“Words have meaning, and names have power.”
The word of the day is bycatch, and those who would use it against Cook Inlet setnetters well understand the power of words.
The quote is attributable to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the 17th century Spanish author who wrote the classic novel “Don Quixote” about the man from La Mancha who travels the land engaging in misguided quests that always end badly yet never shake a groundless faith he has acted heroically.
Much like the reality Don Quixote stubbornly ignored while repeatedly falling victim to it, words retain their definition regardless of any attempts to pretend they mean the opposite. Few words are more poisonous in the world of fisheries management than “bycatch,” and there is now an effort underway to tag setnetters with a term that is properly associated with the taking of salmon, halibut and crab by trawlers operating off the coasts of Alaska.
It is simply wrong to call the legal, historic harvest of king salmon by Cook Inlet setnet fishermen by the same name as the prohibited species catch otherwise known as PSC taken by trawlers.
Read more at the Alaska Journal of Commerce