Following quote from the Conservation Law Foundation-
Today, Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke made the decision to reject Governor Patrick’s request for emergency action to increase catch limits for Massachusetts fishermen, in violation of the groundfish management plan that CLF helped to pass, which has been in effect since May 2010 and was helping to create positive, sustainable change in the state’s fisheries. Several weeks ago, the Governor petitioned Secretary Locke to declare a state of economic emergency in Massachusetts fisheries and was supporting a lawsuit that challenged the plan, putting fish and fishermen at risk.
It should be made clear that the rebuilding of the stock by a law that was passed just this past May and that CLF helped to pass did not start in May of 2010. Does anyone really think that the huge recovery in cod stocks happened in eight months?
No, the recovery of the cod stocks started with amendment 13 and Days At Sea program where the amount of cod was slashed to 400lbs and then upped to 800lbs when the regulators saw the recovery taking place. This was long before The Conservation Law Foundations Catch Share Program came along and was working well by all accounts. The government would not have raised the quota of daily cod limits from 400 to 800 if it wasn’t.
The beauty of the Days at Sea program was that it turned Gloucester Fishing from a volume
business at lower prices to quality of fish at a higher price business. The fish were coming back and because the government placed quantity restrictions on the cod, the fishermen were getting close to triple the amount of money for their fish because of the lack of a glut of fish in the marketplace.
There was less effort on the stocks but the same or very few fishermen went out of business. In fact if you looked around the harbor the fishing boats were all being maintained really well- a sign of the health of the industry for sure.
Now if I were an Eco Foodie Nazi, this would be nirvana. Less impact on the stock, much higher quality fish and most importantly all of the small independent fishermen still exist and support the same number of families.
Instead, they (because they don’t know any better and the Conservation Law Foundation has a much better Marketing team funded by PEW and hence Shell Oil) back a Catch Share Program The Catch Share program which has brought about hyper consolidation of the fleet of the stronger fishermen buying out multiple permits of their tired fishermen brethren who can barely keep up with the mountains of paperwork and regulation changes but mainly because the bigger fishing corporations have the money to buy out the little guys. The Conservation Law Foundation has backed a plan to privatize the fish – your fish – my fish – the public resource. Now instead of thousands of small fishing operations you have hundreds of big ones and within ten years or so way less. Big huge corporations are going to own our fisheries and the greenies who usually are in the corner of the small guy are aligned with The Conservation Law Foundation “clever title” but what they don’t understand is how it flies in the face of everything they usually stand for.
The Conservation Law Foundation can claim a huge victory for a law that caused hyper consolidation of fishing communities and taking massive numbers of small independent fishing families out of business, but to say that in eight months they are responsible for rebuilding the stocks is ridiculous. The stocks were rebuilt by fishermen who endured the cutbacks in cod quota and Days At Sea program over 10 years ago.
Just so the greenies know who they are in bed with.