Monday, March 31, 2008

April fools!!!!!!

April 1st could mark the beginning of the end of the sport fishing halibut charter industry in Alaska.
The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council will decide the fate of many a small business person’s future by putting permanent restrictions on the number of halibut caught by guided sport fishermen. Currently, the statewide catch for guided sport halibut is approximately six million lbs. This is a significant number until we consider the commercial longline catch of 54 million pounds. And consider the total commercial fishing "wastage" of over 13 million pounds of halibut and over 248 million pounds of total resource wastage in the Alaska wide commercial fishery in 2005. All these numbers add up to a totally skewed council process that encourages a conflict of interest to be a council member. Most of the council members are commercial fisherman from the west coast or their surrogates. They would rather waste tons of halibut as "Bycatch", before they allow the guided sport fisherman a chance to catch a sport fish and enjoy a home cooked delight. The NPFMC has no interest in any sport user group and view them as a nuisance. It is time for us all to do something about the horrible wastage going on in our magnificent fisheries resource. Just say "no" to the restriction of guided sport caught halibut and say "yes" to the end of wastage. . I think we should allow sportfishermen to determine the amount of fish they need ‘before " wastage is allowed for, not after.
I am a charter operator out of Homer and would like the same representation at the council as my commercial neighbors.
The NPFMC meeting is ongoing this week at the Anchorage Hilton. The agenda is @

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Logbook Evaluation by AKF&G.

This is from the Logbook Evaluation by AKF&G. Seems we were not the Liars we were accused of being after all.
Adoption of logbooks as the preferred charter harvest monitoring tool by the North Pacific FisheryManagement Council will present a problem with respect to management of annual harvest. Specifically,the Council will have to address the mismatch between the reported harvest and the allocation options that were all calculated using past SHWS estimates of charter harvest. Logbook harvests were consistently higher than SHWS estimates for all years in which halibut were reported in the logbook. Options to address this mismatch include revision of allocation options, either through recalculation using recent logbook harvest, or through negotiation. Applying average weights by SWHS area to logbook numbers results in 2006 charter harvest estimates of 2.094 M lb in Area 2C and 4.691 M lb in Area 3A. These harvest estimates are 16% and 28% higher than the respective harvest estimates based on the SWHS. The discrepancy in weight between the Area 2C logbook and SWHS estimates (16%) was smaller than the discrepancy in numbers of fish (23%), due to differences in the distribution of harvest among ports. The largest difference in numbers was in the Princeof Wales area (13,298 more fish in the logbook), which had an average weight of only 9.7 lb, well belowthe 18.9 lb average for Area 2C.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Common Pool is a Loser!

The following thoughts were sent by email and I must say they need to be considered.

Another issue that is really pissing me off is this the common pool approach with MAYBE the option to lease commercial quota?? Has anyone thought about WHO is going to be leasing quota? It will be every long standing, fully operational and developed companies that has a full calendar on a regular basis!! Is this where you want to be? The less than fully developed charters can freely fish within the GHL (common pool) for several years of the interim with no care of where the common pool becomes constraining on the full operators, because it will be them causing the need to lease, but it will be the fully developed charter doing the leasing. They can EXPAND and it won’t cost them anything, but for some of you that have a full marketing plan that keeps your calendars full, guess what, it will be you who will be leasing this supplemental quota to continue in each year the common pool is used up. Why are we so happy with this? Do you think you owe the less than developed charters this extra burden on your businesses?We should be looking at holding every charter at the level of harvest based on their moratorium qualifying level through the interim. THEN if we need to lease more quota cause the common pool is exhausted then EVERY charter begins leasing at the same time. I don’t look forward to having to lease so I can continue to operate at my regular level for several years knowing some (new kids) are happily growing each year until their portion of the common pool forces me to lease extra just so I can continue as I have been for many years. THIS sounds like Affirmative Action to me and it stinks.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sport Fish Guide Services Board !!

In late-November 2007, the Sport Fish Guide Limited Entry Task Force recommended that the creation of a Sport Fish Guide Services Board (similar to the Big Game Commercial Services Board) would be an appropriate first step to limiting sport fishing guide activities in Alaska, rather than a limited entry system. This recommendation was based on potential legal issues associated with the issuance of limited entry permits to the business owners rather than the guides (fishermen), as initially recommended by the task force.
The creation of a Sport Fish Guide Services Board would not raise constitutional issues, but would require legislation and regulation to implement. This type of program would categorize and professionally license the charter industry as guides, outfitters or transporters and would provide an opportunity to gather accounting information on levels of participation and of fish being harvested within each of these groups. Participants believed this approach would increase professional standards within the industry and as a result may serve to reduce entry over time in the sport fish guide industry. Participants also felt this was a necessary first step towards developing a more formal limited entry or concessionaire program for the sport fish guide industry.
Participants also felt it was necessary to develop workable definitions for guiding and related activities such as outfitting and transporting. In discussing definitions, the group discussed the different types of businesses models and definitions for the various types of activities. Draft definitions were developed which will be further reviewed at the group's next meeting in January. Participants felt it was necessary to develop workable definitions for all guide related activities before any legislation is introduced. A sport fish guide representative of the Limited Entry Task Force met with ADF&G to draft statutory language modeled after AS 08.54.591 which establishes the Big Game Commercial Services Board. If Commissioner Lloyd approves the task force's recommendation to pursue the creation of a Sport Fish Guide Services Board as a first step towards a limited entry program, task force members will be provided a copy of the draft statutory language for review and discussion during their meeting January 8-9, 2008.
The timeline for implementing this initiative would likely remain as originally proposed, with appropriate legislation introduced during the 2009 Legislative Session. Steps previously proposed under the recommendation of a limited entry approach would apply as well.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council is currently considering charter halibut allocation. I’m writing to advocate for a fixed allocation of at least 1.9 million pounds in Area 2C and 4.15 million pounds in Area 3A.
What are you advocating? Give them your thoughts.

Submission of Written Comments. Written comments and materials to be included in Council meeting notebooks must be received at the Council office by 5:00 pm (Alaska Time) on March 26 (Wednesday)
Written and oral comments should include a statement of the source and date of information provided as well as a brief description of the background and interests of the person(s) submitting the statement.
Comments can be sent by mail or fax—please do not submit comments by e-mail.
Mr. Eric Olson, Chairman
North Pacific Fishery Management Council
605 West 4th, Suite 306
Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2252

Fax: (907) 271-2817

Monday, March 3, 2008

Charter Halibut Allocation/Reallocation: Initial Review

We had better get some input on this issue. 125% of the 2001-2005 avg charter harvest (GHL updated thru 2005) is the only equation relevant to the 21st century. A ten year old GHL is out of date and out of reality. Setting a harvest level with a flawed census that is only beneficial to the over burdensome commercial interests is the clasic case of the monopoly holders dictate the rules . This is a felonius assault on the free enterprise system. A federal governing board is held to the constitutional free enterprise system. Does anyone know a constitutional lawyer? Perhaps we think too small?
This is it, either you get onboard now with a linited entery with catch history verified or you are an old man fighting the system! What a noble cause! Been There Done That!!!!