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United or divided?

Posted: Wednesday, June 11, 2003

I live in Ketchikan and am a retired fisherman who holds a lifetime sport fish license. I feel somewhat awkward in holding a sport license because I don't know what is regarded as sport and don't understand who would make a sport out of harvesting a food source.

I was mailed a publication called Subsistence Management Information published by United Fishermen of Alaska. I saw nothing "united" in the publication. Rather I saw negative speculation identical to language used by the state of Alaska. If I didn't know better, I would have guessed the information was provided by the state or an employee or former employee of the state. The publication was well written but showed no support for the subsistence community. So, I see a "united" organization with no unity. It wouldn't be such a bad publication if it wasn't designed to keep the divisive component between you and us fresh in minds of those that don't agree with or understand the federal government's reason for management.

It was mentioned hypothetically the possible numbers of halibut that would be taken. My point is, regardless of your classification of a natural resource user and if you do it commercially and feel threatened by a subsistence user, I would suggest you find a life you can be more successful at.

Bill Thomas Sr.

Ketchikan



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