Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 3:11 PM on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homer City Council should get involved with halibut proposal

The Catch Sharing Plan was written by commercial fishermen for commercial fishermen. The CSP doesn't do a thing for the conservation of our halibut fishery. It merely takes from the guided sector and gives it to the commercial sector.

More than 11 million pounds of dead halibut bycatch is dumped overboard every year. NOAA should begin their deliberations with these facts in mind.

When a commercial fisherman says to the Homer City Council: "Do not get into this fight. You'll divide the community more," what he's really saying under his breath is "The fix is in ... don't mess with it."

It made eminent sense for Councilman Bryan Zak to propose that the city manager ask NOAA and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to complete a current socio-economic study of the impact of the CSP on the charter fleet and the tourist economy. I am amazed that only Councilwoman Barbara Howard saw the wisdom in this.

Those of you who wish to see continued peace and civility in our community need to remember that the fairness of this process has to be real instead of a mirage. The Southcentral charter fleet has not exceeded federal guidelines for its share of the catch and moreover the charter businesses were thinned out by 30 percent last year and we do not know the effects of that yet.

The Catch Sharing Plan is of enormous consequence to all of us here in the Cosmic Hamlet. Personally I am keeping Brother Asaiah in my prayers.

Michael A. LeMay