To the editor:
This is an open letter to NOAA, northeast administrator John Bullard, and NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service:
I am still in shock from Wednesday’s meeting.
I don’t know what I am supposed to do? I have a $7,000 boat payment a month, along with insurance, dockage and all the other bills that go on and on, along with all of the domestic bills, college for two boys, house mortgage etc.
I have one of the newest draggers in the fleet, and I am — or was — one of the so-called haves in the whole have and have-not scenario that some fishermen have named us. I have always stuck by the service (NOAA) and understand that they have a very tough job and will never make everyone happy. I fully understand that we need to protect our valuable resource, but with all this, there will not be any fishermen left — or buyers.
I can see it now: buyers are already looking elsewhere to get the supply of fish they need. And this country doesn’t need more imports of fish.
I really hope Congress or somebody cares enough to fix this somehow. I am absolutely appalled that anyone can even think about charging me for a observer; this is something the government wants, not me. This is just taking every little bit of profit we might have and completely ruining our chance to possibly make it through these tough times.
I beg of you to either cut the observer program by 50 percent so that NOAA can pay for it, or ask Congress, since they won’t give us any economic relief.
Please try to do what you can. Our fishery depends on it.
Captain, F/V Lisa Ann II
Gloucester and Newburyport