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Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
Fish Traps In Alaska Final
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Fish Traps In Alaska Final

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  1. FISH TRAPS IN ALASKA Before and after statehood By Robyn Schroeder
  2. In the beginning… <ul><li>Salmon in Alaska were caught by Native fishers employing a variety of tools including nets, woven baskets called “weirs” and other in-stream methods. At the time these strategies were thought to be sustainable due to their scale. </li></ul>Colt, S. (2002, February 15). Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An economic history perspective. Retrieved April 2007, from Alaskool: http://www.alaskool.org/projects/traditionalife/fishtrap/FISHTRAP.htm Anderson, E. (n.d.). School Begins on the Banks of the Kuskokwim . Retrieved April 2007, from Alaska Department of Fish and Game: http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index.cfm?adfg=wildlife_news.view_article&issue_id=22&articles_id=112 Some Alaska native cultures and lives in many ways revolved around the rivers, streams and salmon within. The salmon and catching techniques allowed for plentiful nutrition throughout much of the year since Salmon could be caught and smoked on the banks of the streams. The availability of this food source and the efficiency of the catching systems used is by many thought to have helped create the “available time” many peoples had to develop extensive creative artwork and cultural pursuits.
  3. As Russians and other settlers moved in….. <ul><li>More and more fishing took place on the streams and rivers. These new fishers often employed similar tactics but not immediately on a large scale. </li></ul>Colt, S. (2002, February 15). Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An economic history perspective. Retrieved April 2007, from Alaskool: http://www.alaskool.org/projects/traditionalife/fishtrap/FISHTRAP.htm
  4. Then the canneries moved in… <ul><li>In 1878 two large canneries were built in Alaska (in Sitka and Klawok). These sites started relatively accepted since in the beginning they provided some jobs for Alaska natives. Later on however, the cannery labor was largely fueled by Chinese labor, further dividing the canneries from the local Alaskan population. </li></ul>Colt, S. (2002, February 15). Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An economic history perspective. Retrieved April 2007, from Alaskool: http://www.alaskool.org/projects/traditionalife/fishtrap/FISHTRAP.html
  5. These canneries employed the FISH TRAP <ul><li>The fish trap is a stationary trapping device that is placed in the path of salmon migration. It is immobile and generally has a low level of escapement. </li></ul><ul><li>The fish trap was not only used by Alaska Natives, but the early Russian traders also employed trap-like methods often catching up to 1,000 salmon in a day. </li></ul><ul><li>The more modern fish traps created and used by the canneries however differed in a couple important ways….. </li></ul>Colt, S. (2002, February 15). Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An economic history perspective. Retrieved April 2007, from Alaskool: http://www.alaskool.org/projects/traditionalife/fishtrap/FISHTRAP.htm Alaska State Government . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from NetState: http://www.netstate.com/states/government/images/ak_klawak_1927l.jpg
  6. Modern Fish Traps…. <ul><li>These fish traps were one of two types: either the pile-driven trap or the floating trap. Both had their benefits as drawbacks. The pile driven trap was the more expensive of the two but the floating trap was flimsy and unable to stand harsh weather and environments. </li></ul><ul><li>These traps were remarkable because they were able to fence entire streams, thus having a nearly 0% escapement number for the salmon. Predictably when salmon numbers plummeted, the fish traps were blamed. </li></ul>Salmon Fisheries in Alaska . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from Alaska Department of Fish and Game: http://www.cf.adfg.state.ak.us/geninfo/finfish/salmon/salmhome.php Colt, S. (2002, February 15). Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An economic history perspective. Retrieved April 2007, from Alaskool: http://www.alaskool.org/projects/traditionalife/fishtrap/FISHTRAP.htm
  7. A fish trap proponent once explained them like this: <ul><li>“ It is most simple in its construction, and consists of a long arm of piling and netting reaching out at an angle into the sea. The fish are stopped by the net, which is fastened to the piles and extends to the very bottom of the water. Continuing their way up against the trend of the water they pass through a narrow funnel which opens into the trap proper. The trap is completely covered on the bottom with a great net and the fish, crowding through the opening, find themselves in a trap from which there is no escape...This immense net is lifted from the inside of the trap at stated periods and the catch is dumped unceremoniously into waiting scows. The capacity of the scows used in Alaska is about twenty thousand fish, and it is not uncommon to see two of these coming from one trap completely filled with flapping, gasping salmon. (Kirkwood 1909, p. 35) </li></ul>As quoted in: Colt, S. (2002, February 15). Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An economic history perspective. Retrieved April 2007, from Alaskool: http://www.alaskool.org/projects/traditionalife/fishtrap/FISHTRAP.htm Example of a modern fish trap
  8. Fish Traps were also a contentious issue because… <ul><li>… of why and how they were employed! </li></ul><ul><li>One of the stated benefits of fish traps is the small amount of labor needed to catch the salmon and produce a profit. Not only were fish traps taking away jobs from the fishermen that had boats and businesses, but their large presence was seen about the time of the fisheries strike of 1912. </li></ul><ul><li>The timing of the strike and the corresponding trap use not only gave fisherman a distaste for the traps, but possibly caused the territory to lose fishing rights that had been granted other territories. The strike was used as part of a justification of denial of this territorial right and fishing (& fish trap) rights were instead granted to large companies who were able to continue their fish trap use unabated. </li></ul><ul><li>Of note is also the regulations involving fish trap usage. At the time, fish traps were granted exclusive rights to a fishing zone 300 feet around the trap were boats were prohibited. This, in part, lead to a blooming of “dummy traps”. Dummy traps were traps set up in places known to be somewhat unproductive but were used as a placeholder on the rights to that area or shoreline and were also used as currency to offer up when the federal government requested that they take down some of their traps. </li></ul>Colt, S. (2002, February 15). Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An economic history perspective. Retrieved April 2007, from Alaskool: http://www.alaskool.org/projects/traditionalife/fishtrap/FISHTRAP.htm
  9. But perhaps most importantly, fish traps were an explosive issue because of <ul><li>In a time in Alaska’s history were more and more people were settling in the territory and trying to build a life there, salmon fishing showed signs of decline and federal support seemed lacking. </li></ul><ul><li>Fish traps were very expensive and risky endeavors. It was hypothesized that it could cost up to $400,000 just to site and build 11 fish traps. These traps were immobile and the risk of them being in a place were fish were not running was a financial risk taken on by the trap owner. Because of this, there were very few local Alaskans who had the finances to capitalize on the fish trap angle of the industry. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1944, 396 of the 434 fish traps were owned by “Outsiders”, meaning business people who did not live in Alaska but received the benefits and profits of the fish traps catching the Alaskan salmon. </li></ul><ul><li>These outsiders had the ear of the federal government and were often granted rights above those of the local fishers. An example of this is the “Fishery Reserves” created in 1922. These areas became “protected” meaning that there was to be no fishing on them. The exceptions to this rule of course, were the companies that were granted federal permits to harvest fish there. As a result, these outside companies were allowed exclusive access to several key runs. </li></ul><ul><li>Due to these issues, the fish trap issue was a perfect symbol of the growing debate between residents and non-residents, capitol and labor, and federal bureaucrats and local citizens. </li></ul>Colt, S. (2002, February 15). Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An economic history perspective. Retrieved April 2007, from Alaskool: http://www.alaskool.org/projects/traditionalife/fishtrap/FISHTRAP.htm Governing Alaska: Federal influence in the territory . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from Alaska History and Cultural Studies: http://www.akhistorycourse.org/articles/article.php?artID=137
  10. So to summarize… <ul><li>Fish traps were used built and used by outside businesspeople who lauded them for their ability to store fish live and site canneries close to the source. Additionally however, they were appreciated because of their efficiency in the catch and their low labor requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>It was precisely these last two issues that caused local Alaskans to find fault with the traps. The high catch rate and low labor requirements pointed to less salmon for local fisherman to catch and less jobs available with the fishery industry at all. It appeared that all of the benefit and revenue stemming from Alaska’s natural fishing resources were heading out of state and local fishers were being left behind. </li></ul>
  11. Alaska Natives Weigh In <ul><li>Although on a larger scale Alaska Natives could be placed on the side of local fisherman, they did have a couple unique concerns and perspectives that were brought into the debate. </li></ul><ul><li>Having original access to the streams and rivers and having salmon fishing part of their culture for centuries, Alaska Natives were particularly affected by these new outside fishing interests. </li></ul><ul><li>Additionally, the few jobs offered originally by the canneries for catching fish declined as more and more traps were utilized, thus directly taking away jobs and income. In 1929 seine boats were nearly 100% Native employed. By 1934 it was estimated that only 8% of seine boat workers were Native. </li></ul><ul><li>As the long-term effects of fish traps and the accompanying policies became clear, several groups submitted proposals for subsistence fishing rights and even reservations. These early requests were all denied by the U.S. Department of the Interior claiming that such Native rights were assumed to be handed over once Natives worked for the canneries for cash. </li></ul>Governing Alaska: Federal influence in the territory . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from Alaska History and Cultural Studies: http://www.akhistorycourse.org/articles/article.php?artID=137 Colt, S. (2002, February 15). Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An economic history perspective. Retrieved April 2007, from Alaskool: http://www.alaskool.org/projects/traditionalife/fishtrap/FISHTRAP.htm
  12. WITH THESE DEVELOPMENTS, IT IS NO SURPRISE THE ALASKA NATIVES, AS REPRESENTED BY THE ALASKA NATIVE BROTHERHOOD, TOOK THE FOLLOWING PLATFORM IN 1921 (NOTE ITEM #4):
  13. <ul><li>Alaska Native Brotherhood members and delegates to the ANB Grand Lodge meeting in Sitka, November 1914. </li></ul>So by the 1920’s the Alaska Native Brotherhood had spoken out against fish traps, the local Alaskan fisherman had spoken out against fish traps and the 100+ canneries in Alaska had generally supported fish traps but was modifying their use due to 1906 regulations disallowing fixed gear in Alaskan rivers. Colt, S. (2002, February 15). Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An economic history perspective. Retrieved April 2007, from Alaskool: http://www.alaskool.org/projects/traditionalife/fishtrap/FISHTRAP.htm
  14. THIS WAS THE CLIMATE LEADING UP TO THE WHITE ACT IN 1924 <ul><li>The White Act was an attempt to begin regulation of the fishery rights for Outsiders that had been granted by the federal government. Aiming at increasing salmon numbers as well, it was the first real introduction of “escapement goal” as a conservation term, aiming for 50% in the act and banning fish traps. Also targeting the revocation of exclusive fishery rights, this act was initially passed in the House, but blocked in the Senate. Despite this early roadblock however, the White Act was played a large part in shaping Alaska Fishery policy in the future. </li></ul>Salmon Fisheries in Alaska . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from Alaska Department of Fish and Game: http://www.cf.adfg.state.ak.us/geninfo/finfish/salmon/salmhome.php Colt, S. (2002, February 15). Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An economic history perspective. Retrieved April 2007, from Alaskool: http://www.alaskool.org/projects/traditionalife/fishtrap/FISHTRAP.htm Governing Alaska: Federal influence in the territory . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from Alaska History and Cultural Studies: http://www.akhistorycourse.org/articles/article.php?artID=137
  15. G ETTING BACK TO THE STATEHOOD MOVEMENT… <ul><li>The various issues surrounding fish traps made it not only a symbol of the clash between local interests that that of Outsiders, but also a key factor in the first steps in statehood. The following quote by territorial governor Ernest Gruening points to the feeling of the times: </li></ul><ul><li>The people of Alaska have repeatedly and unchangingly manifested their overwhelming opposition to fish traps. [...] But fish trap beneficiaries, residents of the mother country, want to retain their Alaska traps. So the traps are retained. And it is the power and authority of the federal government which retains them. In a clear-cut issue between the few, profiting, non-colonial Americans and the many, seriously damaged, colonial Alaskans, the state-side interest wins hands down. </li></ul>Alaska Constitution . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Constitution
  16. Delegate Eldor R. Lee, speaking on fish traps “ Now, in '48 we had a referendum on it. Eight to one they voted to abolish the fish traps. What better argument could we have for getting ratification of our constitution? People want the fish traps out, it has been proven. Now, if this is in our constitution, the people are going to go and vote to get the traps out, and there are going to be many of them that will vote that otherwise would never have voted before, and they will vote to ratify our constitution, and that, of course, will work to serve our purpose here. “ Fish traps became a rallying point to independence and ratification of the constitution. Through the work of many politicians and citizens alike, fish trap use became a part of the Alaska State Constitution. Creating Alaska: Convention Delegates . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from University of Alaska: http://www.alaska.edu/creatingalaska/convention/delegates/lee.xml Alaska Constitution . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Constitution
  17. ARTICLE XV, SECTION 24, ORDINANCE NO. 3 <ul><li>Section 1. Ballot </li></ul><ul><li>Each elector who offers to vote upon the ratification of the constitution may, upon the same ballot, vote on a third proposition, which shall be as follows: </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Shall Ordinance Number Three of the Alaska Constitutional Convention, prohibiting the use of fish traps for the taking of salmon for commercial purposes in the coastal waters of the State, be adopted?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Yes [ ] No [ ] </li></ul><ul><li>Section 2. Effect of Referendum </li></ul><ul><li>If the constitution shall be adopted by the electors and if a majority of all the votes cast for and against this ordinance favor its adoption, then the following shall become operative upon the effective date of the constitution: &quot;As a matter of immediate public necessity, to relieve economic distress among individual fishermen and those dependent upon them for a livelihood, to conserve the rapidly dwindling supply of salmon in Alaska, to insure fair competition among those engaged in commercial fishing, and to make manifest the will of the people of Alaska, the use of fish traps for the taking of salmon for commercial purposes is hereby prohibited in all the coastal waters of the State.&quot; </li></ul>Alaska Constitution . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Constitution Alaska Constitution . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from State of Alaska: http://ltgov.state.ak.us/constitution.php?section=22
  18. WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE THE ISSUE OF FISH TRAPS TODAY?
  19. Local Fishing People Today <ul><li>With the local fishing issue heating back up, the fish trap debate was renewed in the 21 st century. Although there are still outside interests and political strife relating to such, on the whole the large “Insider/Outsider” debate has shifted to take into account more global competition. </li></ul><ul><li>As recently as 2002, fish traps have been revisited as a solution to the various problems with current salmon fishing, such as low prices due to Chilean farmed salmon. </li></ul><ul><li>This drop in value lead to the proposal of forming fishing cooperatives and re-issuing permits for fish traps in places such as Kuskowin and Chignik. </li></ul><ul><li>While the traps are seen by some as an answer to the salmon value and fishing livlihood difficulties, many still claim that traps are not an appropriate ecological answer, despite the newer regulations on escapement percentages. Other folks in the fishing industry propose public buyouts of fishing permits and other measures to prevent the movement back to fish traps. </li></ul>Loy, W. (2002, October 31). Salmon Fisherman Reconsider Taboos To Save Way of Life . Retrieved April 2007, from Juneau Empire: http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/103102/sta_fishermen.shtml
  20. Alaska Natives Today <ul><li>In 1960 after the ban on fish traps, 11 Native fish traps remained in existence, backed up by BIA approval. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1963, all but 2 of those traps were removed due to a denial of those fish trapping rights by the Supreme Court. </li></ul><ul><li>Many Alaska Natives today are employed in the fishing industry and have interests that lie with its productivity and success and opinions that lie along the range of those of non-Native fishers. </li></ul>Colt, S. (2002, February 15). Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An economic history perspective. Retrieved April 2007, from Alaskool: http://www.alaskool.org/projects/traditionalife/fishtrap/FISHTRAP.html
  21. Native Fish Traps Today <ul><li>Outside of large-scale commercial fishery interests, there still exist several groups and areas in which Native Alaskans still employ traditional fish traps for their catches and pass on this element of their heritage to the next generation. </li></ul>Anderson, E. (n.d.). School Begins on the Banks of the Kuskokwim . Retrieved April 2007, from Alaska Department of Fish and Game: http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index.cfm?adfg=wildlife_news.view_article&issue_id=22&articles_id=112 An example of this is the summer fish camp school in Kalskag were students are taught traditional fish trapping and fishing methods and catch all five species of salmon, learning to prepare and preserve them in the traditional ways.
  22. References Alaska Constitution . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Constitution Alaska Constitution . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from State of Alaska: http://ltgov.state.ak.us/constitution.php?section=22 Alaska State Government . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from NetState: http://www.netstate.com/states/government/images/ak_klawak_1927l.jpg Anderson, E. (n.d.). School Begins on the Banks of the Kuskokwim . Retrieved April 2007, from Alaska Department of Fish and Game: http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index.cfm?adfg=wildlife_news.view_article&issue_id=22&articles_id=112 Colt, S. (2002, February 15). Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An economic history perspective. Retrieved April 2007, from Alaskool: http://www.alaskool.org/projects/traditionalife/fishtrap/FISHTRAP.htm Creating Alaska: Convention Delegates . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from University of Alaska: http://www.alaska.edu/creatingalaska/convention/delegates/lee.xml Governing Alaska: Federal influence in the territory . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from Alaska History and Cultural Studies: http://www.akhistorycourse.org/articles/article.php?artID=137 Loy, W. (2002, October 31). Salmon Fisherman Reconsider Taboos To Save Way of Life . Retrieved April 2007, from Juneau Empire: http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/103102/sta_fishermen.shtml Salmon Fisheries in Alaska . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from Alaska Department of Fish and Game: http://www.cf.adfg.state.ak.us/geninfo/finfish/salmon/salmhome.php US Laws: Alaska Constitution: Ordinance No. 3 . (n.d.). Retrieved April 2007, from Justia: http://law.justia.com/alaska/constitution/constitution-19.html

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