To the editor:
Regarding the new seafood auction "format" (the Times, Page 1, Monday, May 28), I don't care about who, what, where, or how, you'll never get the last nickel out of a pound of fish, no matter who you know, or what you try.
The market all boils down to the same chowder: consistency is what counts, yet that is what catch shares have deprived us of, which has led to pulse fishing, effort displacement, and predictably deleterious effects upon stocks and their critical environments.
So let's say you contract to sell 20,000 pounds of codfish for $2, but you paid $1.10 to lease those fish. After a $0.105 deduction, you're working on 79-cent fish. If someone bid on that price at the auction, most likely the two of you would end up in the parking lot, and the police notes!
Speculation? You've got it. Commodification? In the plan. Consolidation? The goal line!
So who wins? Do your own math. The way my computations came out, it's not the majority of independent fishermen who benefit, it isn't the consumer, it certainly isn't the fish.
Let's see — who's left? An entirely new breed of fish traders whose sail is a spreadsheet, whose home port is a USB, and who's ultimate hail is "more."
Captain, F/V Sasquatch