What is done by now, May 22 , 2006

1. $4 million in grants secured. $3 million federal and $1 million state

2. Agreement with NMFS as to how the loan should be structured and what amount

3. Agreement with state of Alaska officials at ADFG and CFEC as to how the fleet consolidation program will be run

.3. Agreement with Senator Stevens’ staff that this is a top priority for Alaska fisheries.

4. Rural Alaska program. Not enough funding for this in Congress and so it has accordingly been jettisoned.

5. Optimum number temporary fix(30 years) through HB484. (See the article elsewhere in the “Brailer Scoop”.)

6. SRA has set limit of 3% on the fleet assessment. No one will pay more than 3%. (Recall that SEAS was instrumental last year in relinquishing our obligation to pay the 1% ASMI tax.)

Still to come this summer and fall of 2006.

1. The $18 million loan just got a new vehicle. We’re hopeful that this is the Congress that will spell it out right in legislation so that we don’t get the program pulled on us again like the last 2 times….

2. $2-3 million in further grants through the SSSF.

OK, we know. The SEAS-PSVOA fleet consolidation program has taken far longer than we anticipated. Perhaps the flames of our initial enthusiasm were kindled by the $35 million grant program for Puget Sound. One of the key differences of course, is that in Alaska we are asking for the money without giving up 33% of our fishery. Also a key difference is that our champ, Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, has less money to work with in Washington, DC, and that folks have been beating up on him too much lately.
Our first failure in DC ended up in simply a $53 million program that had no horse or wings to fly. Our second failure was a result of another Senator invoking a ruling that no conference committee legislation survive the Coast Guard bill this spring.
So we’re at the point where we have NMFS concurrence, the economics is right with massive processor consolidation occurring, and all the ducks lined up this spring and we got our horse shot out under us on a procedural move designed to thwart our champion, Chairman Stevens. In June, both SEAS E.D. and Mr. Zuanich will be heading to DC, accompanied by ADFG and CFEC officials to make sure we get this right in 2006 and that the relevant agencies in Alaska can be on the hunt so that we can kick this through the uprights once and for all in 2006 so that the program can complete it’s work and we can have a vote and a program by the summer of 2007.

That’s all for now. Sorry for the delay folks. Trying the best we know how.


SEAS passes HB484, the SRA reimbursement bill

On the last day of the session, SEAS got its buyback bill through.
HB484, titled “Fishery Association Reimbursement”, allows the legislature to send our money back to us if there is a optimum number court case that forces CFEC(Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission to issue more permits. Particularly permits that we already bought and paid for. Senate Finance insisted on a time limit so we will be under a 30-year time frame on the risk protection that HB484 insures.

One of the biggest obstacles to state waters buybacks in Alaska has been the potential that this bill avoids. Fishermen have always been reluctant to put up the hard earned cash or to borrow on long term loans without the assurance that the state of Alaska won’t reissue those “bought and paid for” permits. Now, for the first time ever, fleet consolidation can move ahead without the risk of losing our investment through this optimum number court proceeding.

SEAS and the SRA had been willing to handle this risk at the outset of our preparations for the fleet consolidation. The conventional wisdom was that if the SE seine fishery gets so economically productive, what with the increased price of fuel, etc., that if we really make such a bundle of money to make permit issuance a legal, constitutional issue, that we were willing to accept the risk. Now we don’t even have to accept that risk. HB484 takes this major element of risk out of the fleet consolidation program.

Along with thanks to Representative Peggy Wilson, SEAS would like to thank her staff who worked hard on this bill: Jean Ellis and Linda Miller. Along with the office staff of course, which includes Becky Rooney. Co-sponsors included Representative Bill Stoltze of Chugiak and Representative Beth Kerttula of Juneau.

And I’ll let the thanks roll in on this article on behalf of those who worked hard on the other bill in this newsletter, HB218, The Cost Recovery Bill. Rep. Wilson and Ketchikan Representative Jim Elkins were co-sponsors of this bill. And of course, the prime sponsor, Representative Bill Thomas of Haines, who championed this thing from the very start when most legislators were too shy to charge in on what initially appeared to be a very controversial fish bill. Many thanks to Rep. Thomas. And of course, his staffer and past Owyhee and Steadfast skiffman and current Morgan Anne tenderman, Ian Fisk.


SEAS Successfully passes HB218, the Cost Recovery Bill

On one of the last days of the Alaska State Legislative session, the Senate passed HB218, the Cost Recovery Bill. This is an important first step in changing the way we do cost recovery in Southeast. It may take years, decades, or it may not even be possible to do this everywhere. And SE has had a modestly successful experience with cost recovery compared to other parts of the state. Look to PWS as to what a mess the cost recovery business has become. ( I received my PWS bid packet last month and it looks like around 42 million pounds of pinks, chums and sockeye are needed for cost recovery up there.) Nonetheless this is an important first step. And a huge step at that.

Now, for the first time ever, there is a statutory- read legal- and enforceable method to generate revenues from assessments on a terminal hatchery fishery rather than just be forced to use the status quo cost recovery system we’ve used for over 2 decades. Recall SSRAA’s effort in Neets Bay in 1987 to have the fleet pay a 25% voluntary assessment and how well that worked out. This is the simple solution to that “voluntary” problem. That’s really all it is. It doesn’t force the hatchery to do anything. It just allows them to pursue another way to get the bills paid. Let’s lay out a couple of the basics about how this legislation can be used:

1. The hatchery board determines whether to even proceed with an assessment fishery in lieu of cost recovery.

2. The additional expense of this fishery will be borne by the fishermen and there will be less expense to the hatchery. It is estimated that the setup for collection on fish tickets by the Department of Revenue will be around $55,000 and then around $5,000 per year. This is small change out of a program at Hidden Falls that annually produces $900,000 or so of revenue to NSRAA.

3. The assessment bill, HB218, has penalties for enforcement that rival those of creek robbing, so it is unlikely that there will be fishermen foolish enough to risk a year in jail for not paying an assessment. Also the fish are otilith marked, so they are in themselves just like marked bills at a bank.

4. The financial risk to the hatchery is minimal, as the hatchery can always go back to the regular method of cost recovery if the assessment method proves unable to meet the hatcheries financial needs.

If you are serious about changing cost recovery so that all fishermen may participate in a regular hatchery area fishery rather than just one or a couple of boats, then be sure to weigh in with your local hatchery association. It is SEAS belief that this would best be implemented at Hidden Falls first to ensure success in a time and geographically specific area prior to opening up to changes throughout SE. It is likely that it will take years change the way we do business throughout SE and across the state regarding cost recovery.


Good Luck This Summer. I'll be on here from time to time but not too much most likely.


May Brailer Scoop Part One

1. SEAS members take on new roles in Pacific Salmon Commission

This spring found a slight shuffle in the PSC seats. SEAS board member Mitch Eide was recommended by the Governor to be seated in the alternate-Northern Panel seat that SEAS Executive Director has sat in for the past decade. SEAS ED then ascended into SEAS member Jim Bacon’s old regular Northern Panel seat and JB is now the newest in a series of exceptional Alternate Commissioners whom have served Alaska in our quest for peace with Canada over the years.

Jev Shelton previously held the Alternate Commissioner seat. Prior to Mr. Shelton, SEAS member Bruce Wallace held the seat. Prior to Mr. Wallace it was SEAS member Gary Slaven who held up the industry jockstrap when the Commission went into Executive Session. SEAS appreciates the exceptional work done over the years and particularly recently with Mr. Jev Shelton, whom SEAS supported when he took over in 1994 and whose leadership brought a new day to the Treaty when we negotiated the decade-long, abundance-based management regime that we are currently living under.
In the PSC arena, Mr. Shelton has always been a dedicated representative for commercial fishermen and he is thought of as perhaps the most brilliant of his generation of Alaskan commercial fishermen.

Yet while we appreciate the great work and sacrifice that Mr. Shelton has made on behalf of all SE sport and commercial fishermen, we are anxiously awaiting the tenure of SEAS member Mr. Bacon. Jim has been with the PSC since 1991 and has been Northern Panel Co-Chair since 1994. This is the ultimate step for JB and a wonderful reward for all the time, energy, commitment and hard work that Mr. Bacon has done on behalf of all the sport and commercial user groups in SE.

Of course, none of this changes this winter’s seating of SEAS member John Carle, who is seated in the subsistence seat on the Northern Panel. So now we find ourselves with 2 new, younger SEAS members on the Northern Panel after a decade of just Bobbyt and JB. Hopefully Mr. Eide and Mr. Carle will get a keen understanding of the PSC process and nuances prior to the major renegotiation that we’ll see in 2008. Prior to this winter there had not been a change in SEAS representation on the PSC since 1991, save for the departure of SEAS member and past Executive Director John Peckham at the end of 1995. (Has it really been that long, John?)

We are entering into negotiation phase and we’re going to do all that we can to avoid the headline-grabbing, association-draining experience that we had in the 1990’s. And while it seems that we cannot afford the time, energy nor the topic grabbing potential of the Treaty, the Canadian commercial guys can afford this even less so. They’re watching their commercial fisheries become totally marginalized. Indeed most of their commercial fisheries already are marginalized by weak stock management, sport conflicts and aboriginal treaties past and still to come. We’re sad to see that day since we are really all brothers in this commercial salmon business and we often see the changes in Canada years and even decades before those changes head up the line to Alaska.Hawk Inlet 2006…. and beyond.

2. SEAS scores with Proposal #170

At the January meeting, SEAS was vindicated in our long-sought-after remedy to the “flooding” of enhanced sockeye along the Hawk Inlet shoreline. Up to 40% of the sockeye we have harvested along that shoreline have been enhanced (hatchery) fish.
So it was a relief that the Alaska state Board of Fisheries voted 5-0 in favor of our proposal to count only the wild sockeye harvested in the July Hawk Inlet fishery. Since a board decision to allow seining in July along the shoreline, which had not occurred since 1973, the board has limited the harvest to a measly 15,000 sockeye in July. Last year the seine fleet harvested 1.7 million pink salmon while achieving the 15,000 cap. That’s almost 120 pinks for every sockeye harvested.

While 2005 was a prolific producer of pinks in upper and lower Lynn Canal, the Taku River and upper Stephens Passage, we have seen similar foregone pink opportunity in recent years, particularly 1999, 2001 and 2004. SEAS lost an identical board proposal at the board in 2003 by a 6-1 vote. While 2005’s season helped to drive the point home, there was also better education this time with the board members and also with the help of the Petersburg and Juneau ADFG Advisory Committees who both voted unanimously 12-0 and 10-0 to support SEAS proposal.

The upshot is that there will not be any additional harvest opportunities for wild stocks but the initial opportunity of 15,000 wild stock sockeyes contstraining the fishery will still be in effect as it has been since 1988. What really happened here was not so much a SEAS win as a “hold the line” approach against further losses. While USAG attempted to make the point that no pinks were surplus to escapement needs in the north in 2005 and while they cried sockeye conservation, there was just plain no evidence to allow the 15,000 wild sockeye number to deteriorate down to 9,000 or 10,000 as it has been doing since the advent of enhanced Snettisham and Taku River sockeye.

This was simply a case of “doing the right thing”.
SEAS does have a huge case for prosecuting a more aggressive fishery not only at Hawk Inlet but along most of the Icy Strait corridor. When the Icy Strait corridor was closed, the entire north end pink salmon run size was averaging in the low single digits, less than 10 million total pinks and as low as 3 million annually for nearly a decade. Now with harvests in the 25-35 million range for 4 of the past 7 years and the total run size exceeding 50 million in the north end for 2 or 3 of those years, we need to adjust to the incredible abundance of northend pink salmon that we have been consistently seeing.

And there is no sockeye conservation or subsistence problem in Lynn Canal or the Taku River. The allegations made by the gillnetters did not hold water. If there were subsistence or conservation problems or if and when they do arise, we are certain that the gillnet fleet will do the right thing and insist that their own fleet be totally closed for the week prior to demanding restrictions in a fishery like Hawk Inlet which has minimal impact on Chilkat, Chilkoot and Taku River sockeye stocks.

3. Optimism is the buzzword for the 2006 season.

Well, as of print time we hadn’t seen that adjustment from last year but hopefully it’s in your bank account as you receive this. The salmon market got a big boost on the higher end species. One of the recent hatchery coho bids went for $1.20 round. Pinks and chums are following but not as vigorously as sockeye, coho and kings. Late in the Lenten season saw the pink case price hiking to levels not seen since this pink price drought began in 2001. Now just because we get an adjustment and/or start out at the highest pink prices in 6 years doesn’t mean we’re going to make any money. Insurance, food, and equipment costs remain high and fuel prices are likely to take an extra $6-12,000 out of this summer’s earnings, on top of an additional average $5-7,000 increase in fuel bills last year. But nonetheless the market for ALL salmon is appreciating and should continue to do so until the summer of 2007 at least.

This is due to the off-cycle in most of the state for pink salmon and the major marketing effort that the state has embarked upon in the past couple of years. Even though our SE pink harvest may come in similarly to last year ( I doubt it, though), it is likely to be a much reduced pink salmon harvest statewide. Even in SE we may have some variables that will be difficult to conquer. One of these was the drought we experienced in 2004. In creeks and watersheds where pinks normally spawn in mid-late August, there were many instances of pink salmon not making it to fresh water until mid-September.
So it is possible that fecundity was a bit low for ’04 pinks and that there may have been more die-off’s than we’d previously thought. One of our friends from Kake recently relayed to me the massive die-off’s he’d seen in the Kuiu Island area.

But enough doom and gloom, back to marketing. The other harbinger of good market news is the entrance of new processing capacity. At least 2 floaters are coming in to operate in addition to last year’s buying capacity and a couple of smaller operators plan on taking a bunch more fish than last year. Certainly the optimism in the salmon world had to play into the thinking behind the mega-merger that almost was this spring between OBSI and Trident. And though it isn’t always with good intentions that Chuck Bundrant is called the “Bill Gates” of the Alaska fishing industry, we at Southeast Alaska Seiners use good intentions when WE call him that. Certainly there is always that issue of fairness in pricing that fishermen deserve to be concerned about when companies get to be so large and so few in the industry. Yet there is something truly amazing about a simple fisherman who, over the course of 40 years, works diligently to amass control of about 25-30% of all Alaskan fisheries. Trident has always been a good partner to work on political, treaty and marketing issues with SEAS.

The sockeyes look to be more promising price wise for the type of quality we produce in Southeast. The abundance looks to be higher in most of the usual and accustomed places that seiners fish for sockeye. The landfall of those Horsefly sockeye in 104 last year saved what was otherwise a very dismal sockeye return in most SE regions. This year should have the Adams return, which is similar but later than the Horsefly. (Both tributaries of the Fraser of course)

4. SEAS Crewmember Membership List.
(The following vessels have their full crews signed up.. Names will be printed in the November newsletter)

Crews of the following vessels are SEAS crewmember members:

FV Cape Reliant
FV Corva May
FV Island Pride
FV Lady Jane
FV Little Lady
FV Marshall Tito
FV Odin
FV Pamela Rae
FV Secure
FV Voyager

Thanks to those of you who’ve signed up their crews already this year. Remember, crew memberships have gone up to $50 this year but if you sign up your entire crew at once you can just pay the one time fee of $150 per year and all of your crew will be members.
Just send in their addresses to my email address or fax them to (907)463-5083 and they’ll be added to the mailing list for newsletters. SEAS can use all the help it can get and this is just one more way you can make a difference.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Fleet Consolidation

So I'm doing some office cleaning today and I find a 1988 SEAS survey.

In 1988, Fleet Consolidation was supported by 83% of respondents to the survey.

That's almost exactly the numbers we recently ran at SEAS. The major, official, Bedford survey in 2002 was 77%. The more recent 2004 Fall Survey ran 83% and I've had several folks change their minds in favor this past spring and winter. Now that survey is 18 months old but the loan conditions and the fact that we were going to have to pay an assessment were well considered by then.

I've heard mostly positive comments about the fleet consolidation program, both from academics, public leaders and the rank and file- us fishermen. Now that is not exclusive and there are some naysayers. It's taken way too long but we're as close as one can possibly be without having it in our hand.

But if there's another way to help commercial salmon seiners in Southeast like we've attempted to do with TAA, the Treaty, Marketing, and every other trick we've tried to pull out of the bag for you, if there's a way that we missed, let us know. 463-5030. SEAS office line in Juneau.

SEAS doesn't have all the answers.

But we try to do our best with what we've got to move the industry ahead as much as possible.......

...Statewide as well so that we have allies to work with and to defend ourselves, elbow to elbow, without causing any undue stress on the institution that enables us to do what we do.

And what is it that we do. We have a privilege to harvest salmon surplus to escapement needs throughout the purse seine districts in SE Alaska. We work primarily at SEAS to ensure access to the SE Alaska salmon resource so that we may make enough of an economic return to feed our families after contributing to the great state of Alaska and its local communities and our fellow businesses that we need to survive. Seiners' contributions to crew wages and fuel, grub, taxes and operating expenses generally runs well in excess of 50% of our fishing income. In some cases it runs close to 70-80%.

In any event, that's even before the 3% that we'd have to pay in the fleet consolidation assessment. But that will be a very good investment and that is for another blog.

So. 1988. The peak of SE. The highest prices. The $400,000 gross stocks ( in 1988 dollars after inflation (18 years) that'd be around $750,000 at least in today's dollars.

So. In 1988 there were 83% of you who wanted a buyback- consolidation program.

Then in 2002, there's 77%.

In 2004, there's 83% again.

Since the threshhold is 67% by statute, maybe it's time you started thinking constructively about how you want to see this final product and not whether you want to see fleet consolidation at all. It's going to happen with or without you.

SEAS would like to see you there with us together, shoulder at the wheel.

Good Day


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

HB484 Awaits Transmittal To Governor

HB484 got its concurrence from the House today, the last day of the regular session. So we're good to go, with 10 hours left in the session.

Representative Wilson did a great job for us.

So SEAS got 2 very important bills through this session, plus another UFA bill, HB251, that deals with permit stacking and gives the board authority to do some stacking in those parts of the state that want it. HB218 is going to take alot of thinking and alot of work.

HB484 helps us with the risk associated with putting up all that money for the buyback.
Now we have an assurance that if there is a day when more of those permits get put back into the fishery, we have a 30 year window to get that money back that we invested.

Good day.


Monday, May 08, 2006

HB484 Passes Senate

HB484, the Fishery Association ( read SRA) Reimbursement bill, just passed the Senate last night. Now it awaits House concurrence on a minor amendment and then on the the Governor for signing.

Thanks to those of you who helped with this and also with HB218. The calls, the letters, the emails, they are all a part of the program. This is how actual fisheries politics works. This is why SEAS is an exceptional investment in good politics and good public policy.

And of course a special thanks to Rep. Peggy Wilson and her staff, all of her staff, including Becky Rooney but particularly the 2 who worked on this specifically, Jean Ellis and Linda Miller.

Session ends tomorrow night at midnight. I'll keep you informed just to make sure that the technical moves are made so that this really gets through the legislature.

good day

Sunday, May 07, 2006

HB218 Awaits transmittal to Governor

HB218 got over to the House today where they concurred with the Senate amendments and HB218 now awaits transmittal to the Governor, where we can be certain that it will be signed into law. So great job guys. Way to move some legislation with great potential to help commercial salmon fishermen in Alaska.

Take a moment when you have time to check out HB218, the Cost Recovery Assessment Fisheries legislation.

HB484 is in 3rd reading on the Senate floor tomorrow, May 7th, so we should be able to get concurrence out of the House and get that one ready soon as well, hopefully.
At least hopefully before 12 midnite on May 9th, the end of regular session.

Again, a couple of steps left for HB484, but we're in on 218 so it's time to start thinking about discussions with NSRAA and how Pete and Steve and the NSRAA board believes we can best accomplish something together to make some of our enhancement location fisheries better for both the hatchery and the fleet. The SEAS board was initially considering Hidden Falls as a great spot to look at using this legislation.

And if we can get HB484 it will certainly be a big boost to our fleet consolidation program and will provide the momentum to get us over the finish line on the federal side of the program.
We worked hard with CFEC on this legislation and CFEC, along with ADFG, is going to be there with us, working on the fleet consolidation program....

Cross your fingers. We should come out of this session with some progressive legislation that will leave us with a blueprint of progressively improved efficiency, management and regulation for our fishery and industry. In the end this should play itself out to be a more stable economic environment for our fishermen. At times it seems like we never get ahead, or at least stay ahead, but we're trying to pull out all the stops and work all the angles and options we can. If you're a SEAS member or even just a concerned fisherman or business owner in the SEAS economic or political arena, give a shout, #'s 463-5030 in our Juneau office.

It's not completely fenced in yet, but let lay out some of the more obvious SEAS activities for 2006-2008.

Work with ADFG to continue to maintain access when abundance warrants
Further participation in USDA programs(2006-forever)
Pacific Salmon Treaty renegotiations (2006-2008)
Salmon Marketing, Transportation and Infrastructure Funding(2006-2008)
Working with NSRAA to implement hb218 (2006-2008)
Completing the last $3 million of $7 million in total grants(2006)
Completing legislation authorizing the $18 million NMFS loan(2006)
Finishing up the vote and paying for the bought back permits (spring, 2007)
Helping shape the course of leadership in Alaska (2006 Gov. Leg. elections)

There's more and more and more but you get the drift.
Nonetheless, if you have a great idea, like the guys pounding on fuel subsidies, or anything, give a call, leave a message, get ahold of me or whatever.


seas ed

Friday, May 05, 2006

HB218 Passes Senate 18-0

This evening's Senate floor session produced passage of HB218, our very important Cost Recovery bill. Kudos to Ian Fisk and Representative Bill Thomas.


HB484 passes Senate Finance

HB484, Fishery Association Reimbursement, passed through Senate Finance today. There is a 30 year time limit from the date of the loan that was added as an amendment in Senate Finance as well today so the bill will have to go back to the House for concurrence when and if it first passes on the Senate floor.

HB218, the Cost Recovery Bill, is up on the Senate floor today. We don't expect any trouble, so if it passes through 3rd reading, which is today, then it too goes to the House for concurrence as there were amendments in both Resources and Finance on the Senate side.

Although something could go wrong, it is unlikely as we have an incredible ally in the Senate Rules Chairman and of course the full weight of support coming from both the bills major sponsors, Bill Thomas of hb218, and Peggy Wilson of hb484. Also thanks to the staff who helped out, primarily Ian Fisk from Thomas' office and Jean Ellis and Linda Miller(finally got it right) from Wilson's office. The Governor's office helped as well with Mr. Austerman, ADFG Commissioner McKie Campbell and CommissionerFrank Homan from CFEC. And the department of Revenue sent Mr. Tim Cottongim to deal with any implications of hb218, and he worked well with us.

Thanks also to UFA also who pitched in with Mark and Jerry.
And to those UFA member groups, you know who you are, who pitched in as well.
Now mind you this isn't over until it's over but we've at least got both bills through committee and I doubt there is much opposition and since the Senate has already voted on hb484 7-0 and 6-1 in both the Resource and Finance Committees respectively. hb218 didn't have nearly as much widespread support but shouldn't see much opposition neither.

Thanks to those of you who sent in correspondence to your Rep's and Senators.
This is really how the process works, not just some stories about slippery halls and downtown deals. You formulate an idea through an organization like SEAS, bring the idea to the halls of the legislature, and work with drafters and staff and legislators to refine it so that it's legal and fits SEAS purpose within the confines of the regulatory and statutory provisions of the state of Alaska.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

HB218 Passes Senate Finance

HB218, Cost Recovery Reform, is in Senate Rules, with our good friend Chairman John Cowdery.

HB218 passed with the Stedman amendments attached- which were in the end very fair- but we weren't successful in passing HB484 from the Senate Finance Committee.

Perhaps 2 bills in one day were too much for the Commitee but we look forward to the possibility of doing this again tomorrow or Friday.

That's all for now. I'll keep you posted.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Alaska Fisheries Marketing Board

The Alaska Fisheries Marketing Board has been a dream come true to those of us at UFA who worked and waited several years while Senator Ted Stevens worked tirelessly on behalf of Alaskan fishermen to provide relief when we needed it most.

This board has 11 members. Ben Stevens is no longer chair so there are currently 10 members on it while we await that seat replacement.

AFMB is one of Senator Ted Stevens reigning commercial salmon industry accomplishments.
He's already sent back $36 million in 3 years (4 annual installments) (10-10-9-7 , so as you can see it's getting smaller).

This money is used from tariffs on seafood IMPORTS into the US, notably Vietnamese catfish, Norweigan salmon and Thailand shrimp. This money is supposed to be used as it is being used in Alaska. In 1998, Senator Stevens approached Bruce Schactler in a meeting in Girdwood and told him to pursue this avenue. Bruce listened to the good Senator and after a few years of working with the S&M ( Schactler and McAllister) Marketing plan- which was renamed to the UFA Marketing Plan-- we finally achieved this. Then the board was picked.

Ray Riutta- ASMI Executive Director
Al Burch- Alaska Dragger's Association, UFA board member
Bob Thorstenson- United Fishermen of Alaska( although my mail addresses me as PSVOA)
Bruce Schactler- UFA Marketing Chairman
Ben Stevens ( past seat) Senate President
Duncan Fields- UFA Secretary
Joe Gulley- Safeway
Mark Tupper- Orca Bay
Paul Dale- Snug Harbor Seafoods
Jim Jansen- principal, Lynden family of companies
Trevor McCabe- past UFA board member and ED of APA.

Now aside from the large proportion of UFA board members on this board, I don't see anything at all wrong with the cross section of this board aside from the fact that there are too many members from Kodiak. Just kidding.

Anyways, we're doing great things over at AFMB and we'll continue to do so.

Keep the faith.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Buckets of Crabs

Please let me indulge you in a bit of a story that is very familiar in the Alaska seafood industry. The crabs and the bucket. As soon as one crab gets close to the edge of the bucket the other less fortunate crabs drag him or her back down with them. You know the drill.

Well this is a story about some of those more successful crabs. Sorry if I missed you but it's hard to keep track of all the good folks out there who have been run through so much mud by the blograkers.

Oh. I've read about former ADFG Commissioner Kevin Duffy and current Commissioner McKie Campbell and Deputy Commissioner David Bedford and Special Assistant Sue Aspelund. And so on and so on. I'll stay away from the elected officials but you know what SEAS position is on them as well.

The only thing these folks have in common, generally, is that they are all exceptionally talented public servants and fisheries managers. Why they have been the negative subjects of any articles on blogs or on ink is absolutely beyond comprehension for the men and women who participate in the Alaska seafood industry and work on behalf of commercial fishing families.

And the list goes on. Still fortunately in the private sector we have Rob Zuanich. The singlemost talented Executive Director who ever worked for a fishing association on the west coast of North America.

Joe Childers, UFA VP. The champ of the small boat trawl fleet who, along with Al Burch's tireless efforts have brought this fleet into the mainstream. He has worked tirelessly for many of SEAS members who either own boats that fish in the Gulf trawl fleet or work as deckhands or alternate skippers.

Bruce Schactler, UFA Marketing Chair. Believed in Ted Stevens when it counted and believed in Ted's promise to produce the AFMB, us guys that painted the jet.

Arni Thomsen, UFA National Chair. Spent his later years off the deck working tirelessly for the crab fleet. He has always been a team player and although the crab fleet has had bad local press lately with the rationalization stuff we're convinced that the longer- term picture for those fishermen who dedcide to and also have the ability to remain in the BSAI crab fisheries will prosper tremendously.

Arne Fuglvog, UFA board member, 2005 fisherman of the year. What can we say about our "fisherman of the year". Hard to imagine that he could get slammed by commfish writers.

Duncan Fields, UFA Secretary. One of the bloggers assasinated Mr. Fields character. The only major casualty of our Kodiak friends other than Mr. Schactler.

There's more folks. Sorry if I forgot some important crabs who recently may have been bashed by the bloggers or other so-called "writers".
In any event, as you can easily see, in nearly each and every case you would find a determined person laying aside their own needs and desires for the many Alaskan fishermen out there that we collectively represent.

But each fleet has its own demons. And I would imagine that more fisheries were lost as the fishermen were cracking crabs with those in the best position to save the whole bucket.

Happy May Day


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Wilson and Thomas Bills up this week.

HB218, the Cost Recovery Reform Bill, is up in Senate Finance Monday, May 2nd....

Although there are a couple amendments offered by Stedman that make it a bit tougher to accomplish our objectives, I think we can live with them. So once we get through Senate Finance, as we hopefully will, Senator John Cowdery, the Rules Chair, can schedule the bill and then send it back to the House for concurrence as there were several minor changes made on the Senate side.

HB484 came through nicely in Senate Resources with overwhelming support and therefore should suffer no harm in Senate Finance providing there is time in the Committee in the middle of this week. Senate Finance should be on 24 hour notice currently.

Thanks to those of you who support SEAS and to those of you who don't seine in SE, please support UFA and your local group, whomever that may be.

Good Day.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What does SEAS do???

Gotta let you in on a little-known secret. SEAS has been in the middle of leadership in the future of our fisheries in this state for quite some time. SEAS former Executive Directors include current ADFG Deputy Commissioner David Bedford, Icicle VP Kris Noroscz, past MSC N. America director and current leading Alaskan environmentalist Kate Troll, current SE Stevedoring rep Cliff Skillings, current ASMI board member and past PSC Commissioner Bruce Wallace, and last but not least, vastly underpaid but overperforming Mr. John Peckham. Now throw in a few SEAS Presidents like John Kristovich and Jim Bacon- current Alternate Commissioner to the PSC and also past UFA President.....

In any event, what SEAS Exec. Director since April, 2003... yup, it's actually been 3 years and they still haven't fired me.... has been up to is nothing more, nothing less, than what would have been the grist to grind for any of these other Exec. Directors had this been their time at the end of the broom that tries to sweep our agenda forward.

You've got a board of directors that is exceptional in geographics, demographics, age, whatever.
3 rep's from Petersburg, 1 from Sitka, 4 from Ketchikan, 2 from Bellingham, 1 from Mt. Vernon, 1 from Carnation and 1 from Seattle. If there is an issue about the direction of SEAS and you either are or wish to be a member, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Office # is best right now at (907)463-5030.

Oh. The person spearheading the charge on HB484, in Senate Resources today, the 26th, is none other than Jason Miller's aunt, **my apologies, but her name is escaping me just now** which would make her Jim's sister, would it not? She, along with Jean Ellis, are the unsung heroes for this essential fleet consolidation legislation.
Thank you to all the staff at Representative Wilson's office.

Bob Thorstenson, Jr.
SEAS Executive Director