From a memo to Denby Lloyd, Alaska Commissioner of Fish and Game:
"Last night at the Edgewater Hotel, we were told by a halibut processor who attended Steve Hare's presentation to the PAG (Processor Advisory Group) that Steve admitted to them that the (at least) 100 million pounds of missing halibut that the IPHC cannot account for these past four years was caused by 'un-reported GOA trawl bycatch.' Steve never told that to us fishermen on the Conference Board, which really stinks. I request 2 minutes tomorrow morning to put this on the record at our Observer Committee Meeting at AFSC (Alaska Fisheries Science Center). Denby, this is grotesque and it suggests that the IPHC process itself is warped towards favoritism, which we have NEVER believed before, NOT ONCE. We trust Bruce Leaman and Greg Best. But Steve makes us wonder now. Plus, why wouldn't Jim Balsinger and Ralphie Hoard come clean with us yesterday? Don't they think we can handle it?
"Can you please call Steve on the carpet tomorrow and make him explain why he failed to fully inform us fishermen and the Observer Committee of what he knew about the status of our halibut stocks. Based just on what the Canadians told us yesterday, they'll insist on being compensated for this and we long-liners don't have deep pockets to pay them off. I'll bet you they start ogling the trawlers' ITQs or that $34 billion in the Alaska Permanent Fund (to get the Council's attention) just to bring this issue to a boil when they address the NPFMC in Portland next month. Trust me, they are really pissed off now and it seems unlikely they'll take it anymore (remember Peter Finch's 1976 performance in Network? "We are made as hell and we are not going to take it anymore." Double it!)
"Don't mean to ruin your day."
An Alaska Fisherman (name withheld)
Keep yer flippers wet.