To the editor,
My name is Sam Parisi from Gloucester, Massachusetts. I am retired and want to devote my time to help our fishing industry at no charge to anyone.
We have many problems, thanks in part to NOAA 's restrictions. We have tried to turn the tide. NOAA has grown so big, so rather than fight it, let us together find a solution that would be welcome to all.
I believe the solution is federal legislation. Farmers have a farm bill; fishermen need a fish bill. The drastic cuts in quota that our fishermen have incurred over the last two years are driving even the hardest fishermen out of business. Without fish, fishermen and fish houses cannot survive. We all know Economics 101 and the domino effect of lost revenue. Waterfront properties will become liabilities instead of assets and our tax base will evaporate.
Are we going to sit back and watch what we know will happen and then react? The crystal ball is right in front of us. NOAA has shown us our future. NO FISH MEANS NO MONEY. So what are we going to do about it? Are we going to be proactive and do something before the bleeding starts?
I propose that a U.S delegation be formed to craft legislation that will address both short- and long-term problems. The Fish Bill will provide short-term assistance to address immediate problems. Education and retraining programs. Mortgage restructuring programs. Boat buy-back programs. These are some of the immediate concerns that need to be addressed in the near long-term future.
How do we pay for this? The answer is straightforward. We have existing funding mechanisms. The money will come from tariffs on imported seafood. Each year the Department of Agriculture collects about one fourth of a billion dollars from tariffs on seafood imports. The original intent of that money was to help fishermen through the Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program to promote fishery products. We could raise the import by 1 percent which would more than cover it.
In closing this is possible if we unite like never before. I am looking for fishermen and fisherwomen to work with me by volunteering. Please contact me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling me at 978-491-7722.