Fish Radio                      
 August 2, 2013              Kodiak fishermen comment on catch shares

This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Is there an alternative other then IFQs, catch shares, and privatized fishing? More after this…….. 

Fishing for snow crab in the Bering Sea Credit: AK Dispatch

Fishing for snow crab in the Bering Sea
Credit: AK Dispatch

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 When posing such a loaded question there is little to no response on privatizing fisheries . Fish Radio did manage to get a few responses from some of Kodiak’s fisherman, but it wasn’t easy. Here’s their thoughts…………..

 “Well we went down the wrong road to begin with. We should have protected the resourceand let the economics of the situation prevail.”

 “Simple limited entry. If they would have just stuck with their guns on license limitations, LLP’s, and then limited entry. It would have taken a lot of players out of the game, but you would still have a chance to progress and work your way up. It’s one thing to buy a boat it’s entirely something else to buy a boat and the shares.”

 “Well I liked what they did with Tanners. Limited entry, owner on board, and limits on how much you can catch in a day, or how much gear you got, and how long you can fish.”

 “I would just keep it wide open, and make sure that the people that had permits were actively using them. Beyond that I don’t really know.” 

 “I don’t think I have a better solution. I think that catch shares are working.”

 And how do you think they are working?

 “I think that it promotes safety.”

 Well, do the crews get a part of that? Or just the skipper?  Or just the owner of the boat?

 “It should be the owner because it’s his rigging, his gear, his permit and he’s actually responsible for everyone on board.”

 So say there’s a crew member who has worked 7 to 8 years on the same boat. He helped get all that fish. He doesn’t get a percentage?

 “I think if it does go toward rationalization they should think of the crew members and not axe them out of the deal like they did on halibut and black cod. Cause that’s every bodies lively hood.”

 “What does the skipper pay him, a percentage of the catch. So I think he should be granted that percentage too.”

 “It’s ridiculous that somebody owns what out there swimming around in the ocean. Put this question into your mind. What gives them the right over you! It’s a natural resource. Why should anyone own it?”

 “Where we are now I honestly don’t know the solution. And there are a lot of unintended consequences to what we have done, and economically it is hurting our coastal communities. How to get back to where we were? I have no idea.”

   Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Stephanie Mangini.

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