Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crab Crewmen’s Workshop Announced May 3 in Seattle

An industry group has announced plans to hold a Bering Sea crab crew workshop at the Leif Erikson Hall in Seattle for several hours on May 3 to discuss a number of issues of concern.

The event is billed as having a goal of educating crew and owners regarding opportunities for crew to invest in crab IFQ.

The group has also reserved the Fishermen’s Hall in Kodiak and will have a teleconference line set up as a minimum, the group said in a meeting announcement.

Ed Poulsen, executive director of the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, is scheduled to present an overview of the right of first offer proposal and opportunities for crew, and Don Pease, loan officer for National Marine Fisheries Service’s financial services, will give an introduction to the NMFS crab crew loan program. Other scheduled topics are crab quota share/IFQ eligibility requirements and the quota share transfer process.

Some crewmembers, including Shawn Dochtermann, executive director of the Crewman’s Association, said they felt the meeting should be held in Alaska. They also want the meeting structures to put crew compensation issues first, then have the loan program meeting led by National Marine Fisheries Service financial services.

Crew compensation has remained a sore point with a number of fishermen who have worked as crew board crab boats, who feel some costs deducted from their paychecks as their share of vessel overhead are unfairly deducted. Another is that when vessels are fishing leased shares, for which there is a significant price tag to the owner of those shares, that the crew effort is the same, but that the overall percentage pay to harvesters is significantly lower.

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