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.



  1. Folks

    One more thing on comments. I have received negative comments only from folks who left no mention of their identity save for a Mike Wilson- discontinued listing in Ketchikan- and a Dave Justin- also in Ketchikan but another no show, so really, folks, if you want to leave a name like Bambi Woods, just remain anonymous.

    I am hoping to leave the comment function on so that SEAS members or folks who really give a darned about coastal communties enough to actually have constructive dialogue to share, may do so.

    Attempts to ruin this function by trashing myself, SEAS or folks trying to help others is really a shame. Take your toys and playthings over to a more National Enquirer setting...


  2. bobbyt,

    I hope this market trend continues for fishermen.

    What do you see happening for next year?

    How is the Buyback program progressing?

    Best Regards,

    Jason Miller

  3. Jason

    Thanks for the inquiry.

    The buyback program is moving along nicely. There is $1 million that was discretionarily added by the departing administration, which means we need to have serious movement by December 1st... In any event, we have a $3 million cash advance against the buyback sitting in the treasury allocated in 2005, as well as, I believe, a
    $4 million grant earmarked in this budget.

    The $17 million loan is expected to be coming soon, which would make this program 32% government supported, 68% industry self-financed. Certainly someone could attempt to end run this program but it's really hard to tell who is an enemy and who is a friend on such a program, albeit a simple and obvious one.

    I don't believe people really understand what we're doing here. UFA and all the fishing groups in Alaska sat down after the 2001 season, before the epidemic of poor gross stocks had hit So1A, SE Seine. The salmon sector was reeling statewide, on it's way to eliiminating 65% of Kodiak seiners, 70% of PWS seiners, 70% of False Pass seiners, as well as 40% of Southeast seiners.

    Chignik chose a Co-op and implemented it immediately for the 2002 season. We now see that they need legislation that looks might similar to what may be needed or used in Sitka Sac Roe.

    Bbay wanted to use market based solutions, although a strong plank supported a buyback as well. They are currently at the board of fish in December of 2006 looking at using HB251 for a potential of a variety of market based solutions, including removing the 32 foot limit, reducing transfer times as well as adding extra gear.

    As for SEAS, and remember, I bobbyt was not a board member nor in the employ of SEAS until April 1, 2003, nor had I been a board member since 1997 when I volunteered for the UFA board.
    So as for SEAS, SEAS immediately chose a course, in early November of 2001, before anyone had had layoffs and a year before WCP closed it's doors.

    This course was the buyback.
    Since the early 1980's SEAS has consistently polled all seiners in SE, not just SEAS members, and come away with buyback support at levels of 77% on the low end and 83% on the high end. The lowest was in 2002 at 77%, the highest was in 1988 and 2005 at 83% both years.

    Now it's taken a bit longer than we expected but even the Chignik guys have had a few setbacks.

    Certainly one would think that processors, who all wrote exceptional letters to Senator Stevens supporting this buyback, would be even more supportive now that seiners were faced with one of the toughest years in decades. I know a few of you did well, but this year was not a widespread success for most. Indeed it was a mystery to all of us.

    Basically this is the winter for the buyback. This is something that SEAS has worked hard for and from the time that board vote came in at 13-0 in 2001, this has only become more of a necessity for a healthy industry in SE.

    Fuel prices. Who is going to let us catch even 50 cent humpies in 2036 when diesel is being rationed for the armed services and it's 10 bucks a gallon for civilians.

    Boat sizes. Even at 58 feet, the average Petersburg seiner packs 105,000 pounds in 2006, as opposed to an average of 40,000 pounds in 1976. In 2036, we'll pack an average of what. And we'll still need tenders.

    Limited Entry as a program. What we are doing here is relimiting Limited Entry's initial numbers, which were vastly inflated in SE due to the easy access to the post-Boldt decision influx of Puget Sounders.

    Overcrowding. Kodiak has 135 guys. PWS, less than 100, False Pass, a couple dozen. These areas don't even have seiners associations anymore. After KSA folded in 2003, with 5 members, PSVOA was left to represent all these guys. Officially, of course, as Schactler, Oliver Holm, Chip Treinen, Herb Jensen, Chris Berns, et. al. do a fine job just out of their homes.
    At around 240 this year,
    Southeast has seen a 10-15 plus percent increase in seine permits since our bottom a couple years ago.

    I don't know about you but this season was a real wake up call for me. Sitting around with one hatchery release site open for a week at the peak of the season was not how I plan on spending August in the future. At least next time it happens, I want there to be 6 boats in my lineup rather than 15, so I can get maybe over a half dozen sets in a week's time.

    more later. gotta go fishing...

  4. bobbyt,

    Thank you for the information and explanation of where the buyback program sits.

    A year like this should make the buyback program more feasible and create more interest from permit holders to participate.

    Call or email me anytime.


  5. Anonymous1:25 PM

    More on what SEAS is doing this winter when I have some computer time....