It is now the end of the season. Although it was not one of the best seasons, for those that persevered through the end, there were some nice cohos to be caught. Furthermore, there was a record number of king salmon to be caught. Now I would urge you all to dig into your pockets and pay your Alaska Trollers Association (ATA) membership dues.
ATA is the only group representing the interest of the troll fleet. As a membership organization, ATA, like the fleet, is affected by the economic changes affecting our industry. If you are concerned about self preservation as a troller, I ask you to take responsibility for supporting your gear group seriously.
One has no inherent right to access natural resources unless they can articulate the merit of their access to the political bodies that ultimately decide their fate. Simply put, ATA represents the interests of the troll fleet to the government, especially the Board of Fish (BOF). The staff and full board of ATA will be at the upcoming BOF meeting on behalf of the fleet. This is an expensive endeavor, and your financial support and participation will be essential to the outcome.
The issues that threaten the troll fleet will not go away by ignoring them. The fleet would not have received its current king quota, coho fishery extensions, or marketing money without significant input and active involvement from ATA's board members and executive director. Please, if you wish to have a living as a troller in the future, pay your dues. It's a small investment in your future.