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


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