Written by Adrianne Madden
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Today's New England Fishery Management Council meeting is an excellent reminder that management changes to protect our nation's fish stocks come with a human cost.
That's something that doesn't always come across in media coverage of the move to sector management in the New England groundfish fishery. Numerous fishermen will be damaged by that change.
This morning, the council began working to finalize Amendment 16 and bring sector management to the groundfish fishery. And as the council and fishermen wrestled with how best to allocate fish to each sector, it was never clearer that there is no way to do so without some fishermen getting substantially hurt in the process.
They aren't just taking a pay cut. Fishermen who have spent their whole lives catching fish — and made substantial financial investments to keep doing so — will be finished.
Fishermen's opinions (and those of council members) differed on the critical issue of what baseline should be used to allocate fish to sectors. But everybody was finding that trying to come up with a way to do so that would be fair to everyone was an impossible task.
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