Saturday, June 12, 2010
Summer Time, Salmon Time
While there are things here on the horizon that could use a flogging, summer time means salmon time and the information resources that support this blog are out chasing fish. News is that observers will now be required on vessels under sixty feet and we will perhaps get some better data on the bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska. There will be few surprises, however, as selective gear types will for the most part still be selective and the less selective gear (read trawls) will remain less selective. It is tragic how we have to prove gravity over and over and the disbelievers keep calling it rumor. Planning sessions are being scheduled for the implimentation of more complete observer coverage. We all must engage in steering this process so that we get the truth about what goes on out there. The days of hiding huge takes of sealions by trawlers may be over. (Did you hear about the fin whale killed in the cod end? Didn't think so.) There are no more king crab so there are no more red bags (cod ends bulging with crushed Paralithodes camtschaticus). But decks covered in king salmon and or juvenile halibut and cod ends bulging with crushed tanner crab are still happening, and being unobserved, and like the oil escaping from the BP well, "if it don't surface, it just ain't there," right? And very like the BP spill, the unified command of NMFS, the NPFMC, ADF&G, and so on, just can't get off their support of "a blind eye for the big guy"...trawlers and, for the most part, foreign owned processing interests who continue to support the gaming of the observer program. Yes, the gaming of the data, of the testimony, of the unseen catches, of the missed observations, the skewed sampling, the skipper's sleight of hand, like BP's oil spill keeps the true magnitude of the damage out of sight and out of mind. What evidence?
Things can change for the better. Keep your cameras ready (and hidden) and we will get your eye on stage to make a difference. Get engaged with the restructuring of the observer program. They won't do this again for a very long time. Your involvement will help get it right. Okay, maybe not right, but a helluva lot better. It could happen.
If you haven't read this entire blog, may I suggest you do so? What is posted here is not spoiling, needs no refrigeration, and for the most part is not time sensitive. When you are done you will be much better informed about the hidden truths about trawling and bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska.
Until later. I have to go catch fish. A sealion has to eat too, right?
Keep yer flippers wet.