Our local fishermen are in crisis. Facing one of the most restrictive years in history, the local fleet is at a standstill, frustrated and fed up with the fluctuations, mixed messaging, and overall lack of government accountability that has characterized the fisheries-related decision-making process in recent years. After years of cutbacks, the few honest and hard-working fishermen that have chosen to stick it out through the toughest of conditions have been brought to their knees. Despite strict regulations, intense cutbacks, and mountains of red tape, our local fleet has played by all the rules — not exceeding a single fishing quota in recent years. What’s more, many have had to put everything at risk simply to make it through these tough times. Unfortunately, the end to these troubles is nowhere in sight. This year, astronomically low fishing quotas and an overall air of defeat and loss of hope have forced many life-long fishermen to put their boats and fishing permits up for sale.
The following article was published by the Globe earlier this week and was also picked up by several other national publications. While it is good to finally see the struggles experienced by these locally owned businesses making some headlines, it may be too late for most. Specifically, this article sums up the frustrations behind the crippling regulatory decisions that have been made in response to unreliable science, and the overall lack of consistency or reliability present in the system of fisheries’ governance itself. Please read more about the local fishing crisis here: http://www.boston.com/news/local/connecticut/2013/07/27/poor-count-estimates-plague-new-england-fisheries/lAVfE8z5RAyCfOLdaMBihJ/story.html