This is a portion of the testimony of Gloucester’s Angela Sanfilippo before members of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oceans Atmosphere and Coast Guard on Monday at the State House in Boston.
This testimony is about the need of the reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Act to contain new provisions that will protect the fishermen, their families, and the fishing community as much as the Act protects the fish.
I was born into a fishing family and spent my young years on the shore of a small fishing village in Sicily. I came to the United States at the age of 13, attended Gloucester High School and graduated in 1969 with honors.
In the same year, a group of women of the Gloucester fishing community formed the GFWA with the purpose of establishing the MSA. In 1970, I married my husband John, a Gloucester fisherman, so I too became the wife of fisherman. In 1974, we bought our own first fishing boat.
As the president of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association since 1977 and the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership since 2008, I accepted the invitation to testify here today on behalf of the people that I represent.
I believe that the MSA needs to be reauthorized because it lacks some very fundamental provisions to sustain this important way of life for present and future generations. Specifically the new reauthorized MSA must contain flexibility stability, responsibility and accountability.
The lack of these identified provisions has been the cause for 36 years of turmoil in the New England Fishing Industry and this turmoil continues today.