Sam cotton, Commissioner
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
P.O. Box 115526
1255 W. 8th Street Juneau, AK 99811-5526
In future centuries historians may declare us insane!
About ten percent of the Amazon Basin contains soils called black earth or Terra Preta soils that are known to be self-regenerating. They typically found in plots of 20 hectors, but sometimes will cover areas as large as 350 hectors. At every level they contain pottery shards and broken pieces of ceramic. For this reason they are thought to be manmade approximately 11,000 years ago. The total area containing Terra Preta is estimated to cover an area the size of France.
Unlike other soils that have to remain fallow for long periods to regenerate Terra Preta soils grow cops larger and faster in a shorter period of time without need of fertilizer and the land can be better utilized. Tera Preta’s fame has grown to where it is mined and sold as potting soil. If you are a farmer living off the land this kind of soil can make the difference between prosperity and famine.
No one knows how or what is in these soils that allow them to regenerate except that a single gram contains charred carbon residue and as much as 10,000 individual species. According to William Woods, soils scientist and geology professor at the University of Illinois, Terra Preta contains billions of organisms.
My point is, we are seeing the devolution of a species. America has devolved to the point where we will be unable to feed ourselves in a decade. Water shortages in California and other states along with tornadoes and severe storms have made many farming areas impossible to farm. Most all the soils are depleted and completely devoid of minerals. We are all sick from lack of minerals in our diet and other causes such as insecticide, GM foods which are insecticides, plastics and chemical fertilizers. Our government has created an entire industry around treating the sick.
Alaska has its own unique problems in that it is difficult if not impossible to grow enough food here to feed its population. Two missed shipments of food into Anchorage and you will see long lines of people fighting over empty supermarket shelves.
The 22-million pounds Cook Inlet and Kodiak king crab fishery is gone. The millions of pounds of king crab, tanner crab, shrimp and halibut have been exterminated by oil tanker ballast water, eight oil well blowouts and other pollution such as the 20-million gallon a day sewage discharges from the Cities of Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla and Talketna. (See enclosed article.)
Now we have hundreds of outboard motors (some boats running two 250-hp motors) running up and down the Kenai River during the peak of the salmon runs. All of these motors discharge carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into the river water. Water readily absorbs these poison gases and they displace the oxygen in the water making it impossible for the fish to breathe. The high horsepower motors stir up the sediments on the river bottom further displacing the oxygen in the water and coating the gills of the fish with decaying mud making it even more difficult for them to take in oxygen. The high horsepower motors erode the banks further putting more mud into the water coating the gills of the fish with mud.
Salmon now have to travel at least six miles upstream at one mile per hour breathing polluted water. We don’t know what that effect will have on future generations as the salmon may be weakened from lack of oxygen to where they will be unable to make it all the way upstream to spawn and the eggs may be polluted with carbon monoxide and other chemicals.
I am not against the dip-net fishery. People need fish and can dip-net fish from the banks of the river or using row dories equipped with electric trolling motors like the sport drift fishermen in the Kasilof River and other rivers will not harm the fish as much. Then there is the safety factor. High power boats create huge waves making it uncomfortable for everyone on the water. I witnessed two skiffs overturn in the Kenai River last summer. One woman wearing a life vest floated down the river a quarter of a mile before someone could lift her out of the cold water. It’s amazing that no one has lost their life due to wake turbulence in the river.
The invention of the Lithium battery makes electric outboards more practical. I am seriously considering buying one for my set net operation on the west side of Cook Inlet. Using electric motors does not stir up as much sediment and there is zero discharge of toxic gas into the water. It is much benign. FYI there are electric motors on the market in Australia and Mercury, Suzuki, Yahama, and Evenrude are all developing electric outboard motors.
Please pass this on to the Board of Fish. I hope that they will eliminate all gasoline powered outboards discharging exhaust gasses in the rivers except for the four cannery skiffs and one emergency boat.
I am seriously considering going to electric outboard motors for my set-net operation on the west side of Cook Inlet if this administration will let me continue to fish.