Tweets from the Senate fisheries debate

Pebble Mine, electronic monitoring, climate change, the Magnuson Stevens Act, subsistence, oil and gas development in Bristol Bay, quotas, CDQs–were just a few of the subjects that the Senate candidates wrangled with on Wednesday night at the fisheries debate in Kodiak, an island 250 miles south of Anchorage, and a place where such subjects are regularly discussed at coffee shops and bars. This was obviously Sen. Mark Begich’s crowd. For the past three years, he’s chaired a key fisheries committee in the Senate, and is much more conversant on the subject than is his challenger Dan Sullivan, whose knowledge of fisheries has in the past seemed spotty. Begich won the night, and his supporters won the twitter war. But though he appeared unsure of some issues, and fell back too often on the “federal overreach” meme, Sullivan proved that he could hold his own. Of the seven debates and forums scheduled before Election Day, this will likely be Sullivan’s toughest.

Here are some tweets from the event:









11 thoughts on “Tweets from the Senate fisheries debate

  1. Alaska Cod Piece

    Husker – For someone who didn’t bother to listen or watch the fish debate, you sure have a lot to say about it.

    If you hold Alaska’s fishing industry and fishermen in such arrogant, uninformed contempt, why don’t you go back to corn country, like Ohio.

  2. Husker Dew

    Did anyone ask real fisheries based questions, such as why has it taken so long to implement a quota share program in the Gulf of Alaska, or if they support aggressive reductions in salmon and halibut commercial trawl bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska, or if they support 100 percent observer coverage in federal fisheries to ensure fishery conservation measures, or if they support the attempt by rural Alaska Natives to shut down or severely restrict the lucrative Bering Sea trawl fishery because of king salmon bycatch and its perceived devastation to Yukon and Kuskokwim river king salmon populations? Probably not in any great detail because actual fishery issues are often absent to a large degree in fishery debates and conversations these days in Alaska.

    Or instead, did we get questions at “fishery debates” from hip commercial fishermen poised against and criticizing any and all other natural resource industries in Alaska – oil and gas industry (Bristol Bay, SB 21, TAPS, OCS Arctic), mining (Pebble, Red Dog, Donlin, Greens Creek), forestry (Tongass, Chugach), and tourism (cruise ship initiative, dismemberment of ATIA, Cook Inlet fish wars).

    Commercial fishermen nowadays portray themselves as the frontline, green environmentalists of Alaska (whether or not they are actual residents) in opposition to every other natural resource industry in Alaska. Except of course the state’s commercial fisheries, which they benefit from and would not exist without constant annual government subsidies for management, research and capital investments (harbors, dockside facilities, remote airports). If you are not out on the high seas these days as a high liner killing machine whacking and stacking them by the metric ton, well you just don’t qualify as a real Alaskan environmentalist and have no ocean cred.

    Yet the welcome mat in Alaska’s commercial fishing industrial complex is open to the largest annual influx to non-resident, seasonal, minimum wage exempt seafood processing workers (Lower 48 and international, many on student worker visas), beholden to large domestic and international seafood processing conglomerates. An equally large contingent of non-resident commercial fishing harvesters come from all over the country as limited entry and quota share holders to cash in on a publically owned resource (if we own the oil, do we not also “own” the fish) that returns less in state and local taxes to Alaska than the costs of managing this renewable public resource. Alaskans subsidize commercial fisheries in Alaska.

    Outside of the North Slope, the Cook Inlet region is the next largest in Alaska for the oil and gas industry (actually about the only other area). The co-existence in Cook Inlet seems to work fairly well between oil and gas and the commercial fishing industries, in the area of the state with the second largest tides in the world. However, according to most of the propaganda from the Alaska commercial fishing industrial complex, that co-existence cannot occur anywhere else in the state or with any other industry.

    Pebble will create about 1,000 year round jobs for two to three generations of Alaskan workers, with year round employment and six figure incomes. That is about 1/10 of the number of commercial fishing permit holders in Alaska. Pebble will contribute more in state and local taxes than the whole commercial fishing industrial complex does currently to the state of Alaska. One can see how threatening those numbers really are.

    But hey, as long as our “fisheries” debates in this state are about everything and anything but actual fisheries, move along, there is nothing to see here.

    Look over there – it is a birdie. I like birdies…

  3. LysanderSpooner

    How many different answers has Sullivan given to questions about his residency? Why was he afraid to admit to voting for Murkowski? And why did he feel the need to cook up that obviously bogus explanation of his (non)vote? Shall I go on?

    Truth has been a rare commodity for both sides in this campaign, not that I would ever expect an obvious partisan like yourself to concede that.

  4. Alaska Cod Piece

    Carpooler, Alaska fisheries is second only to the oil industry in the amount of money it puts into the state treasury each year. One of those pesty facts that is easy to confirm .

  5. Garand Fellow

    Afghan Dan held up well with such a hostile crowd. He stayed on his feet and made Begich bob and weave. Has anyone heard Mark Begich speak the truth in the past 2 months?

  6. Le Chameau

    The best tweets last night are from the Dunbar/Young debate. Just search Forrest Dunbar in Twitter. Or look at the livetweets from GraceEJang of channel 2.

  7. Roy

    No wonder Sullivan originally declined the Kodiak debate, it was about as fair as ISIS is towards Christians. Nothing like getting terrorized by the commercial fisherman.

  8. SAnchorage Carpool Driver

    I guess it is good that Timber Power writes it down and makes people who have moved here within the last 25 years think about what he says. The whole “Not from Alaska” line of discussion… hmph. Begich and his party spend all kinds of money on messages- how much has been spent to say that newcomers aren’t really Alaskan? It sounds to me like Timber Power is saying that everyone that moved here since March of 1989 should leave. I somewhat hope anyone who moved here since June of 1989, or who has a spouse that moved since then really thinks about what he says… “… and all the other people who moved here after the oil spill can just leave and make us real Alaskans happy.”

    I was not happy listening to about 4 or 5 questions in a row that basically went to Sullivan and gave Begich softballs or no answer needed at all. Was there anyone else that was kind of tired of it by the time Laine Welch was done with her “question.” Was that a question for Begich or a policy statement and opportunity for Begich to say “not me?” I guess I am back to resigned that Alaska will get some jobs for year round state residents and too much of the money will go to Seattle, but I was definitely thinking that fisheries should pay more to the state treasury during that debate.

  9. Mae

    Anti -fisheries L48 Dan is all about other places besides Alaska. The guy just isn’t going to lift a finger for those who depend on fisheries, unless he is on the senate campaign trail.

    In fact the closest thing he did concerning anything remotely Alaskan fisheries is to file a lawsuit against Katie John.

    Oh and support his brother for selling farmed fish.

    L48 Dan Sullivan is the wrong guy for Alaska. He’d be better off filing for office back in Maryland.

  10. Timber Power

    We don’t need the likes of Sullivan here in Alaska. All those outsiders like him can pack up and high tail it out of state. Suit me just fine. You right Mark, too many outsiders coming here to live and does nothing but cost the state money. Appreciate you having the courage to stand up about residency and its value. Sully and all the other people that came here after the oil spill can just leave and make us real Alaskans happy. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Good bye to all of you.

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