Dave in Kodiak, AK

 

As I travel around and perform my poetry I have several points I try to get across, We are just people, doing a hard dangerous job. We are harvesting a public resource, for the general public. We need the public's help fending off the powers that would shut us down. Most any fisherman (commercial or sport) knows that the resources look stronger then they ever have, but we are being micro-managed to death, and foreign imports are being allowed to overrun markets we have worked years to build.


Commercial fishing is not a job or even an occupation to most of us, it is an identity, it is what, and who we are. Most of us are lifers who never "retire", we stop when forced to by time and health issues. Watch an old men's eyes light up and the years seem to slide off his back when he starts telling of his life as a commercial fisherman. Watch their attention start wavering from the conversation at hand when a fishing boat is maneuvering around out on the water.

Although you'll probably never hear anyone but a poet say it, this is a love affair that seems to completely permeate our being. All seem to recognize that the true value is not in dollars and cents. True there may be something of the gambler in all of us, but this house is not stacked against us. Faith in ourselves and our industry, with the heart to, "stick and stay", coupled with hard work, always pays off in the end.



Commercial fishing is a nature intense existence. Whither working hundreds of miles off shore fishing Albacore with only the albatrosses and sharks for company, working crab gear in the Bering sea and trying to keep your gear ahead of the ice pack, or setting with the bow of a seiner against the beach, with net stretched out intercepting a salmon run, and watching young foxes playing in the grass a few feet away, it is about working with, and savoring nature to it's fullest extent. Living right there in nature's shirt pocket.

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