GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 9, 2012

Letter: Fishermen's aid can't trump Sandy


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

While we (fishermen) have been burdened by a callous, vindictive, government agency admittedly bent on the ultimate destruction of the families, economies, and communities who are historically dependent upon fisheries, no comparison can, nor should, be made to the plight of our fellow citizens who have struggled through the ravages that Sandy left in its wake.

People who have lost houses, been left without the basic necessities of life — power, water, food, and fuel — clearly take precedence over a disaster of human origin.

Not one penny of their relief funding should be diverted to alleviate our relatively minor inconvenience. While an immediate influx of money will go a long way to reduce the victims of nature’s wrath’s suffering and restore the infrastructure upon which they all depend, cash, by itself won’t do one damn thing to solve our problems.

Any legislation proposed to address our dire predicament should stand on its own merit, and be debated as to its necessity, benefits, and overall effectiveness. It should include a sweeping overhaul of the Magnuson-Stevens Act designed to prevent the abuses inherent in it’s ambiguous wording, whose interpretation can be convoluted to promote the radical views of those empowered to implement their own agendas at the expense of those laboring under their iron fist.

We are our own calamity and should be dealt with as such.

Immediate financial relief should be fast-tracked — but only as the first phase of a well vetted overhaul of our fisheries policy and the mandate from which it is developed.

PAUL COHAN

Gloucester

Captain, F/V Sasquatch