Smoot Hawley

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

As the Sitka North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting nears (June 1-9), we couldn't help but notice the similarities between the current 'protectionist' movement to devastate the fishing export economy of Alaska (Amendment 80 fleet) for the well-meaning save the local small boat economy (Halibut) fishery, AND the Smoot Hawley Tariff of 1930.


Here's theback-story, in case you have forgotten. In 1930, well meaning Senator Reed Smoot (Utah) and Congressman Willis Hawley (Oregon) fought to protect the local (for today's exercise, Halibut) industry from the 'boogeyman' (Amendment 80); what resulted was a temporary increase in revenue for the locals, followed by a collapse of all industry (the Great Depression).

Read more about this in the Economist's "A cautionary tale of how a protectionist measure was passed." 


Ms. Park, Mike Szymanski, Inge Bertil Straume, and Commisioner Cotten discuss AMERICA'S FINEST at the Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle (We had just signed the Contract with Dakota Creek, Anacortes, WA and Key Vendors) 

Not to be overly dramatic here, but the economic figures are staggering and there seems to be a mentality in today's Council setting to pit one State against the other and 'to hell' with the resulting casualties.  Will Alaska Governor Walker and ADFG Commisioner Sam Cotten be the Smoot Hawley of the Amendment 80 Depression?

All over halibut that:

  • Stock is not in jeaporday; the IPHC actually increased the quota in area 4CDE
  • Has been questionably managed by the IPHC
  • Has an arbitrary size limit for directed fishery that wastes more than it harvests
  • Has a harvest impact of 1:160 (Halibut:A80)
  • Will punish a sector that 'has done everything right in terms of bycatch reduction, habitat impact, & cooperative fishing'

Read more about our efforts to educate our friends and foes alike of the halibut issue Agenda C-2 223 NPFMC Meeting

Do not allow Walker Cotten to be the Smoot Hawley of the Alaska Fishing/State Industry.  

Fishermen's Finest ~ a team of excellence ~ our name says it all.