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.