Over the first two years of catch share fishing, through 2011, debt to the Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund for the lease of the allocation of fish from the permits acquired by the fund to help keep Gloucester boats active climbed almost 700 percent to nearly $800,000, according to the fund's 2011 filings with the Internal Revenue Service and the state attorney general.
Gloucester fishermen interviewed for this story said the spike in debt for the lease of quota reflects the increasing desperation of fishermen to remain at work even without the resources to pay or provide collateral for the additional fishing rights that the preservation fund provides.
A number of fishermen said they had leased quota in small amounts — no more than $3,000 — without providing collateral, and were appreciative of the courtesy.
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