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Plesha declaration in rockfish case

Plesha declaration in rockfish case

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Published by: Deckboss on Oct 16, 2012
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07/20/2013

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Declaration of Joseph Plesha in Support of Plaintiffs’ Reply toDefendants’ Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion For SummaryJudgment (Case No. 2:12-cv-00134-MJP - Page 1)
Smith & Hennessey
PLLCAttorneys at Law316 Occidental Avenue South, Suite 500Seattle, Washington 98104(206) 292-1770
1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526Honorable Marsha J. PechmanUNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTWESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTONAT SEATTLETRIDENT SEAFOODS CORPORATION,
et al.,
Plaintiffs,vs.REBECCA M. BLANK,
 IN HER OFFICIALCAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, et al.,
 Defendants.Case No. 2:12-cv-00134-MJPDECLARATION OF JOSEPH PLESHAIN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS’ REPLYTO DEFENDANTS’ OPPOSITION TOPLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FORSUMMARY JUDGMENT
Note on Motion Calendar: 10/5/12
 I, Joseph Plesha, hereby declare as follows.1.
 
I am the Chief Legal Officer of Trident Seafoods Corporation (“Trident”).2.
 
I have personal knowledge of the facts set forth in this declaration and amcompetent to make this declaration.3.
 
I am submitting this declaration on behalf of Trident and each of the otherPlaintiffs with their full knowledge and authorization.4.
 
Trident and each of the other Plaintiffs have participated in the Rockfish PilotProgram (“RPP”) since its inception in 2006.
 
 
Declaration of Joseph Plesha in Support of Plaintiffs’ Reply toDefendants’ Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion For SummaryJudgment (Case No. 2:12-cv-00134-MJP - Page 2)
Smith & Hennessey
PLLCAttorneys at Law316 Occidental Avenue South, Suite 500Seattle, Washington 98104(206) 292-1770
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425265.
 
The catcher vessel component of the RPP consisted of approximately forty-sixlimited license permits for vessels and the processing component included five shore-basedprocessors.6.
 
The RPP created harvester-processor cooperatives that were based on a fixedlinkage contractual relationship between the vessel owners and a shore-based processor. Aharvester would be eligible to join a cooperative and thereby receive individual fishing quotaonly by entering into a contract with the shore-based processor to which the harvester haddelivered the most pounds of rockfish during the years 1996-2000.7.
 
By requiring the preservation of both harvesting and processing histories, the RPPwas designed so that the rents generated from the fishery continued to be shared between vesselowners and processors.8.
 
Pursuant to the RPP, each of the Plaintiffs (Trident; Westward Seafoods, Inc.;North Pacific Seafoods; and Ocean Beauty Seafoods LLC) entered into a cooperative agreementwith the fishing vessels that historically delivered rockfish to its shoreside processing plants.Each Plaintiff’s survival depends on the continuing health and sustainability of fishery resources,including those governed by the RPP and Amendment 88.9.
 
During the RPP, Trident processed approximately 22.5% of the Pacific OceanPerch, 23.2% of the Northern Rockfish, and 26.7% of the Pelagic Shelf Rockfish allocated to thecatcher vessel sector. During the RPP, Westward Seafoods, Inc. processed approximately 29.7%of the Pacific Ocean Perch, 27.2% of the Northern Rockfish, and 23.9% of the Pelagic Shelf Rockfish allocated to the catcher vessel sector. During the RPP, North Pacific Seafoods
 
 
Declaration of Joseph Plesha in Support of Plaintiffs’ Reply toDefendants’ Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion For SummaryJudgment (Case No. 2:12-cv-00134-MJP - Page 3)
Smith & Hennessey
PLLCAttorneys at Law316 Occidental Avenue South, Suite 500Seattle, Washington 98104(206) 292-1770
1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526processed approximately 10.7% of the Pacific Ocean Perch, 12.6% of the Northern Rockfish,and 13.5% of the Pelagic Shelf Rockfish allocated to the catcher vessel sector. During the RPP,Ocean Beauty Seafoods LLC processed approximately 18.9% of the Pacific Ocean Perch, 25%of the Northern Rockfish, and 23.1% of the Pelagic Shelf Rockfish allocated to the catcher vesselsector.10.
 
A result of the RPP, Trident and each of the other Plaintiffs had a stable andpredictable amount of rockfish that would be delivered to the processing plants. Plaintiffscoordinated deliveries with the fleet of harvesting vessels to the maximum benefit of both thevessels and plant, collectively. Plaintiffs were able to process rockfish while other fisheries,such as salmon, were closed and thus better utilize the local workforce in Kodiak.11.
 
The RPP expired at the end of 2011. The Secretary of Commerce, acting throughthe National Marine Fisheries Service, approved a successor program to the RPP in the form of Amendment 88 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska(“Amendment 88”).12.
 
Amendment 88 terminated the RPP fixed linkage between catcher vessels andshore-based processors.13.
 
Amendment 88 allocated individual harvesting quota to vessel owners, butallowed these vessels to then deliver their harvest to any processor in Kodiak, Alaska.14.
 
Because any one of the processors in Kodiak has the physical capacity to processmore than all of the available rockfish harvest in a fishery managed under an individualharvesting quota system, Amendment 88 created a large surplus of processing capacity relative

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