Posted On October 12, 2012 By In kpfa And 858 Views

KPFA Newsletter

READY TO GIVE UP THE SHIP?

OCTOBER 2012

Hello Fellow Setnetters,

As of this printing, most of you like me, are still reeling from the social and economic disaster that was the salmon season of 2012, and for good reasons. Looking back at the late season surge of king salmon in to the Kenai River, it’s easy to see that the east side setnet fleet could have fished, at the very least, regular openings. The trade off would have been, at the minimum, the harvest of hundreds of thousands of sockeye salmon with the harvest of a few thousand late run Kenai River king salmon, while still achieving the minimum escapement goal for late run Kenai River King salmon. To make matters worse, the stress we setnetters felt during the season from sitting on the beach not knowing daily escapement data from the very stock that kept us side lined compounded our frustration. Where do we go from here? First of all, we must stay united! Let’s not allow the forces of our enemies to conquer and divide our beaches. To quote Winston Churchill, “We will fight on the beaches and we will never surrender.” We must present a unified message that we will not sit idly by and watch our over 400 small businesses disappear from the economy. Our dollar value is worth no less than any other small business.

In the October Issue, 2012 of the Alaska Journal of Commerce it stated, “The setnetters have more than borne their fair share of conservation for Kenai kings. As the board considers changes in management, they should not weigh them down anymore.” Our motto at KPFA is “Ensuring the Sustainability of Our Fishery Resources”, but ensuring the sustainability should be spread out equally amongst All user groups, not just the east side setnetters. Good fishing.         Robert Williams, President KPFA

I was reading an article in one of our trade magazines from a Bristol Bay fisherman. He asks the question, “What does it take to be an effective fishermen’s organization?” He responds, “We need the help of scientists, economists, attorneys, and other organizations, and lobbyists just to name a few. An organization can provide the format, dollars, expertise, and energy to do so over time.” This really helps me to understand that we are not alone in the world with our issues of sustainability and survivability. Nothing is so unique in Cook Inlet that hasn’t been an issue in other Alaskan ports, west coast ports, east coast ports, or other regions of the world. These experiences are important as they are lessons learned, a tremendous value in assisting us in maintaining ‘our place in the land of the midnight sun’. How do we do this? His answer, “We feel it is essential to be an active member of an association that is involved in the issues at hand”. Great words of wisdom. Consider this; your organization is entering its fifty-eighth year in existence. Many of our fishing families have been toiling here for many years, many are just starting out. We must all come together if we are to remain a viable industry. There is just no way around it. The coming years may pose several difficult questions upon our industry, a new set of challenges that can only be addressed through our combined efforts. We are at a time in our history where we must all ask ourselves a fundamental question; What do we want our fishery to look like in one year from now; how about five, ten or…? How do we accomplish this goal without a strong organization that is made up of many disciples, many volunteers and a few strong voices? Yes, we need money to make this work but that is only effective in so far as we have the strong will and the effort of all our setnet fishing families pulling on the same net together!              Paul A. Shadura II

KPFA recently began the process of forming several committees with the goal of increasing participation in the many things we must do in the future to ensure that our fishery stays alive and well. We are off to a good start and many of you have responded with enthusiasm and given of your time already. A big THANK YOU to those folks! There are some projects that have already been completed and several things in the planning stages.  We have already seen evidence that the committee system is making a difference.  If you would be interested in serving on one of the committees; Business Outreach and Community Awareness, Fundraising and Membership, Research, Political and Technology there is still a spot for you.  In fact, we need all the help we can get! If you are not interested in serving on a committee but would be willing to help on individual projects please email me or give the KPFA office a call (907) 262-2492. Tell us what you like to do or where your talents lie and we will keep a list of folks to call on in the future. If you have any ideas that would be helpful to any of the committee service areas please give me a call or email so that I can direct you in the right direction. On the Move!           Jan Kornstad, Committee Coordinator, 907-776-8842, kornstad@acsalaska.net

The Business Outreach and Community Awareness Committee (BOCA) have begun work on a number of endeavors. We are, with anticipation of a spring Board of Fish meeting, working on business outreach with a team of volunteers who are actively visiting businesses asking for support by signing a petition that indicates their recognition of commercial fishing as part of a robust and diversified local economy. We expect this effort to take months, with possible submission to the BOF at the spring meeting. We are attending both Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce to raise awareness to the business community and further participating in their respective fundraisers. A BIG thank you to our members who’ve donated to those efforts. In addition Committee Chair Ken Coleman and member Megan Smith met with the Food Bank to understand how their food supplemental services might be available to our fellow fishermen who may be in need after the disastrous 2012 season. As the winter progresses we will identify other projects and continue the outreach work.

Ken Coleman, Chair, Business Outreach and Community Awareness Committee (BOCA)

Enclosed is the US Small Business Administration / Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet. All permit holders need to fill out the form and submit it to the address listed below. We have enclosed a pre-addressed envelope for your convenience; please do not forget to put a stamp on it with your return address. If you would rather Fax the form the number is; (907) 269 – 8125 or 269-8147. Need another blank form? Here is the link;  http://www.commerce.state.ak.us/ded/pub/EconomicInjuryWorksheet.pdf

You can fill it out online and then print the form or you can download the form as it is and write in your information. You will have to scan the document in to your computer to send it electronically. You can then email it to:   wanetta.ayers@alaska.gov   Information can also be obtained by calling the Director of the Division of Economic Development; Wanetta Ayers at (907) 269-4048 or her Administrative Assistant, Diana Pree at (907) 269-4903. Send to: State of Alaska, Division of Economic Development, 550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1770, Anchorage, AK  99501-3576, Attention: Wanetta Ayers, Director. 

There are two reasons to fill out this form:

1)    A completed worksheet triggers a review by the US SBA. It is not a commitment to seek a loan. It does not require a multitude of forms to be submitted. The completed form only initiates a review. A SBA ‘field team’ will visit the area if the thresholds are met. Specific information for each business will be required at that time as each claim is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

2)    Every permit holder needs to establish his or her economic losses in order to evaluate the actual magnitude of this disaster. Many individuals have expressed their objections to the ADF&G evaluation of total loss of harvest opportunity (income) to our fishery. By completing and submitting this form as soon as it is possible, we will have established a record that can be utilized by the State of Alaska and our Congressional delegation and KPFA to seek sufficient appropriations to assist with our recovery.

In a final note, we have been fortunate to receive a disaster declaration from the Secretary of Commerce for CI less than 30 days after Governor Parnell made the request. Without Federal funding, it is apparent that minimal assistance will be available. Funding through the Magnuson Stevens Act, National Marine Fisheries Service, Sustainable Fisheries Disaster Assistance program requires an 80% loss of revenue to determine a commercial fishery failure. If Congress appropriates funds for a fishery disaster, the Secretary may provide disaster assistance in the form of a grant, cooperative agreement, loan, or contract. The Federal share of the cost of any activity shall not exceed 75 percent. What this means is that the State of Alaska may need to assist us!

Cook Inlet permit holders, North, East, South or West, visit our website at kpfaalaska.org or our FaceBook page for updates and information. Feel free to call/email us if you have something that you would like to post, (907) 262-2492/kpfa@alaska.net. I encourage you to subscribe to the website, doing this puts you in the know when we send out updates via email (you do not have to be a member).  

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