However, I am wary of the lack of restrictions on permit-buying. If non-fishermen buy catch shares simply to put the quota out of commission, then I think we need to change the phrase “catch share.” Perhaps “catch stops” or “community killers.”
If catch shares are really the panacea to overfishing, as the Environmental Defense Fund would have us believe, then why do we need to keep any part of the catch out of fishermen’s hands?
NMFS is turning to catch shares regardless of how they affect fishing communities, so the least the agency can do is ensure that the limited quotas are available for actual fishermen to fish them, not for NGOs to put them out of commission, completely bypassing the management process.
If we want to put an end to fishing in this country, we’re on the right track.
If not, then 2011 needs to be the year of fighting back.