And the winner is…
Archive for October, 2011
Rumors had been floating around town all week, but I had hoped that they were just that. Another rumor floating around is that NOAA is attributing this to five years of poor recruitment. Now, I’m no scientist. I don’t get any grant money from the gov’t to study fish stocks with fancy robots or free fishing boats. But I’m fairly certain, fairly, that there are several detailed reports for each and every fishing trip made in the last ten years. I don’t know where they are, I only hope that Dale Jones did not include them in his little shred session.
Let us revisit some sentiments from the pro-sector crowd over the past year:
We have put an end to overfishing.
fishing businesses will become more profitable
there will be fewer but higher paying jobs
overall revenues are up
fish prices are up
stocks are rebuilding faster than we thought, allowing us to raise allocations on key species
Now that the Gulf of Maine stocks have suffered a twenty year set-back in just over a year, how long will it be before the offshore fleet scurries back out to Georges to do business as usual?
Fishermen catch fish. That’s our job. NOAA and NMFS dictate how many fish in order to protect the resource. That’s their job, and has been since 1979 (or something like that). Let’s see how many ‘fishermen’ are raked over the coals for this one.
In closing, let’s quote Peter Shelley from the Conservation Law Foundation:
“the fisheries management council system is about the most democratic decision-making process for the allocation of the public’s natural resources in the nation and the region’s governors control the appointments for virtually all of the voting members on the council. Make it work.”
Make it work.
The Boston Globe’s article this past weekend, On the Menu, But Not On Your Plate, sheds light on the rampant mislabeling of fish in local restaurants and fish markets. It’s a good read, for a biased rag of a newspaper (Bear in mind that I hate everything). I was especially impressed by the owner of a Jamaica plain establishment called El Oriental de Cuba, Nobel Garcia. When asked about serving Ocean Perch under the guise of being red Snapper his response was:
“They are completely different fish, I’m not going to lie to you. The flavor is pretty good, and I’ve never received any complaints.”
See how easy that was? Just come clean. Hell, I lie all the time (not for profit, for sport). But when you’re busted, you’re busted. And calling one thing another to increase your profits is just that: a lie. Garcia cleaned up his act, and his menu by changing the dish to its proper name.
As more and more attention is paid to mislabeled seafood, it will be interesting to see where the finger-pointing stops. Restaurants will blame their wholesaler; wholesalers will blame the fish houses; fish houses will blame…In the mean time, I’m going to be selling fresh caught Alaskan King Crab right off of the boat in Gloucester this week. I’m running a special: purchase two king Crabs at $20 a pound, and I’ll throw in five pounds of fresh caught Bahamian conch for free. Got a special anniversary coming up? Give her crabs.
I think. Its somewhere down there. Anyway, if I see Snooki I’m gonna donkey punch that little heart breaker. See you Monday.
I’m noticing a recurring theme amongst the folks that back the sector management regime: surround yourselves with the winners and there is not reason to doubt the system. If you want fisherman feedback supporting sector management, find the members of the New England Fishery Management council that are either large fleet owners or recipients of the ENGO (environmental non-government organization that has most likely bought themselves some government) money that pushed sectors into effect. Coincidental that these folks most likely voted against moving forward with amendment 18, which focuses on fleet diversity and protecting the owner/operator. And when people begin to speak bad of your precious sectors, just get up and leave. Easy.
Sloppy westerly’s days on end; early morning debates on which days of the week will suck the least; spilled coffee and stepped on sandwiches. Time to just close your eyes and picture simpler times…
And while I’m on the topic of random and completely unrelated subject matter, why is it that I am suddenly finding myself addicted to the new wave of soap opera’s for men? Game of Thrones? Really? Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead, Dexter, Rescue Me…I love them all. Why is it no one will help me?