Is Mary Peltola really the pro-fish candidate? What does pro-fish mean, when the ultimate intent is to not put salmon in a wildlife refuge, but conserve a resource so you can kill the fish, slice them up, and eat them?
According to some in the fishing crowd in Kodiak last week, Peltola misses the mark when it comes to fishing, as an economy and as a way of life for many Alaskans. Not al were impressed with her at the Kodiak candidate forum focused on fishing.
Before she left Washington, D.C. at the end of September, Peltola, the Democrat congresswoman finishing Congressman Don Young’s term, voted in the House Natural Resources Committee to authorize a rewrite of the Magnuson Stevens Act with an important added provision: Bycatch would be banned, so severely curtailed that critics claim a judge could rule that commercial fishing itself could be shut down, depending on what environmentalist litigants want.
Judges such as Alaska Federal District Judge Sharon Gleason do that all the time, these days: They shut down resource harvesting in obedience to the environmental litigation industry.
The rewrite of the act is called the Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act, and it has not yet passed Congress. If it does pass, it’s a gift wrapped in a bow to groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, EarthJustice, and other litigious eco-extremists that have long fought to shut down commercial fishing in Alaska. Groups like PETA, which don’t want any fishing at all, would love this legislation.
At the Fish Debate in Kodiak last week, Congresswoman Peltola talked about the importance of her work to preserve fish and the fight against climate change. It’s on all of her campaign literature and it was the focus of her short few days in Washington, D.C. as Alaska’s temporary congresswoman.
During that time, she advanced legislation that adds two tribal members to an 11-member North Pacific Fisheries Management Council. Not Filipinos, nor African-American Alaskans. Just tribal members, in a return to race-based quotas. Not even tribal members from Washington state — just Alaska tribes.
She voted in favor of the draconian bycatch law that will not only ensnare the trawlers in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, but could be used against family-owned fishing businesses.
Sarah Palin, also a candidate for Congress, praised Peltola for her work in Congress, which Palin did not seem to realize has such a dire legal consequence for Alaska’s largest independent private business sector. Palin said that without having the bill before her, she couldn’t really speak to the specifics.
Candidate Nick Begich said that, with all due respect, he’s for fishermen and women, and he said that means protecting fisheries is ultimately about protecting Alaskans and their way of life.
“The fact that this [Magnuson rewrite] is being led by a California congressman, and this is his version of a vision for coastal Alaska does not sit well with me,” said Begich.
The rewrite of Magnuson-Stevens Act was authored by Democrat U.S. Reps. Jared Huffman and Ed Case, both adherents to the climate change religious order. Huffman has long been an advocate for locking up Alaska’s coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and ending oil and gas as an economic sector in Alaska. Now he’s attacking Alaska’s fishing economy, and Peltola appears ready to help him.