Open Letter…


to  the Yankee Fishermen’s Cooperative in Seabrook, NH :

Imagine our personal and collective surprise here in Alaska upon finding  Sarah Palin stopped by to boost morale there :

“Palin: Well, commercial fishing is near and dear to my heart of course, you know having fished for so many years. And I understand fish politics… Biology needs to dictate decisions in a fishery.”



Oh, for heaven’s sake!

We  are as worried as you are as to what this catch share program will do to you.

We have many communities  which have suffered enormously under the experimental catch share program here but please do not mistake Ms Palin’s assertion that she understands fish politics or thinks biology should be the decisive factor in fish policy as the truth.

Examples abound of her lack of knowledge and  understanding of fish politics  and downright refusal to accept  biology before, during, and after her bizarrely truncated stint as our Governor. She has a long history here of avoiding answering direct questions with comprehensive and coherent responses and fish politics are/were no exception.

We’ll skip right on by her relying-on-biology routine over our polar bears here, but please keep it in mind should you ever feel a real itch to accept that she really does care for unbiased science winning out when big development is at stake.

Those little slogans about individuals’ entrepreneurial spirit, getting government out of the way, and so on which  she brings up repeatedly, are just that  -slogans.

As our Governor she cleared the decks  for government and big business to run right up over the top of the everyday person on more than one one occasion.

She also turned her back  , multiple times, on the very people she wooed into supporting her with all those slogans and suchlike.

You can see in the responses here , at the Alaska Dispatch, that news of Ms Palin dropping in to lift your morale and claiming to understand fish politics met almost universal Pffft!s no matter what side of the catch share issue one is on.  It is perhaps a sign of her greatly diminished influence here that the comments rapidly moved to arguing about catch shares themselves after folks weighed in on the ex-Gov’s fish knowledge base. We would urge you to do the same.

It’s hard for us to picture the short 13 mile coastline and small fishing fleet of New Hampshire  in relation to our coastline which exceeds those of all other states combined and fisheries which provide 78,500 jobs but it is not hard for us to understand the fears and concerns you have there about the change in your fishery management.

The catch share philosophy , while embraced by many , has had far reaching consequences here, many of which are not good.

We stand with you in your concern as this change comes to your shores.

The Alaska Dispatch story, Palin disses fishing quotas at N.H. tour stop, linked to a very good overview of  catch share information and philosophy per the status quo.

We would invite all who visit here to also look carefully at criticisms and recommendations for real change to the philosophy as well.

The concerns that these shares, granted free, granted in perpetuity, and treated like property to be traded or sold, is completely askew are real.

The concerns that these shares have tended to consolidate access with fewer and fewer and bigger and bigger businesses are real.

The law and policy which governs this should always be open to review and revision.

Everyday Americans need to stand together, not as individuals fighting the system, but rather as people striving to make a system which works for themselves.

This is not simple, easy stuff to follow but since it affects so many real, live people we think it is worth folks educating themselves some to be able to make better decisions when they vote  or align themselves towards or against policy.

We don’t speak up much here at Anonymous Bloggers about  things outside Alaska but this issue affects every ocean fishery in America and Alaska has been the “beta-tester” for the method.

Alaska Pi and Ugavic


More important than any of the boy-are-we-tired-of-whatzername’s-lies  links above-

Further reading and criticism of catch share ‘stuff’ can be found at :

Rethinking Fisheries Policy in Alaska : Options for the Future

by Daniel W Bromley and Seth Macinko

Abdicating Responsibility:The Deceits of Fisheries Policy

by Daniel W Bromley and


 by Seth Macinko

And we are hoping  Mr Whittier’s full length film comes to fruit.


10 Responses to “Open Letter…”

  1. secret talker Says:

    great post!

  2. Les Elliott Says:

    Palin is a PITA and if she should ever become President, I’m heading to Canada!


  3. Elsie Says:

    I really appreciate the time and effort that went into this post. I’m still trying to work my way through all the informative links. I bet these subjects are foreign to far more readers than just me, and that’s a real shame. Thanks for trying to clarify all this. Please keep speaking these truths that we need to hear.

  4. Man_from_Unk Says:

    These “catch shares” squeezes out the common man so that fishing for a living is no longer an option unless you have bookoo bucks to buy into it. The rules are made for the big guys, kind of like the Land Barons of the old days where the peons worked the fields for just a tiny share, a tiny, tiny share, which kept them from starving to death. This concept puts corporate America in charge of our common resources.

  5. Man_from_Unk Says:

    Seth Macinko was seen in Nome this past week attending a portion of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council week long meeting. Hopefully the State of Alaska will engage him in a Review of the CDQ programs next year, 2012, as mandated by the Magnason-Stevens Act. He is very familiar with the CDQ program as he did a report for NSEDC in the late 90’s. That NSEDC report is gathering dust on the shelves somewhere in never, never land.

  6. alaskapi Says:

    thanks for the info Man_from _Unk.
    Would be VERY good if he was involved in the dicennial review… very.

  7. Man_from_Unk Says:

    I had a chance to read a little of Seth Macinko’s paper titled “Fishing Communities As Special Places……” and I read with interest Section H., “Indigenous Exceptionalism” where the CDQ program is refered to a “place-based fisheries management” entity.

    The phrase “place-based fisheries management” basically refers to two sections of the Norton Sound CDQ region – primarily that of the Southern Norton Sound area dominated by the fishers of the villages of Unalakleet and Shaktoolik with a little input from the villages of Koyuk and Elim, and the crab and halibut fishers out of Nome. The village of Golovin and Nome use to have a salmon fishery but they bellied up in the 80’s. No efforts has been made to rejuvenate those once sustainable fisheries.

    I conclude that since 2006, this “place-based fisheries management” of the CDQ program is no longer valid because the Norton Sound CDQ program, NSEDC has and continues to invest heavily in the Bering Sea pollock fishery.

    NSEDC gave their for-profit arm, Siu Alaska Corporation (pronounced SEE-U), 5 million dollars at their quarterly meeting this past April. The stakeholders of the CDQ program don’t know how Siu is going to use those millions, perhaps it’s for their recent investment in the Bering Sea pollock fishery. This past Februrary, NSEDC partnered up with another CDQ subsidiary, Coastal Villages Pollock, to invest in the Wards Cove assets.

    CVP’s CDQ group is the Coastal Villages Region Fund. Historically the stakeholders of the Coastal Villages Region Fund have never had a commercial fishery, their involvement in the resources has been historically subsistence orientated.

    Ironically, this takes the Norton Sound region CDQ program away from it’s “place”. NSEDC and Siu has their places based in Seattle and now Dutch Harbor. The people’s monies with the Wards Cove assets purchase are yet again tied up in another LLC, named BSAI Partners. That makes it even harder to find out where the people’s money from the CDQ program is going.

  8. jim Says:

    Man from Unk:

    I enjoy your intelligent posts. Have you considered starting your own blog? CDQ issues are decided by lobbyists and U.S. government politicians thousands of miles away in Washington D.C. If you had your own blog, perhaps you could have more influence. Others, including Victoria here and Alaska PI are very informed, but I think you could host a blog focusing on CDQ issues. You could structure it with basic information for folks like me, and also with more detailed analysis.

    I have learned from your comments and I appreciate them. Thanks.

  9. Man_from_Unk Says:

    jim, thank you for your suggestion and yes, I’ve considered starting a blog about the CDQ program. The problem is that I’m a poor man and I’m basically focused on survival. I’ve been blogging about the CDQ program since about 2005 when the Salmon ByCatch problem of the trawl fishery became common knowledge. I’ve had at least one computer ‘frozen’ by viruses and at this point in my life, I can’t afford a new computer every couple of years. I’m up against some very ruthless people.

    You have brought out an interesting point, “CDQ issues are decided by lobbyists and U.S. government politicians…..” When the NPFMC met in Nome earlier this month, it was discovered that James Balsiger, the Administrator of the Alaska Region of NOAA, who also sits on the council, is married to a CDQ lobbyist. This relationship leads me to believe that you are right!

  10. jim Says:

    Man From Unk:

    One poor man to another, your immersed, intellectual point of view is read and appreciated.

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