This was filmed in 2010 and it’s only gotten worse. What he predicted back in 2010 is about 10 times worse 4 years later.
As I type this a fisherman just left my office. He is 52 years old and has fished his whole life. He is a stern man meaning he has no stake in what the owner of the boat may receive when he sells out his commercial fishing permits. He has only seen it get worse and worse and was telling me he has absolutely no idea what he could do for a living since all he knows is fishing. It’s sad and it is despicable what they did when they instituted Catch Shares and privatized the ocean and fish. Before Catch Shares there were hundreds of small boats with stern men who could go out and catch 800 lbs of cod under the “Days at Sea” program. They could fish every day and because there was an 800 pound limit there were no 20-40,000 lb trips of fish on the auction to decimate the price. What was on the Fish Auction for fish was made up of lots of small boats 800 lb trips of quality day boat fish. So you had hundreds of boats with hundreds of captains and hundreds more of stern men making a good living while barely impacting the fish stocks. Boats were being repaired, boats were buying fuel, families were being fed. Now we have probably 80% less.
Just years later the hyper-consolidation of Catch Shares which we all knew was the inevitable result when you privatize a natural resource has decimated our fleet and the number of fishermen left standing while they most have either sold out or are trying to.
Back in 2009 I started to collect the stories and add them to a thread on Cape Ann Online as sort of a journal and record for those who might have said they didn’t see this coming. There are three pages of articles from fishermen and about how it was and has decimated our working port and independent fishermen.
Click here for the list of articles (3 pages worth)