Once again, the Kodiak Island
Borough Assembly took up the issue of the Cod LLP recency letter at its work
session last night. And once again, concerned fishermen and members of the
community turned out to voice their opinions on what has become a contentious
and divisive matter. The assembly ultimately decided to refine the latest
version of a proposed letter to the Secretary of Commerce, requesting that he
reject a North Pacific Fishery Management Council plan that significantly
reduces the number of participants in the Gulf of Alaska
limited entry cod fishery, until a study of its affects has been done.
Under the council's guidelines,
roughly 70 percent of LLP holders would be removed from the fishery, because
they did not fish cod during the qualifying years. On one side of the issue are
those who have fished their licenses and would likely benefit by the reduction.
Jerry Bongen spoke against the idea of sending the letter to Secretary Gary
Locke. He said the letter as drafted did not take a neutral enough
1 28 sec. "A lot of the people that ... tanners,
salmon or herring.")
the other side, are people who believe taking away so many licenses bars many
who wish to participate in the fishery from the opportunity to do so. Shawn
Dochterman spoke in support of the letter.
2 32 sec. "There's still a lot to be done
... representative in the future.")
Assemblywoman Sue Jeffrey,
who originally proposed the letter and presented a draft at the meeting, said a
thorough socio-economic analysis of the possible effects of removing so many
LLP holders from the fishery is needed.
3 55 sec. "That's what analysis is all
about ... doesn't lose by this.")
Pat Branson said she supported sending the letter, but only if it clearly requests
the socio-economic study, remains neutral and serves the best interests of
4 38 sec. "If the intent of this letter is
... economy of this community.")
In the end, the assembly decided
that Branson and Jeffrey would work together to refine the language of the
two-page letter and edit it down to one page, making it more concise.
The next opportunity for the assembly to discuss the issue will be at its next
work session on June 25th. Next week's regular meeting was cancelled,
because the planned agenda was so light.