An Ailing Industry Casts About for Solutions
In 2009, the federal government put into place new regulations for the New England fishery- drastically transforming the historic nature fishing in the waters off the coast of New England. The regulations have had a huge effect on the New England fishing industry- yielding radical consolidation, eliminating small boat fishermen, and pitting big boats, big business against small boats, small business.
The latest threat to New England fisherman is the health of the Gulf of Maine Cod. Four years ago, Gulf of Maine Cod was one of the strongest species in the region, bringing in millions of dollars. Now, data indicate that Gulf of Maine cod has been overfished, with no sign of rebounding for another two years. These findings convinced federal regulators to enforce a steep cut in fishermen’s catch- a reduction that would land a devastating blow to the industry. Fishermen have gotten a reprieve by negotiating a less severe catch limit for this year. But can this industry can stay afloat amidst regulations, environmental realities, and marketplace demands?
Do you work in the fishing industry? We want your take on this. Call us during the show at 877.301.8970, or leave a comment on our Facebook page.
Richard Gaines, reporter for the Gloucester Daily Times, where he has been the head of their full-time national fisheries desk for four years.
Stephen Welch, small boat fisherman based in Plymouth, Mass.
Barney Frank, Massachusetts Congressman, advocate for fishermen's rights in Massachusetts
Niaz Dorry, director of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance based in Gloucester, an organization that works on alternative policy and market solutions that protect the ocean and community based fishermen