GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

November 21, 2012

Letter: Quota caps would further harm fishery

To the editor:

Regarding the idea of fishing quota accumulation limits: If it ain’t fixed, don’t break it!

That about sums up the futility of this day late and dollar short Band-Aid. The damage is already done.

NOAA and administrator Jane Lubchenco demanded and enacted a deeply flawed, possibly illegal amendment in which various interests have invested millions. It is just not financially feasible to undo this.

The Janie, so to speak, is out of the bottle and the stopper has long been shredded. This proposed action would only serve to disadvantage those who are in the toughest shape, by devaluing their permits as opportunities to sell out disappear due to future restrictions on what had previously been an open market.

Amendment 16 privatized and commodified fishing rights. Unless they intend to scuttle the “catch scam” system altogether, which is highly unlikely, the council will only exacerbate and perpetuate the misfortune of some while ensuring the fortunes of others by establishing accumulation limits this late in the game.

Their time would be far better spent by devising a fair and equitable management plan that restores a level playing field — a plan that is driven by reliable, co-operative assessments; a plan which is the great equalizer, supported by fishermen; a plan which derives its benefits from unity, not division; a plan which sustains fish and fishermen, all fishermen!

Above all, it should be a plan that is simple — one that doesn’t require layer upon layer of redundant reporting and intrusive oversight; a plan which would imperil the jobs of the legions of brainwashed, parasitic, greenbean counting, button pushers who currently outnumber fishermen!

But this isn’t a job just for the council, this is our job, too.

Let’s work together to re-establish control of our destiny. Put on your thinking caps, boys and girls, and roll up your sleeves, this is bound to be a long, strange, trip.

PAUL COHAN

Gloucester

Captain, F/V Sasquatch

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