In a typical, duplistic (though running scared) tactic after their bald exposure on film as resource ravagers, Kodiak draggers have buried the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council in a snow storm of BOGUS letters supporting their bid to remain the biggest and dirtiest players in Gulf of Alaska commercial fishing. A mass hoodwinking took place last week where otherwise intelligent people signed their formerly good names to a trashy piece of transparent propaganda designed to pressure the NPFMC into believing that the Kodiak community is fully behind a dragger takeover of our fisheries. Wake up people! At this December meeting of the NPFMC, Pacific cod sector split is up for final action, and if the Kodiak draggers get their way, they will remain on top with:
- the highest percentage of cod catch,
- the highest bycatch (waste) of valuable species,
- the most egregious waste of Pacific halibut, king, and tanner crab, and
- the most destruction of the benthic ecosystem for the littlest return per pound of damage of any fishermen in the North Pacific.
On top of that, the statisticians at the NPFMC are "reviewing" their numbers for the 2004 drag season to "adjust" the Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) of halibut (see Filthy Halibut video below) to a lower number so the NPFMC can give draggers those filthy years of cod catch to fatten their purses. This group of some 45 or so vessels and their processor bedfellows can manipulate the NPFMC to do their bidding, and that when some data is not in agreement with their appetites, they get to have the observer data tossed out because it is "not reliable." This is why it is so important that dirty secret pictures of dragger bycatch get outed...the system to manage this element of commercial fishing is undeniably corrupt. It is also why emails went out from (you guess) to all dragger skippers and owners warning them to stop letting crews take pictures!
Remember, every pound of Kodiak dragger smashed cod catch actually means about 17% more than that wasted, not to mention other valuable species wasted like halibut, salmon, and crab. This statistic alone demands that the NPFMC should cut dragger sector split of cod by at least 17%. The option to do so is right there in Component Nine. But they don't have the balls to do it. Every species draggers fish for, with the exception of low value flounders and diminshing pollock could be caught by other gear types which employ more crew and spend more dollars, than this handful of dirty draggers. These dirty draggers should be pushing the NPFMC for gear conversion, if they had ethics. If, if, if...ha! 'To hell with the children, to hell with the future, get it now and get out. Screw Alaska!'
By signing on to the dragger letter, local businesses have thrown in their lot with the drag fleet and turned their back on the larger fleet of potters, longliners, seiners, and jiggers in Kodiak. If I can get my flippers on the list of signatories, I will publish it here. If they don't disclaim their signatures to the NPFMC, then we can work to boycott these businesses...you stab me in the back, I avoid you in the future, eh? "He works hard for his money and you better treat him right."
Here are the businesses:
- Alaska Hyraulics
- Sea Wing Services
- Samson Tug and Barge
- Viva Mexico Imports
- DanTrawl Inc.
- Cost Savers
- Northern Welding Repair
- Radar Alaska
- NET Systems
- NC Welding
- MIREK Trawl
- Island Hydraulics
- Kodiak Rental Center
- Pacific Diving Services
- Quality Marine of Alaska
It should be easy to avoid most of these! The reds are not necessarily trawl dependent.
Keep yer flippers wet.