Fishery Councils Coordinate March to Catch Share Systems

Part 1 - North Pacific Council Brings NOAA Up-to-Date & Receives Orders for New Paradigm

By Stephen Taufen

The latest version of the 'asset commoditization' of USA fisheries is well underway with the New England Fisheries Management Council's approval of "Catch Share" systems to convert part of the common pool into sectors for the sake of non-fishing investors.

Bristol Bay

Catch shares back East are being handled through 'sectors' - community-based fishing cooperatives. These are not the familiar processor-linked-cooperatives we're used to in Alaska's collectivist oppression system, and the temporary rhetoric is that they are not (yet) individual fishing quotas. But we recognize this species-by-species march of economic warfare that moves relentlessly forward in the allocation jackboots of political racketeers until the boots-on-deck fishermen and our coastal communities fall into indentured servitude. New England fisheries are now well on the way, too.

There is much to this story about how the need for Total Allowable Catch limits (or Annual Catch Limits) management is being leapfrogged by outside investor needs, that it's already quite the story on the East Coast. Use your favorite search engine and check out the tremendous reporting from Richard Gaines of the Gloucester Daily Times. If you thought environmentalists' real concerns were for the health of fisheries, be prepared to learn more about following the money and power, and who is in cahoots with whom.

If unaware, Alaska fishermen can begin getting up to speed by reading the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council's current reports to NOAA recapping its past activities, and the updates NOAA's new director, Dr. Jane Lubchenco required from the council. The Council Coordinating Committee (CCC) for all regional fisheries management councils met in mid-May 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. Attached are the NPFMC submittals - after all, it all started here. Now, the investors see a way to cut out layers of the Ponzi-like embezzlements of fishermen rights and go right to the upper ranks in the pyramid by pre-scheming with environmentalists.

NPFMC submittals -
North Pacific Fishery Management Council LAPPs (PFD)

North Pacific Fishery Management Council Standardized Management Actions (PFD)

In addition, NOAA's acting director, Dr. James Balsiger gave a presentation at the NPFMC's June meeting in Anchorage explaining the new NOAA Catch Shares Task Force being promoted by director Lubchenco. He also discussed the other administrative committees: the Catch Shares Working Group and he Limited Access Privilege Program Working Group, as well as new Terms of Reference.

Dr. Balsiger's presentation (PDF)

The switch from effort-control rules to an output-based system is shock enough for the New England fisheries. But the grander shift from sound biological and conservation management based on best science to the privatization which means commodification of public resources - gives them away in a fashion whereby institutional investors can displace working fishermen's rights and causing massive job losses and community harms - defines what is really happening.

Enjoy the attachments, as you'll be referring back to them for quite awhile. We'll be back after AlaskaReport returns from the fishing grounds with the deeper story about non-profit environmentalist entities being involved in suspicious investor scheming, and what federal law enforcement, securities and commodities investigators should be looking into. Congress may find a renewed interest on an entirely new scale regarding the political giveaway of commonweal resources. Economic war is seldom boring - even if the council paperwork is designed to push away visitors so that the brawlers can operate behind special doors.

Until then, we trust your salmon season is going well, under fair skies and on fine seas.

Stephen Taufen - Groundswell Alaska

A public watchdog and advocate for fishermen and their coastal communities. Taufen is an "insider" who blew the whistle on the international profit laundering between global affiliates of North Pacific seafood companies, who use illicit accounting to deny the USA the proper taxes on seafood trade. The same practices are used to lower ex-vessel prices to the fleets, and to bleed monies from our regional economy.

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