Out foraging. A sealion has to eat.
There is only so much one can say about the drag fleet. Roughly forty drag boats currently control the Federal fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska. Watch them push for permanent ownership of pollock and other species because "we just don't have the tools to control ourselves" in regard to bycatch. It is amazing that if you can get the public to hear the same message long enough, they eventually believe it, some of the Council, too. Over one hundred articles in this blog illustrate the real problems. If you haven't read them all, roll up your eyelids. It is redundant to hammer the same points over and over again for the sake of 'news.'
During this ComFish, the NMFS takes great pride in presenting the 'restructured' observer program after only 38 years of lackluster, half-ass performance, that even they now concede has been gamed in a sophisticated effort to assure the public and managers that all is well in Draggerville. Of course, it isn't and the sad truth is, it just might be too late; shrimp are a historical footnote, King crab is an endangered species, Tanner crab populations decline, halibut now disappear as their juveniles clog cod ends, and the Gulf becomes increasingly imbalanced with arrowtooth and other dragger dreams. Ownership of Federal Gulf resources by dragger owners will eventually push out all small boat owners and then the draggers and the processors will sue each other over which will ultimately own the Gulf.
So why not quit and surrender your heritage to the Bonney crew? Because, quitters always become extinct. If you gotta go down, at least go down swinging! Or swimming!
Attendance at the June NPFMC meeting in Kodiak should be one of your top priorities. Get your testimony lined up regarding halibut bycatch and the other issues that concern you. We will endeavor to get some preparatory material published by then.
Keep yer flippers wet.