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"SEWARD, Alaska (AP) — Austin Sollars got his first paid commercial fishing job at 11, baiting hooks on a 74-foot halibut schooner that fished off the Aleutian Islands. When young people don't fish, and precious fishing permits leave, it's a blow to both village economics and identity, said Rachel Donkersloot, a cultural anthropologist. Donkersloot and her co-author, Courtney Carothers of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, found that a lack of fishing experience to be an obstacle even in historic fishing communities. Sollars grew up on a homestead near Petersburg, a fishing community 120 miles southeast of Juneau, and has decades of experience from fishing with his father and other skippers. Taxes for fishing programs keep rising, he said, and federal marine mammal protections allow fishermen's natural competitors to thrive. Sperm whales attacking his longlines, a string of baited hooks up to 3 miles long on the ocean floor catching cod, have cost him", www.sfchronicle.com
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