National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

It appears New England groundfishermen aren't alone in their distaste for catch share management. West Coast groundfishermen say they're suing the Department of Commerce over a catch share program that's slated to begin Jan. 1, 2011.

The San Francisco-based Crab Boat Owner's Association, the Port Orford (Ore.) Ocean Resource Team, and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations are suing the Department of Commerce to halt the catch shares plan. They say it will consolidate much of the fishing fleet, privatize public fish resources, deny many fishing ports access to fish in adjacent waters and cause massive job losses.

"If we didn't act to stop this travesty," says Larry Collins, a San Francisco fisherman and President of the Crab Boat Owners Association, "ownership of the resource will consolidate into the hands of a few operators in a few ports along the coast, leaving many coastal fishing communities, including our own Fisherman's Wharf, with no access to our own local fish."

The catch share system, the plaintiffs say, will eliminate thousands of coastal jobs, but won't help strengthen groundfish stocks.

"This plan imposes a radical shift in the way our fisheries have been conducted. Since ownership of these quotas — which are being given to a select group of trawl operators — is not limited to those actually fishing, our next generation of fishing men and women will likely be seafaring sharecroppers forced to fish quotas held by processors, bankers and speculators," says Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations. "This is social engineering, not conservation."

Inside the Industry

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

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