To the editor:
Remember when we were all out there fishing and complaining about how bad the rules under days at sea management were?
Remember when there was unified industry rejection of catch shares?
Oh that’s right — the latter never happened, and the former was a hell of a lot better than where the industry is now.
Seems as though it’s a surprise that there’s no help from the pols, on top of the desperate state of the sectors now.
The pols aren’t helping because they knew the truth, like NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service and every member of the New England Fisheries Management Council who worked to implement sectors and participated in development of Amendment 16.
Sectors are functioning in the groundfishery exactly as every other fishery catch shares program or any other of the thousand or so experiments before this one.
Anyone who thought sectors would lead to anything less than what we have right now was woefully ignorant, or terribly dishonest.
There is no grey area there. All the facts and information leading up to the development of sectors suggested exactly what is happening now would happen. The catch reductions are part of the tool to force the consolidation further.
Now it seems like those who just a short time ago tossed their goombas under the bus and said “it will be tough for the small guys, but we’re gonna be fine,” are waking up to the real world of sectors — and they are not part of them.
That’s why the simple answer has been no help — because nothing other than what was predicted and projected to happen is happening. This is what sectors do to a fishery.
No surprises here. Personally, I long for the good old days of sloppy Days-at-Sea regulation, which at least left everybody fishing, and fish stocks rebuilding ahead of schedule instead of collapsing around us.
But hey — what do I know, as just a deadwood single-permit gillnetter forced out the first year of implementing sectors.
Angelica Fisheries Inc.