For some bizarre reason, I have been trying to get a little more involved with fisheries management as of late. Nothing crazy, just making some noise regarding topics I know very little about. Par for the course.
Last night I took part in a conference call to brainstorm about how we should combat consolidation issues created by sector management. Naturally, folks on the council looking to consume allocation think that the issue of consolidation is a myth. They claim that the industry is over-capitalized and therefore not making any money. I’m still waiting for an accurate account of revenues in the day boat fishery to be released; a before and after snapshot of profits. One that would account for all of the smaller operations that aren’t fishing at all anymore. Having seen one very well-respected young fisherman sell out recently; and hearing through the grape-vine that several other key players in the Gloucester day boat fleet are planning on doing the same I’ve got a feeling that the program has benefited exactly who NOAA wanted it to benefit. Don’t get me wrong: this is not a pity party for those choosing to sell out. They will be paid huge for their allocations and will be just fine. No shame in that…they’ve earned it.