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


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