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Home » Archives » February 2011 » Just Say “No” To HB 1210?

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02/01/2011: "Just Say “No” To HB 1210?"


Matt & Maureen Marinkovich are urging local action to stop passage of House Bill 1210 by calling representative, Kristine Lytton to vote NO on HB 1210. (360) 786-7800, or email at: Kristine.Lytton@leg.wa.gov; no later than Wednesday.

Matt maintains HB 1210 will change the allocation of fish between those captured by gillnetters and purse seiners. Marinkovich and other gillnetters believe the changes in fish allocations should be decided by the Department of Fisheries, “not in the Legislature.”

A published digest of the bill states the bill will “adopt rules specifying weekly fishing schedules for both gear types that provide an equal amount of time opened during each week to take salmon with both gill net and purse seine gear types.

And here is how Matt sees the problem -and what action he calls for:

The daily catch of a gillnet fisherman is relatively small (1,000-2,000 pounds on a "normal" day; 5,000+ pounds on a big day), compared to a purse seiner (10,000-30,000 pounds on a "normal" day, with upwards of 100,000 pounds or more on a big day {depends on how big the boat is}). (this "normal" day is when the run is in and there are fish to catch) If gillnetters and purse seiners fished the same amount of time, the pre-allocated quota from which the two groups share would be caught up very quickly, with a disproportionate amount going to the purse seiners, who catch them at a much faster rate.

Currently, the State fishery manages are supposed to give more time to the gillnet fleet so they can catch their share of the resource. HB 1210 directs the fishery managers to give equal time between the two groups, which of course would not result in an equal split.

This would directly effect me and my fishing operation, and thereby effect how much fish I can bring back and provide to the consumers of San Juan Island. I will not be given the opportunity to go out fishing as often, andI cannot bring a fresh fish back for sale if it there is not a fishing opening to catch the fish. The quota would be caught primarily by purse seiners, sold to the major processors, and be put into the "fish pipeline" like any other fish caught in mass volume. I catch my fish in smaller volumes over a longer period of time, and bring them back to the islands because I know how important it is that we all share in our local resources.

For the most part purse seiners and gillnetters live in harmony, realizing we are all just trying to make a living. This issue is driven by a few people in positions of power who can pull strings to benefit themselves. If you make this call asking your representative to vote NO on HB 1210, you are making the statement that the fish provided to local communities by direct-marketing gillnet fishermen is important to you.

PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL BY TUESDAY, because on Wednesday HB 1210 will be before the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee for a decision. Our representative, Kristine Lytton, is on this committee, and A CALL FROM YOU IS VERY IMPORTANT. An email is also important, because they are tallied and your opposition to this measure will be recorded and will make a difference.

This is an opportunity to really make a difference in an important issue regarding our natural resources and local food security. Please call and send an email to Representative Lytton. Thank you, and thank you for buying local and supporting your local food producers.


Read an analysis of the bill by the research section of the Legislature by clicking HERE

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