Editorial: 'Bridge' plan wrongly lets NOAA off hook

On one level, the idea of seeking a “bridge” plan” as Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk calls it, as a transition toward a new future for the city’s waterfront is a good idea, just as it would be for any other fishing community.

Even if the current federally-created quota crisis is resolved, no one expects the commercial fishing industry to return to what it had once been. And it is indeed important for city and business leaders to explore alternative opportunities for marine industrial use.

But the idea of “redeploying” shut down fishing vessels for research, and a hope of “working with” NOAA leaders on that and other projects comes across as so naive that it’s virtually insulting to both fishermen and state and federal lawmakers who have pursued cooperative research with NOAA for years and basically told to take a hike.

And that naivete is topped by city waterfront development director Sarah Garcia’s embarrassing comment that “before, it was characterized as handouts to fishermen; this is different, this is investing in a new marine environment.”

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