St. Paul

  1. St. Paul

  2. Unlike St. George, the community of St. Paul has successfully transitioned to a fisheries based economy.

  3. This economy is based on tax revenue from the local processing plant and supplemented with employment opportunities provided by the local halibut day fishery.

  4. Furthermore, as the only community represented by their local CDQ group, CBSFA, the community has a great deal of control over their fish resources.

  5. In essence, they have achieved hegemonic equilibrium with respect to these resources and no longer must struggle with outside groups to develop their resources in the way they see fit.

  6. This has allowed the community to build a small boat harbor and purchase boats to participate in a local halibut day fishery. Other income from CDQ has been invested into the community in a variety of projects including a new fuel truck, supporting the local school, and providing seafood to elders.

    While the community has proven very successful, their long-term sustainability remains uncertain. Local halibut quota has been substantially reduced several years in a row and changes in climate may affect the long-term sustainability of both halibut and crab stocks that the community relies upon. In addition, there is a great deal of conflict among the local political entities in St. Paul. Disagreements about land ownership between the local Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) corporation and the city government led to a 10-year lawsuit, which in turn made the implementation of development projects difficult.

    These conflicts in many ways trace their roots back to the corporate structure of the ANCSA program. The ANCSA corporations have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders. As a result they must choose investments with the highest return possible. This often makes rural development projects less attractive. Furthermore, in the case of St. Paul, many ANCSA shareholders have moved off-island. These urban shareholders therefore have different development goals and ideas than island residents. This creates more conflict, as the corporation owns much of the local land.

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