National Fisherman


The Rudderpost 

jesJes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.

 

JHathaway2 Fishing buyouts have been a management strategy ever since the government realized the folly of its ways in encouraging any and all citizens to join the fishing fleets by subsidizing boatbuilding just when technology was tilting the playing field in favor of men in boats.

Now in the ailing Northeast, in the middle of the first season of groundfish catch shares, the U.S. Senate is proposing an aid package for fishermen and ports, including buyouts.

I have no problem with buyouts in general. What I don't want to see is failed management strategies crippling fishermen who then can't pay the bills and succumb to a buyout.

All too often when management fails, the managers go on and the fishermen go under.

The Northeast groundfish fleet is a fraction of what it once was. And you know what? That's just fine. The folks who are in it really want to be there, or they are fishermen because that's what the people in their family have done since they were citizens of a colony rather than a commonwealth.

The fact that the federal government's first attempt at revamping the management system for this fleet is causing so many of them to struggle and some to fail makes me think we ought to rethink the management, not the number of boats.

Let them out if they want out. But if they want to stay in the game, give them a chance to make a living at it.

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...
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