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Harry Shawbach, Fred Grindle, Norman Rockness, John W. Ikenson, and myself.
There are also witnesses to testify as to the closed setnet territory pact of the canners in the Alaska salmon industry in the Egegik area. These witnesses include Paul Nekeferoff, Tom Bryant, Elmer Harrop, Fred Grindle, August Alto, Harry Shawback, Migley Kelly, Marvin L. Williams, Eddie Deigh, Jake Gregory, and myself.
This, to my mind, is a flagrant violation of our country's monopoly laws and I respect fully request this committee to alleviate the situation so that we who are small fish will have an equal opportunity to earn our existence among the bigger fish.
Mr. O'BRIEN. You say you dumped 22,000 fish?
Mr. O'BRIEN. How many days' work by how many men would you roughly estimate that represented?
Mr. OSTROSKY. That was a day and a half of pretty doggone hard work. Mr. O'BRIEN. By how many people?
Mr. OSTROSKY. It was 70 boats. There were about 100 people involved.
Mr. O'Brien. That would be 250 days of work actually?
Mr. Chairman, there was a pretty heary storm and most of us had to pack our fish from the beach from where they were about 300 yards up on the beach, load them on the truck, take them down to the creek, wash each individual fish. It was too rough to deliver them, so we had to run them around the point and load the fish off the truck onto skiffs and then take them out to the scow. It was a tremendous amount of work.
Mr. O'BRIEN. And when you started out on that particular season you had practically all the capital you have in the world invested ?
Mr. OSTROSKY. I went about 100 bucks in the hole.
Mr. UTT. I would simply like to say that a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act is not only a criminal violation but also a civil one and subject to treble damages.
I am surprised that some eager attorney up here has not taken a case against the salmon company and asked for triple damages.
Mr. O'BRIEN. I am not too familiar with that, Mr. Utt. Don't those damages go to the aggrieved parties?
Mr. UTT. That is what I mean, not to the Government. There is a good cause of action.
Mr. O'Brien. We might have a duplication of the loaves and fishes.
Mr. OSTROSKY. It is not that. I mean, what is going to keep it from happening again? They didn't pull it last year because the Trade Commission was a little bit on their tail. What is going to keep it from happening again unless those same people are prosecuted and taught to respect the law? I mean they are going to do it again.
Mr. O'BRIEN. You don't want to punish them, you want to prevent them from repeating it?
Mr. Ostrosky. That is right. Probably an undue punishment would ruin-we don't want to ruin the industry, but we have got to make sure we have got a chance to have an equal right in this fishing.
Is had Tards creek SO WE
Mr. BARTLETT. Mrs. Pfost?
Mr. Urt. I am just wondering, Mr. Chairman, whether if it has
Mr. O'BRIEN. Do you know whether the people responsible for what you alleged to be a boycott have a representative in Juneau?
Mr. OSTROSKY. I don't know.
Mr. OSTROSKY. Three companies involved. The companies were the Intercoastal Packing Co., Bristol Bay Packing Co., and Red Salmon Packing Co.
Mr. BARTLETT. Are they all members of the Alaska Salmon Industry, Inc.?
Mr. OSTROSKY. Yes, they are.
Mr. O'BRIEN. And in each of the cases involving the names you mentioned, you personally approached their representatives and sought to sell your fish?
Mr. OSTROSKY. Yes, I did.
Mr. O'BRIEN. And in each instance vou became convinced that there was a boycott not only against you but against all the independent fishermen up here?
Mr. OSTROSKY. It was just a runaround. You would go to the individual superintendents. They would tell you to go see Mr. Brindle. You would go to see Mr. Brindle and he would send you back to the superintendents. There it was, back and forth. You just go tired of running, that's about all.
Mr. BARTLETT. For the information of the committee, there is a resident representative of the Alaska Salmon Industry, Inc. at Juneau whom we might very well call before the committee on this. (See letter dated November 10, 1955, written by Donald L. McKinnon, Administrator of Alaska Commercial Fisheries.)
Did you inform the United States attorney in Anchorage about this?
Mr. OSTROSKY. I think action was brought, information was sent to the Federal Trade Commission through the Bristol Bay Fishermens Association.
Mr. EMBERG. I have a copy here of the complaint that was filed with the Federal Trade Commission after this happened. At the same time this complaint was entered with the Federal Trade Commission, we informed the people around Bristol Bay who had been affected by the violation to write to the field examiner, care of United States courthouse in Seattle, giving the particulars. The paper states that. Many of them went.
Mr. BARTLETT. Without objection, the complaint will be made a part of the file.
(The document referred to will be found in the files of the committee.)
Mr. BARTLETT. When did you hear from them, Mr. Emberg?
Mr. KALLENBERG. I spent about 2 hours with Mr. Harris, the FTC representative in Seattle, and he assured me it would not be repeated
and said that if there was anything that looked like it might happen to get in touch with his oflice immediately. He said they prefer not to reopen the case.
Mr. BARTLETT. Would we be entitled to infer, if he said it wouldn't be repeated, he knew all about it?
Mr. KALLENBERG. He was well informed.
Mr. KALLENBERG. That is the part that bothered us. We asked to have a ruling that would prevent the reoccurrence, and we did not seek any damages.
Vr. O'BRIEN. You don't need a ruling, you have a law, a rather stiff law.
Mr. KALLENBERG. It doesn't operate then as far as we are concerned. It is the same as the several right of fishery.
If I might say so, this bill to transfer fisheries has me worried in one particular: It carries that phrasing, that the Territory shall not have the several right of fishery. There is no question about the intent of it, but the phrasing of it I question because it has not operated the way we would expect it to operate.
Mr. BARTLETT. Wouldn't you be much more content with the protection that phrase is intended to convey if the general administration were under the Territorial legislature instead of Fish and Wildlife Service?
Mr. KALLENBERG. I would.
Are there any further witnesses from Egegik? The last group is from Naknek.
Gunnar Berggren. Identify yourself for the record, please.
STATEMENT OF GUNNAR BERGGREN, REPRESENTING THE INDE
PENDENT FISHERMEN IN THE NAKNEK-EGEGIK AREA
Mr. BERGGREN. My name is Gunnar Berggren. I represent the independent fishermen in the Naknek-Egegik area.
There is much said about fishing already, so I won't take up too much time on it.
I will say this: Some drastic measure is going to have to be taken right now. I favor Territorial control over the Bureau of Fisheries. Just like Mr. O'Brien said a while ago, it is close to you where you can pound the table when talking to them.
In Juneau in 1953 Governor Gruening addressed a joint assembly. The charts showed Washington State and British Columbia were holding their own; in fact, were building the fishing. Alaska was steadily downhill.
Why? The Federal Bureau of Fishing. There is no doubt about it.
The last two summers there is no doubt in anyone's mind around on the salmon industry. They are gettting that low.
The Kvichak River I believe is one of the biggest spawning areas for red salmon in the whole world. The last few years no fishing has been going on there. Something drastic is going to have to be done. Somebody is going to have to be hurt in order to change the situation.
Along with Jim Downey I agree that we who build our homes and live up here should have a limited amount each year, and we could make a living while still building up the fish run. Otherwise, if we don't do it now, one of these years the entire salmon fishing is going to close down for all of us. Then what are we going to do? So something drastic has got to be done right now. It is time to do it.
Look at this river. The Nushagak River has been on 2 days per week fishing for several years. I don't know the reason for it, but at any rate it filled
this summer. Next summer you are going to see the boats back on it again, the Nushagak. So no river has got a chance to build up unless you have different fishing laws. We have to have Territorial control.
There is another problem here I would like to bring up. A lot has been said on fishing already. We have got the Katmai National Monument up here, almost as big as a national park. They extended the park boundaries. Right now when the economy of the bay is so low as it is on account of the full escapement, it would help quite a few families if we could go in and trap beaver. They will dam up small creeks and streams where the salmon goes up to spawn, and we would have the salmon, get the beaver, and have the economy in wintertime. It would help a lot of us.
a Mr. Bartlett knows quite a bit about these parts because we have been sending him petitions, letters, and it looked to me like last winter some action would be taken on it. But the park officials are fighting it tooth and nail. Mr. Bartlett sent me a Congressional Record of the hearing where the park officials mentioned the money Uncle Sam is taking in on the park system. I think it was about forty million. I wonder if they took in $10 on this one. The only way you can benefit
. from this park is flying over it. There are no roads. It is a park for rich people only because you have got to have money to get there by airplane.
We could make quite a little money in there in the wintertime, and so far as the park, that wouldn't hurt the country. It wouldn't hurt the salmon.
Then the Dillingham people got a project coming up most likely pretty soon and have money appropriated for a small-boat harbor. We need it very badly here. Blasting for rocks in the river. There is a lot of traflic, Army barges and private barges going up and down the river, and we got a lot of rocks in the channel that should be blasted out.
You fellows are short of time and I wish you could spend more time with us. But that fishing, I tell you, is important right now. Some
. thing drastic has got to be done and somebody is going to be hurt. It can't be helped.
Mrs. Prost. I would like to ask, approximately how much did you earn from your year's fishing as an independent fisherman this year?
Mr. BERGGREN. I made $1,800. That was my wife and I fishing together, two nets.
Mrs. Prost. $900 a piece?
Mrs. Prost. Approximately what income can you glean per year from trapping?
Mr. BERGGREN. One year I made $1,800.
Mrs. Prost. Were you able to make that much money in the years 1954 and 1955?
Mr. BERGGREN, No, I wouldn't say that. I would say $1,200 or $1,100.
Mrs. Prost. You say you largely trap beaver?
Mr. O'BRIEN. Do you operate on an 8-hour day in your fishing and trapping activities?
Mr. BERGGREN. You mean 24 hours a day; don't you?
Mr. BERGGREN. We only got small amount of fishing in the middle of the summer. That is when the canneries operate for canning fish, My wife and I also sold king salmon, which starts early, sold in the spring. And we sold silvers in the fall. That is, we salt them and send them to the market.
the market. There isn't enough fish to go around, so only a few of us can fish.
Nrs. Prost. Your income of $1,800 was made mostly during that 1 month?
Mr. BERGGREN. That 1 month. That sounds like 'an awful lot, but when you are going to depend on it for the whole year, that is your main income. When the bottom drops out of the 1 month, it drops out for the whole community, not just the fishermen.
Mrs. Prost. Do you have a family beside your wife and yourself?
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Berggren, we have heard it said that one reason for the depletion of the salmon in the Alaska waters is because they have migrated southward to warmer waters. I wonder if there is anything to that story or is it just an excuse that someone is giving?
Vr. BERGGREX. I don't believe that at all. It has been proven that a salmon has a wonderful instinct, goes back to the particular stream where he was hatched. And there is no doubt in my mind this area in particular has been overished.
What the Japs are doing out there is a mystery. If that is our salmon, we hope something will be done about it, because, after all, they took more salmon this summer than they took in several years now. And this used to be the biggest red salmon fishing in the world. Now the Japs got 70 million this year.
Mr. TAYLOR. We understand they may have been taking immature fish also, and I wonder if there is anything to that story.
Mr. BERGGREN. I am glad that committee is here. I wish they could spend more time with us. We have been before the Fish and Wildlife Committee for years, and at least I got tired of going before them because we are sending recommendations and asking questions, and I asked them that particular question: Are they taking immature salmon?
They referred it to one man in the group and he didn't think so. Why are they using 4-inch mesh gear. It should be at least 5, 41/2
5 Mr. TAYLOR. How do you know they are using 4-inch mesh gear? Mr. BERGGREN. We have our own observer. I got a pamphlet