, Gloucester, MA

February 18, 2013

Letter: Fishermen must band together

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

I’ve been writing letters as a fishermen’s advocate for years now because I was a fisherman for almost 40 years, it’s been the history of my family for generations, and still is.

It really bothers me what this government is doing to this tradition so that it ends in a recognized “economic disaster” because of rules and regs which are discriminatory to this industry only.

People that dictate the rules and regulations are shooting the hell out of free enterprise and the right to go to work. We now have a nation that imports ore than 80 percent of its seafood instead of having its own harvest the ocean freely as other countries do. They seem to think it’s better to make friends with trade then take care of our own.

The fish stocks are up better then they have been in years. The places to fish have been subject to closures, limited catch shares, and many other reasons along with the science as has been previously written.

We have representatives from this city that have been supposedly working on this issue for years. I’m calling out Ferrante, Tarr, Tierney, and Kerry — maybe now that he has a better post he can still do something about this situation. Let’s see if Sen. Elizabeth Warren is going to get involved. Maybe our mayor, who backed her up as her choice, will now get some help from her.

You really have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to try to understand what’s being done to our fishermen. You can make negative comments, uneducated comments on this industry, but can’t comprehend the way of life taken away from your fellow man, contributing to what makes the world go around, until you can understand how you can be unrecognized, treated like third-class citizens, to a way of life that is so important to the men and families of the sea as their way to make a living.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Fisherman are a very passive breed. They’ll work as hard as anyone but when it comes to really get together, they let that part go.

I mentioned before about a union. They need to get together with this northeast region of counterparts, pool some money, get some strong representation, and take back their rights to fish and earn a living.

Wouldn’t cost much with all the boats in this region to hire a team of lawyers and fight for their rights, because this new deal on cod limits is just another nail in the coffin and there isn’t much room left.

There’s power in numbers. The only way to get your rights back as an American taxpayer is, sad to say, get legal minds to fight for you and if you don’t, kiss this industry good bye along with all the jobs it creates and all the owners that are buried in debt with bost mortgages with their houses up.

NOAA isn’t going to quit, so do what you have to do.


Stuart Road, Gloucester