Mayors Kirk, Lang ask Senate help to stop catch shares
The mayors of Gloucester and New Bedford on Wednesday
sent letters to all 100 U.S. senators to drum up support for the
House-passed budget amendment that would cut off the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration's spending on new catch share programs in
the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
Seeking to halt the spread of catch shares, a system that is "crippling the lives of groundfishermen in the South Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, New England and Gulf of Mexico," Mayors Carolyn Kirk and Scott Lang wrote that the Senate could strike a blow for the owner-operator, small-business model against investor influences and the corporatization of the fisheries.
The mayors noted NOAA's relentless push to convert the New England groundfishery to a catch share management system.
The letter identified the Environmental Defense Fund as the "chief proponent" of the change. EDF's former vice chairwoman, Jane Lubchenco, came to office as head of the NOAA in 2009, pushing for a quick approval of the New England catch share plan.
Due to the market dynamics which encourage the trading in allocated shares of the stocks, barely one half of New England's independent fishing boats were active in the first 11 months of the catch share experience, and one-fifth of the working boats accounted for 61 percent of revenues.
Read the complete story from The Gloucester Times.
See also: Mayors of New Bedford and Gloucester ask all 100 Senators to support Jones Amendment.
View a PDF with images of all 100 letters