North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Advisory Panel, meeting in Kodiak
Tuesday, took up the issue of Bering Sea crab. Panel members received a report
from the council’s crab committee, which is looking at making changes to the
Bering Sea Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization program. KMXT’s Casey Kelly
hurt by Crab Rationalization in multiple ways, but two of the biggest were the
loss of crewmember jobs due to the consolidation of the crab fleet and the loss
of processing revenue as a result of the program’s processor quota provision,
which ties 90 percent of the total allowable catch each season to specific
Kodiak City Councilman Terry
Haines, a former Bering Sea crabber, told the Advisory Panel that Crab
Rationalization created a class of haves and a class of have-nots.
1 :14s “…is
part of a loose collective of fishermen that will bring a reallocation proposal
to the North Pacific Council, which begins its meeting in Kodiak today. The
proposal would put a portion of the crab quota each season into a pool owned by
a crewmembers’ co-op. The fishermen say that would level the playing field,
which was skewed with the implementation of the program. Although many of the
crewmembers spoke to the Advisory Panel Tuesday, they all said they were taking
their proposal directly to the council, which irked some on the AP. But Haines
defends their action.
2 :29s “…fixing
were also those at the meeting who urged the Advisory Panel to tell the council
not to make changes to the program. Simeon Swetzof is the mayor of St. Paul in
the Pribilof Islands, a community that benefits from Crab Rationalization’s
processor quota provision.
1 :26s “…rationalization
says he has nothing against crewmembers. His son fished on a crab boat for many
years, he says. But he thinks whatever comes out the crab committee’s final
report, and whatever action the council may or may not take to change the
program, St. Paul needs to be recognized for its historical contribution to the
2 :35s “…quota
been then, see?”)
the crewmembers’ problem with processor quotas is not that they are linked to
specific communities, but rather that they are linked to specific companies.
And while he doesn’t expect to see eye-to-eye with Swetzof on every issue, he
hopes the dialog will help.
3 :24s “…in
a lot of respects.”)
Pacific Fishery Management Council is scheduled to take up Bering Sea crab
issues Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Meanwhile, the Advisory Panel
continues moving through its agenda through Saturday.