The last colony

fishermen's terminal

Alaska’s biggest home port, Seattle/Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons

News Analysis

The United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) has issued its annual report on who got the fish of the 49th state, and the winner is?

Outside fishing interests.

Of the 6.4 billion pounds of seafood harvested in Alaska in 2017, UFA’s 2018 Alaska Commercial Fishing and Seafood Processing report lists 4.6 billion pounds – almost two-thirds – harvested by permit holders from Washington, Oregon or California.

Alaska became a state in large part to break the chokehold Seattle-based interests held on state fisheries. The late George Rogers, a Juneau economist and consultant to the Alaska Constitutional Convention in a recorded history at noted the resentment Alaskans of an earlier time held toward Outside fishing interests and the fish traps they operated.

“The fish trap…is looked upon by most Alaskans as the dipper with which the large absentee owner appeared to skim with relative ease the cream of one of the region’s most valuable natural resources and then carried away to the outside the fullest part of the wealth so guarded,” he said. “That’s pretty poetic.”

The poetry killed the trap, though Rogers noted traps were the ideal way to harvest salmon.

“…It was the only way that salmon should have been harvested because the fish worked out to the runs,” he said. “You could manage. You knew what was coming and going. You could control the escapement of the fish. You could then control the harvest. You didn’t have to chase mobile gear all over the place. And it was just perfect, but the trouble with the fish trap was that it was owned by the processors, the canners, and they were all Outside interests.”

With Statehood, the traps disappeared, but somehow the Outside interests hung onto the fisheries.

Statehood failure

Oil made Alaska after Statehood, and Alaskans were lucky for it because the idea they were going to take back the fisheries clearly failed as the situation circa 2018 underlines:

Take that $873 million, divide it by the 1,526 Washington residents who fished an Alaska permit, and you get a number almost too big to believe: $572,083.

Compare that to the Kenai Peninsula Borough where 1,101 of 1,422 permit holders who actually fished were reported to have collected an ex-vessel value of $98.8 million for their catch.

That works out to $89,736 per permit. It appears in line with other Alaska communities.

Two-hundred-eight-six of 323 Cordova permit holders fished and collected $25.1 million or about $77,709 per permit. The 475 of 597 permits fished by Alaskans who call Fairbanks home brought in $66.6 million or about $140,210 per permit fished.

The 617 of 688 permits fished by residents of the Kusilvak Census Area, a huge swath of Western Alaska north of Bethel, earned $5.1 million or $8,266 per permit fished. The 301 of 386 permits fished by residents of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough produced $19.4 million or about $64,452 per permit fished.

Alaska voters in 1972 approved a constitutional amendment allowing the state to cap the number of commercial fishermen in Alaska. The state’s limited entry law was passed shortly thereafter and gave permits to fishermen based on their years of experience in various fisheries.

The highliners – the go-getter fishermen who earn the big bucks – appear to have decamped for the Lower 48 shortly thereafter. Along with the Washington permit-holders netting large revenue, the UFA reports shows an average $409,638 in ex-vessel value for the 332 permits fished by Oregon residents.

Outside stakeholders

The southward shift of successful fishermen has long been known to the fishing community. Gunnar Knapp, a former director of ISER and an authority on Alaska fishery economics, in a 2010 report on Alaska’s permit system observed that “in general, the more profitable a limited entry fishery, the greater the share of permits that will be owned by non-local residents.”

When the state Board of Fisheries was last week debating whether a meeting to discuss Cook Inlet fisheries should be held on the Kenai Peninsula, where most of the Inlet’s commercial fishermen live, or in the Anchorage metropolitan area, where most Alaskans now live, former board chairman John Jensen dismissed the idea that the meeting needed to be held on the Kenai just to accommodate commercial fishermen.

If that’s the criteria, he said, “we might hold those (Bristol Bay) meetings in Seattle.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually did that.  In 2012, it met in Seattle to give Bristol Bay fishery “stakeholders” a better opportunity to comment on plans for the Pebble Mine about 1,500 miles to the northwest. That’s a distance greater than from Seattle to Minneapolis.

But Seattle sort of considers Alaska a suburb.

“The Seattle hearing took place at the request of U.S.  Sen. Maria Cantwell, who says she heard from thousands of concerned constituents in Washington,” Seattle’s KNKX public radio reported.

“Among them is Ben Blakey, who runs a gill netter out of Seattle. He’s worried that the Pebble Mine would destroy the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world – and the livelihood of nearly a thousand commercial fishermen like him.”

The hearing was reported to be standing room only and overwhelmingly opposed to any mining in the 49th state. The financial interest of Washington-state fishermen is in the non-development of Alaska, not the development.

UFA is the state’s biggest commercial fishing interest group. Its biggest business supporters are Seattle-based commercial fishing interests. Its annual report and “community fact sheets” are intended to help commercial fishermen make the case for commercial fishing in the state.

“As Alaska’s largest private-sector employer, commercial fishing and seafood processing is a vital component of the Alaska and U.S. economies,” the 2018 report says. UFA claims “64,000 direct jobs in Alaska,” although how that figure was arrived at is unclear.

The report says 24,863 of those jobs are in processing, but the footnote on the claim is from a state Department of Labor website that lists the annual monthly average employment at 8,273. The larger number is the peak employment.

More than 70 percent of the processing workers were reported to be non-residents, according to the Labor data. They earned an average $16,628 for their work in Alaska before they left.

Alaska benefits

Though a lot of fishery money flows south, a lot of Alaskans also benefit from the state’s commercial fisheries.

Nearly two-thirds of the fishery poundage in the state is linked to two booming, fishing-dominated communities – Dutch Harbor and Kodiak. Nearly 85 percent the state’s poundage comes ashore in four areas – the two previously mentioned communities plus Bristol Bay and the Lake and Peninsula Borough.

How much of the revenue generated by the fisheries stays in the latter two areas is a question mark. A University of Alaska study concluded the Bristol Bay region had lost 50 percent of its local permits.

Most of the people who fish there now pocket their money and leave after a few intense weeks of activity in summer. Processors, meanwhile, struggle to find people willing to come to the remote region to work for the short salmon season.

“To close the labor gap, processors have increasingly relied on the H-2B visa program. It allows companies to hire temporary workers from other countries. But with increasing demand for visas among seasonal industries like landscaping and tourism, some processors are struggling to obtain any at all,” Dillingham public radio station KDLG reported this summer. 

Those temporary workers, like most of the fishermen, take their money – what there is of it – and leave before the end of summer. It doesn’t make for the sort of robust economy that has developed in Norway where year-round jobs now cluster around fish farms and associated processors.

Fish farm production in Norway, Chile, Canada, Scotland, and elsewhere has grown steadily over the decades – it now accounts for more than seven out of every 10 salmon sold globally – because the economic model is more stable.

Alaska was the first U.S. state to ban salmon farming, but then invested heavily in salmon ranching – a similar but different form of aquaculture. Instead of holding fish in pens until they are big enough to eat, ranchers use hatchery facilities to grow fish only big enough to go to sea.

The little salmon are then released, and everyone crosses their fingers in hopes of a good return of bigger salmon to be netted by commercial fishermen in the traditional way as if the fish were wholly wild.

Rosy picture

The UFA is an organization dedicated to maintaining commercial fishing industry control of the state’s fisheries. It emphasizes commercial fishing industry jobs in Alaska, and the noble nature of individual fishermen.

Its  “key statistics” point out that “8,988 permit holders fished in 2017 – 6,274 resident (69.8 percent), and 2,714 non-residents,” and “21,671 commercial crew licenses (were) purchased in 2017 – 10,710 resident, 10,534 non-res.”

The percentages – 50.6 percent resident, 49.4 non-resident – are not listed for crew.

How the revenues are split between residents and non-residents was not reported, either. But it’s clear the 30 percent of non-resident permit holders get more than 30 percent of the money pie.

UFA’s “key statistics,” list an “Alaska total seafood export value (of) $3.27 billion” on which the state, local and federal governments collected $245 million in taxes and fees.

The state share is about $70 million.  About a third of that is what an exhaustive, 2015 study of state fisheries, mining and tourism taxes described as “pass-through taxes.”

About 50 percent of what is left, the study conducted by the University of Alaska Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) said, “is remitted to local government.”

By the time the state distributes money to the municipalities and pays the costs of managing, policing, enhancing and promoting the fisheries, the report concluded, the state is close to $27 million in the red.

“This report is not an economic cost-benefit analysis of fisheries management by the state,” authors Bob Loeffler and Steve Colt added. “Many Alaskans may think about resource taxes by considering the oil

“Thinking of the two in the same terms confuses the discussion. The industry return on investment, level of profit, and management costs are
fundamentally different. Further, the State of Alaska has different taxing and management objectives for the commercial fishing industry than it has for other industries.

“For oil, the state’s objective is arguably to maximize long-term revenue.
For fish, the objective appears to be to maximize employment, fishing incomes, community health, and other social objectives. Indeed, the state restricts efficiencies in the fishing industry by prohibiting boats or nets above a certain size. The goal of these restrictions appears to be to increase employment.”

Loeffler and Colt made no attempt to determine how big of a subsidy the state provides the Outside interests making the most money off the state’s fish. They did note that the finding of state losses on commercial fisheries is nothing new.

‘The Legislative Research Agency’s report for fiscal year ’94 found that commercial fishing revenue was 70 percent of expenditures including federal funds,” they wrote. ”If one revises the report’s calculations to eliminate federal funds, the agency found that revenue was 64 percent of expenditures. These conclusions are similar to those of this report. There were a few differences in methodology, but the overall approach was very similar.”

The ISER report did not address the cost of managing non-commercial fisheries in Alaska where there are also subsistence, personal-use and sport fisheries. The management of the latter is almost wholly financed by federal taxes on fishing gear and revenues from the sale of state fishing licenses.

The sportfish division budget for FY 2019 is funded by $15.4 million in federal funds, $17.3 million from the license revenues in the Alaska Fish and Game fund, and $2.1 million in general fund revenues for projects that don’t meet the qualifications for funding by the first two sources. 

The state collected almost $23 million in fees for sportfishing licenses and stamps in fiscal year 2017, according to Fish and Game figures. About $18.4 million, or 80 percent, came from non-residents.

Some of those tourist fishermen ship salmon home, which irks Alaskans who see coolers being dragged through the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage. The commercial fishing industry ships more than 100 times as much fish south unseen.

The vast majority of salmon caught in Alaska leave to be eaten elsewhere. UFA sees that as a good.

“Virtually every U.S. state benefits from commercial fishing in Alaska!” it trumpets.

That might be good for other U.S. states and for the UFA, but what would seem to be best for the state of Alaska is to manage the fish to ensure the extraction of the greatest profit per pound from the resource before it is gone forever.

That, for some reason, has never been a state management goal. Or at least it hasn’t been a management goal since the state outlawed fish traps and declared victory in the effort to break the chokehold of Seattle-based processors.

And yet, almost 60 years later, pretty much the same interests control state fisheries as in the 1950s.












35 replies »

  1. And we all forgot about the local privately owned fish traps Craig? Anyone could own a fish trap in the Territorial day, and many individuals did. Take for example some of the private local owned Cook Inlet Fish Trap Cards, owned by Fribrok, Chickalusion, Pete, Johnson, & Johnson, Shadura, Kallander, etc, etc…Kinda Funny, I suppose I also have to explain the White Act of 1924, with the language imported into Article VIII Section 15 of the Alaska Constitution. Seems the “Common Use” clause, is always mentioned by people who always seem to miss why No, is the first word in the other fish section. Been fishing long, Craig? In Corfield v. Coryell, 6 F. Cas. 546 (1823), Supreme Court Justice Bushrod Washington interprets the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article 4, Section 2 and articulates a list of fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Salmon are also non-residents, they leave for more than 90 days. You should read Mr. Washington’s opinion someday. Mr. Seward bought the property for the United States. You should also read his Amendments to the Constution after quite a few citizens flunked out of 8th grade just a few short years before 1867. The Uniform Application Clause in Article VIII also spelled out in English. “Laws and regulations governing the use or disposal of natural resources “Shall Apply Equally to ALL persons similarly situated…” When you can’t figure out the anybody in the United States could own fish traps, you may have also had trouble figuring out why Seward ratified those Civil War Amendments. The better question is, why did the University of Alaska just loose it’s credentials for issuing teaching certificates, because it’s very clear Craig, you missed a short little lesson in US history, quite short in the book of Colonialism, shot down by George Washington. The fundamental right to travel cases in todays supreme court always say the exact same thing. Do tell us Craig, about UCIDA v. NMFS & ADF&G in the 9th Circuit? Mismanagement is the real issue in Cook Inlet, and that hasn’t changed for generations. The great examples of those fish trap cases from both the Washington and U.S. Supreme Court always say the exact same thing. Clueless, letting politicians and the public run fisheries straight into the ground. A left coast speciality, shown best when fish traps and set nets were banned in England by Lord Cornwall. Seems that biological opinion was more valid in 1215, than todays local model in 2019. The Locals also Cried, about pipeline jobs going to U.S. Citizens? Got their ass kicked by Mr. Justice Brennen, citing the Alaska Fish Trap Cases. June 22, 1978. This group would still be attempting to finish the pipeline in 2019 with Alaska Hire. There’s a reason Salmon are Non-residents, they are sharper than you Craig. Just read NO, in Article VIII. It could have saved another few million for biological management, instead of political scientists, who, flunked political science 101. 2. Alaska Hire violates the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Art. IV, § 2. Pp. 523-534.
    (a) Though the Clause “does not preclude disparity of treatment in the many situations where there are perfectly valid independent reasons for it,” it “does bar discrimination against citizens of other States where there is no reason for the discrimination beyond the mere fact that they are citizens of other States.” Toomer v. Witsell, 334 U.S. 385, 396. See also Mullaney v. Anderson, 342 U.S. 415. Pp. 524-526 Mullaney v. Anderson, still attempting the exact same Territorial Fish Trap Program, by people who flunked 8th grade Alaska Civics. BY THE WAY CRAIG, TOO BAD YOU DDN’T HAVE THE REAL INCOME RECORDS OF A FEW OUTSIDE HIGHLANDERS, you ought to count up the rest of the income they make in Washington, Oregon and California…you’re $600K number, is a couple million short.

  2. As another commentor said, apples and oranges comparison here. One can’t mix the State managed salmon fisheries and its limited entry based system with the large, industrial based federal fisheries that occur off Alaska’s coast, albeit outside State waters. The Bering Sea pollock fishery accounts for, by far, the largest percentage of the harvest of seafood landed in Alaska and it is harvested by primarily large, corporate owned vessel owned by companies headquarted in Seattle. The trawl fisheries in the Gulf, and the IFQ halibut and black cod fisheries largely occur in Federal waters. If the fish are brought ashore for processing, then someone on the boat (probably the skipper) has a State landing card for the fish ticket. That guy in most cases is probably not a resident. The boat is probably homeported in Seattle. The revenue of that delivery is the company’s not the individual. One certainly can’t make generalizations comparing per capita “permit holder” gross earnings to resident Alaska salmon permit holder earnings. Highly, highly distorted, to say the least. At least make an apples to apples comparison of the State managed fisheries and resident versus non resident income and economic impacts.

    These Federal fisheries are managed by the NPFMC, not the State’s Board of Fisheries. It is disingenuous to suggest the State can tackle “this monster” (as another commenter posted), by making allocation decisions in the State water salmon fisheries in Cook Inlet.

    Too much revenue from the State and Federal fisheries in Alaska flows out of State. I agree. We should try to keep as much of it here as we can. However, we do live in a free country still. Individuals can still live where they want, and work where they want. Companies can operate out of what ever city they want to also. I’m not sure the State can punish people for not living in Alaska and still keep within the bounds of the US Constitution..

    • the state definitely CANNOT punish people for living elsewhere and coming to Alaska to work, but it has some latitude to structure state management systems to encourage people to live here.

  3. I think we are mixing apples and oranges a bit here. Are we talking salmon here all the other fisheries? Probably 90% of the fish caught in the state are Pollock. (guessing) I think we should be giving just the salmon poundage and not mixing in the other species. There are permits available to purchase for every salmon fishery in the state .

  4. “Or how about an added, flat-fee, penny a pound tax on all fish or fish products exported from Alaska – commercial, sport or personal use. i can’t imagine any tourist would object to the added 50 cent charge on the cooler he’s loading on the conveyor at the Anchorage airport.”

    You’ve got to be kidding. How in the hell would that be implemented? Yes, yes on commercial landings (read Hammond on a severance tax) but uncle Walt’s halibut?

  5. Thanks Craig, I stand in correction. I was a little over zealous, I apologize for that.
    Hopefully, decent salmon returns, statewide will help diffuse the issue in the 2019 season.
    As for me, I will stay away from the Statewide Finfish BOF mtg this upcoming March 8-11th, sunce I have no dog in this fight,
    I will shut up and let the chips falls where they drop.
    I do miss the pomp and excitement of Anchor town. Good restaurants and lots of vibrant energy. Great place to get a decent steak dinner, forget that salmon!

    • Thank goodness I am not perfect, or there would be H*** to pay.
      Thanks for letting me vent. After 40 years, fishing on the CR, it has either damaged my brain cells or all of the BOF mtgs I have attended have.
      Listening to all of that public testimony, will drive a man half way nuts, myself included.

  6. The Alaska state loan program gives a big advantage to any local who wants a limited entry salmon permit. Most local Alaskans who want a permit and have decent credit can get one. If the state wants to get income from outside interests that are making money off Alaska’s natural resources implement a state income tax. This would affect anyone who makes money off a state resource including oil workers. It was this way before the pipeline came in.

    • that’s somewhat true. the problem is there’s nothing to keep those people here if they become successful.

      i admit to being wary of an income tax although i’m among the small minority who can claim to have paid it in the past in Alaska, and one who thought it was a bad idea to get rid of it.

      imposing it now, however, is another disincentive to doing business in a state where the costs of doing business are already high. and when it was being actively discussed, i heard too many of those Tier 1 state retirees saying that if it happened they were finally going to leave.

      that wouldn’t have been good for an Anchorage economy already in recession. those folks spend a fair amount of money to live here.

      how about a property tax on fishing permits? fishermen out in Western Alaska would pay almost nothing because of the low value of their permits, but Washington-based fishermen with valuable seine permits for salmon or herring roe would have to pony up.

      or how about an added, flat-fee, penny a pound tax on all fish or fish products exported from Alaska – commercial, sport or personal use. i can’t imagine any tourist would object to the added 50 cent charge on the cooler he’s loading on the conveyor at the Anchorage airport.

      • Craig,
        Not imposing an income tax because of whining tier 1 state retirees makes no sense to me.
        Many of them are snowbirds (and quite a few have second homes in the lower 48) and little of the money they spend goes to our local economy except maybe property taxes and a few bucks spent maintaining their homes and going out to eat.
        The fuel and groceries along with new vehicles, Walmart purchases, etc all benefits outside corporations for the most part.
        Conversely, an income tax would tax all those out of state workers who strip jobs out of the hands of locals (which is as much as 30 percent of our workforce)
        Maybe a few slopers would stay in Texas where there is no income tax and those who choose to keep their jobs up here would kick a dime or two back to the state which gives them a great chance of employment…

      • Some good points . Steve . Only questionable thing is putting more money into inept government hands . Although some is nessasary. I like your logic on rest of it though.

      • Opinion,
        I understand your concern, but I feel the state cannot afford to continue the tax credit structure to big oil as it is and not impose an income tax…that 30 percent of the workforce includes many who benefit in huge ways from the oil and gas industry.
        It is not fair to sanction the PFD and cut services to Alaskan residents while the out of state workers keep their high paying jobs.
        Which is what we have seen in the last several years.
        Will this administration pay out that promised $6,700 PFD?
        Highly doubtful.
        No coincidence that our state budget is still near 2 billion and that is the same amount which was lost when Parnell roled back the tax structure at end of 2013.
        “The Alaska Department of Revenue said in estimates [pdf] released Wednesday that the state took in $6.3 billion in petroleum revenue in fiscal 2013. Next year, the state will take in $4.3 billion from petroleum production, an amount that falls to $3.9 billion in fiscal 2015.”

      • Craig, those tier I retires will need to go somewhere (most states have their own income tax) and they will lose the percentage they receive for staying in Alaska. I believe that COLA is 10% of their base retirement.
        Alaska is cracking down on those retirees who do live some outside though I’m not privy to just how long they can stay outside before losing that COLA. PFDs allow for much living outside and we’ll get to see what Roland Maw’s latest argument allows pretty soon.

  7. Out of the 545 Area E PWS/CR drift permit holders, 73% are AK state residents. Highest % of resident permit holders, in all salmon fisheries, in AK.
    Every dollar paid to a commercial fisherman, for seafood sold, is multiplied by a factor X4, as it weaves throughout the Alaskan communities, cities, municipalities & villages, where the fishers are ported and live. That is fact.
    On another note:
    Alaska has been financially linked to the lower 48 forever, with it’s largest ties to Seattle.
    Reason why the big boats head to Seattle, for maintenance is that there are no large facilities, that can accommodate these large vessels, except Vigor in Ketchikan (which is always booked up).
    Next time you go buy groceries in Anchorage, ask the store manager, where the majority of their grocery products are shipped from. Want to guess?
    Alaska needs the lower 48, more than the lower 48 needs AK. Fact!

    • Could well be James,but PWS is a drop in the bucket on all metrics in the grand scheme of things, poundage/value/fleet size.
      I could never understand the logic behind not opening up central/western gulf to hook and line fishing myself

      • I’m assuming you mean commercial trolling, David? Some years ago there was a proposal before B of Fish to open it around Cordova and it was not received well by the charter guys there. There is sport fishing all over the Gulf but commercial trolling is a SE thing, only.

  8. The Alaska Board of Fisheries will have an opportunity to take at least a small bite out of this monster this March at their statewide finfish meeting in Anchorage. Proposal #171 submitted by the Kenai River Sportfishing Association seeks to rewrite the fisheries allocation criteria to prioritize uses that provide more and more direct benefit to Alaska and Alaskans.

    PROPOSAL 171
    5 AAC 39.205, 5 AAC 75.017, and 5 AAC 77.007. Criteria for the allocation of fishery
    resources among personal use, sport, and commercial fisheries.
    Modify criteria for the allocation of fishery resources among personal use, sport, and
    commercial fisheries, as follows:
    Criteria for the allocation of fishery resources among personal use, sport, and commercial fisheries.
    (a)Before adopting regulation that allocate fish among personal use, sport, and commercial
    fisheries, the board will, as appropriate to particular allocation decisions, consider the factors set
    out in AS. 16.05.251 (e).
    (b) The allocation of fishery resources should follow an adaptive management process.
    Adaptive Management is the on-going process of evaluating if numerically based
    management objectives and stated Board intent have been met and adjusting management
    strategies in response. This process includes periodic re-evaluation and updating of the
    management goals and objectives to ensure they are relevant to current conditions and
    (c) Allocation decisions are often closely aligned with historical use of the resource; however,
    while historical use may be taken into consideration when reviewing and making an
    allocation decision, this criterion alone shall not be determinate.
    (d) When allocating fishery resources within the Nonsubsistence Use Areas of the State as
    described in 5 AAC 99.015 the Board shall consider those factors listed in this section in the
    following order of importance with the degree of importance descending from criteria 1
    through 7,
    (1) The importance of each fishery for providing residents the opportunity to harvest
    fish for personal and family consumption;
    (2) The number of residents and nonresidents who have participated in each fishery
    in the past and the number of residents and nonresidents who can reasonably be
    expected to participate in the future;
    (3) The importance of each fishery to the economy of the region and local area in
    which the fishery is located;
    (4) The importance of each fishery to the economy of the state;
    (5) The history of each personal use, sport, guided sport, and commercial fishery with
    emphasis on the previous 20 years;
    (6) The importance of each fishery in providing recreational opportunities for
    residents and nonresidents;
    (7) The availability of alternative fisheries resources of similar characteristics.
    .. family consumption;
    (4) The availability of alternative fisheries resources;
    (5) The importance of each fishery to the economy of the state; Rev. Jan. 2018
    (6) The importance of each fishery to the economy of the region and local area in which
    the fishery is located;
    (7) The importance of each fishery in providing recreational opportunities for residents and
    PROPOSED BY: Kenai River Sportfishing Association

    • Kevin,
      Why make it so complicated?
      Let’s just say: Tell the state boys with sonar that when the Salmon are on the move that we want an equal amount of days with no nets commercially fishing as is given to sport and personal use opportunities…maybe a rotating 4 day on, 3 day off fishing schedule for both sides of the debate?

    • Kevin Delaney acting as Sport Fish biologist for ADF&G, helped promote the outside fishers to come to AK, catch their fish and leave.
      Now, he is retired, full state pension, he sings a different tune. Does KRSA pay him? or is he another wannabe fish pundit, helping write proposals, that will not pass the BOF.

      • James, why do you feeel the need to get personal? When you start calling people or a user group’s organization names, ie “loser”, “wanna be fish pundit”, you lose all credibilty for what ever else you might say. To use your words: get a grip!
        And, btw, how do you know that Delaney’s proposal will not be adopted by the BOF? Please share the info that you obviously must have to lead you to that conclusion. With the changes in the Dept, and likely changes in the BOF, who really knows what might happen.

      • Finally! K
        KRSA, Bob Penny & others I will not name, have one agenda. Shut down the commercial setnet fleet on the Eastside if CI and reduce the amount fishing time, that the drift fleet gets.
        Which is why, I get personal.
        The different fishing organizations I belong to, make it so all user groups have a chance to partake in our salmon resource. PWSAC and the fishers that founded it, have contributed hugely to the common property fisheries in PWS and CR. The Gulkana Hatchery produces sockeyes, that are harvested by sport, subsistence, pu and the commercial fleet. Hundreds of sport fishers, take off from Whittier, and travel on the West side of PWS, and harvest sockeye, chum, King, Coho & pink salmon. They only have to purchase a sport license.
        The commercial fleet pays a fish tax of 2% on all fish that they deliver and sell, to local processors. PWSAC uses that money plus cost recovery to run their hatcheries.
        Yes, PWSAC does have a state loan, though three of the hatcheries, were built by the State, then finally leased to PWSAC.
        What does KRSA do, besides whine, cry and put forth proposals, that take away a historical resource form one user group. That is called greed!

      • one small correction there James Mykland; there is no “historical resource.”

        you can argue there might have been before Statehood, but the Alaska Constitution was very clear that “wherever occurring in their natural state, fish, wildlife and water are reserved to the people for common use.”

        there is a common property resource. the authors of Alaska’s Constitution might have been wrong in establishing that policy. God knows it has caused a lot of political fighting in the state over the years.

        but it is what it is.

        and when a minority of people control the majority of a common-property resource readily accessible to the majority – fish, timber, rangelands, water, fish – there are going to be issues.

        you can call sport and personal-use fishing interests that want a bigger slice of the pie greedy, but they have a better claim to that word when they point to the comparatively small number of commercial fishermen now taking more than 95 percent of the harvest.

        but no matter how much either side yells greed, it’s a waste of time because the Constitution also says “the legislature shall provide for the utilization, development, and conservation of all natural resources belonging to the State, including land and waters, for the maximum benefit of its people.”

        instead of calling each other names, Alaskans should be trying to figure out how to squeeze the “maximum benefit” out of its fisheries for everyone. that includes the large number of Alaska who don’t fish at all and benefit most from a healthy economy.

        a serious look at this might change the way we do a lot of things. maybe we should have some new commercial troll fisheries. the Canadians have pretty successful troll fisheries for sockeye. because of the inefficiency of these fisheries, we could probably prosecute troll fisheries in Upper Cook Inlet and in the Sound even in weak sockeye years.

        and what the troll fisheries lose in efficiency, they make up for in price by delivering the highest quality product to fresh fish markets.

        meanwhile, long term, there’s little doubt that there’s significantly more money to be made off Cook Inlet tourism than off Cook Inlet commercial fisheries. the question is how the state transitions from one economic engine to the other without causing economic chaos.

  9. Although the fishing industry gets the most “Press” in AK, this “Banana Republic” landmass is controlled by all kinds of “outside corporations”.
    The Candians are trying to mine up in Hatcher’s Pass on the Willow side and now they wish to send “tar sands” oil through the AK to Point Mackenzie with added rail lines and port completion. The Brits control vast oil resources through BP and various subsidiary companies and the French control most of our highway contracts through QAP which is a subsidiary of COLAS international…
    Even the Russians have a hand in IT and telecom with their contracts to manage GCI with their subsidiary “Netcracker”….
    The loser is U and I who invested in private land in AK and actually thought the words written on our state constitution actually meant shit, well they don’t and every year our local salmon fishing remains closed while the Long Liners and Seiners remain active off the coast proves that the worst thing an Alaskan can do is believe the elected officials represent their interests…they do not.
    Corporate greed and wealthy Oligarchs control the Arctic and they have for quite a long time. (Just ask David Rubenstein how much he and the Carlyle Group has made managing our PF and drilling without restraint with his partnership Hilcorp Energy)
    Shielding foreign investors through the creation of “Native” Corporations in the 70’s only helped to “greese” the levers to insure Extraction of Alaskan Resources would continue without interruption.

  10. As of September 2018, active permits totaled 10,815, of which 75% were held by residents. The average value of all permits is $68,807/each. The average non-res permit is $106,362, 2x the value of the average resident owned permit of $56,674.

    • There are a lot of low priced permits that would not be held by nonresidents because of the lack of revenue associated with them-these include some in-river permits and hand-troll permits in SE. Any time you throw in a bunch of low value permits into the mix it’s going to influence the averages.

      • yep, 1,831 (22%) of all Ak res permits are worth an average of $10,000 (Norton Sound, L.Yuk, Kotz, Kusko and U.Yuk.

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