, Gloucester, MA

August 18, 2010

Letter: Coalition sector support now haunting fishermen

To the editor:

The concept of a buyback for fishermen has, in my view, already been distorted beyond belief.

First, the local industry "organization" supported this shift toward sectors — knowing full well early on in the process it would do nothing but eliminate people. The whole concept of sectors was designed to get rid of the small guys without deep pockets.

Now, the Seafood Coalition's angle seems to be to turn the buyback money — if it becomes a reality, which is what it wants — into subsidies the coalition leaders can use to take control of the individual permits they'd rather not deal with.

First, after the allocation and implementation of sectors, it demands more for those of us who participated in the process.

We knew early on the allocations would be extremely low; that's a given. By asking for more, the coalition ensures the initial shakeout starts — knowing that, by the time the allocations increase, the dead wood (single-permit holders) would be gone. Then, it can control any buyout money, and that would benefit the few at the top.

For me, having never wavered in my extreme non-support of sectors, this is appalling to watch play out. I have been told that this is all my imagination, but it's hard not to notice the trend.

I, for one, will not fall for the smoke and mirrors line of "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

I simply shake my head in total disgust at the low places to which the politicians and "industry leaders" have sunk.



F/V Hard Merchandise