Introductory Letter from John Harder
Note: this introductory letter was initially mailed in April, 2019.
To all Highly Migratory Species permit holders, fishers and people interested in “Off Shore” Albacore fishing in international waters: We would like to inform you that a new fishers association has been formed named “Pacific Albacore Trollers Association, Intl.” (PATAI) We are a nonprofit organization with a 501(C)(3) status.
WHO ARE WE ?
John Harder —About Me
Many of you know me as John-boy. I am a fourth generation Albacore Troller and have been doing this for 46 years now. Let me first make it clear that I am not trying to make money via this new association. I am not paid. Thus far, I have willingly footed the bill for the website, professional office services and initial communications. In addition, I have willingly invested over $50,000 of my own income advocating against illegal drift net fishing (oceanfad.org). The board that we are forming at the launch meeting on May 19 in Port Angeles will be making all of the financial decisions for the PATAI.
We are forming for the main purpose of representation for commercial troll fishers in both local and international fisheries commissions and unite “off shore” fishers from all nations who show interest or participate in trolling for albacore tuna. We feel the need for a louder voice concerning albacore stocks and IUU fishing at the international level.
Our goal is to preserve, protect and promote sustainable albacore trolling in the Pacific Ocean.
We are primarily the “off shore” albacore boats and fishermen. We started out as the “Midway” Fishery in the late 70s. We then evolved to the “South Pacific Fishery” in the late 80s. We returned to the north pacific in the early 90s after the United Nations banned drift nets and we prospered.
Unfortunately, the fishery collapsed in the early 2000s upon the return of the IUU driftnet fleet. We would like to regain this fishery and maintain the health of the species for future generations of sustainable albacore fishing across the pacific. We are “trollers” and cannot compete with driftnets or pair trawling for the same species. We can only thrive with a clean and sustainable fishery.
WHY DO WE NEED EACH OTHER ?
1) Apart from our collective success— there is no other organization that exists to advocate for us that is specifically and exclusively for Albacore Tuna Trollers.
2) Our chosen vocation for our family’s livelihood is in serious jeopardy.
3) We have rights that are being blatantly violated and must unite to make our voices heard.
We are recognized as the # 1 sustainable method of tuna fishing in the world and we believe its worth saving. We should have an influential voice, but we must unite to take full advantage of it.
Please keep in mind this is a highly migratory species. Albacore travel along the currents which start off the coast of Japan, and run across the pacific to the west coast. What affects Japan also affects the west coast. If you are even interested in what is outside of the EEZ please join us. We are in dire need of your support!
In the future, we will be taking donations for fuel subsidies and or research vessels for “in season” charters west of the dateline. This has worked well in the past years and should have continued to this day.
We hope to work together with American Albacore Research Foundation and any other research groups involving albacore tuna as a joint effort. Any donations per ton, per say, would be greatly appreciated but not mandatory for membership.
HOW CAN YOU JOIN US ?
Become a member now by visiting our website and applying online or fill out the enclosed application and use the enclosed, postage paid envelope to mail it in. Please do NOT send your credit card number in through the mail. If you want to pay using your credit card or debit card, use our SECURE website instead.
Fishers Annual Memberships:
- Boat/Permit Owner- $200.00
- Captains or Alternates- $100.00
- Crew Members- $25.00
- Individual Annual Memberships :$25.00
- Business Annual Sponsorships: $100
If you would like to learn more about the Association, please come to our first annual meeting in Port Angeles, WA on May 19 from 8 AM to 5 PM at the Red Lion Inn. We will be discussing the future of the association, creating our bylaws, electing our board members and more. We want your voice!
For more information please contact:
John Harder (AKA John - boy), Founder
Office Phone: (866) 425-4465
John’s Direct Mobile: (831) 320-2805