Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Catch shares update

“Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he’ll starve.”

- bumper sticker, Gloucester, MA, 2011*

I posted briefly back in March about resistance to the implementation of catch share programs in the Eastern US. At the end of the month, the US Department of Commerce announced - belatedly and belittly - that several Northeastern fishing communities were in line for economic impact investigations and possible assistance (a coldly dispassionate, objective report from the Gloucester Times :)).

Then in April – just after Diane Wilson and other Gulf Coast fishermen and –women were blocked from entering a BP shareholder meeting – the bipartisan Jones Amendment passed, blocking federal funding for any new catch share programs for the rest of the current spending cycle.

On Tuesday, “Dan Rather Reports” (on something called HDNet) investigated NOAA’s relationship with local fisheries; the report should be available soon via iTunes.

Here’s an article on catch share programs and opposition from Food and Water Watch. I don’t have the expertise to evaluate it as critically as I’d like, and I have a krill’s knowledge of fisheries management, but I do know this: Long-term justice and sustainability are not going to be achieved by taking power and control away from local fishing communities.

* I enjoyed some of the other variants I came across here:

“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.” - Author Unknown

“Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish.” - Author Unknown

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