The video that was posted on GMG yesterday, The Problem with Catch Shares, from www.fisherynation.com, provided a link to this very handy and very easy petition, which took all of thirty seconds to fill and to send. Learn more about catch shares and Fair Fish.
After signing the petition, an opportunity is also provided to conveniently share on twitter and FB.
Protect Jobs and Coastal Communities, Take Action to Stop Privatized Fishing Programs
Under the guise of conservation, a system called “catch shares” is being pushed by the government and larger members of the fishing industry alike to make a public resource, our fish, like private property. Traditional, small-scale fishermen are being pushed out of the industry as these shares are handed out for free with most going to larger, industrial fishing operations. Worldwide, catch share programs have meant fewer jobs for fishemen – and the effects spread to whole communities – fewer fishermen means less dollars for local shops, restaurants and more. For consumers, it can mean lower quality fish and a further reliance on industrially processed foods.
Privatization leads to consolidation – not conservation. Tell the government to stop privatizing our oceans now and save our traditional fishermen and coastal fishing communities!
The Problem with Catch Shares is a very brief video (4 minutes), which explains in a nutshell the problems with catch shares, which even I, as a non-fishing type woman can understand. Although not a fisherwoman, I want to help protect the people and jobs in our community, and believe that when people come together they can make an impact. I love to cook and serve fresh fish for my family, and when purchasing fresh fish for our table, I want to know that it comes from the hard working local fishermen, rather than supporting some enormous corporate entity. Don’t you?
The following is the message that will be sent to Senators Kerry and Brown and Representative Tierney:
Turning the right to fish into a tradable commodity in the private market has grave consequences for coastal communities. Under the guise of conservation and economic efficiency, many fishermen, their crew, and those in related communities are likely to lose their jobs. At a time when our nation faces a high unemployment rate, we should not deliberately be putting more people out of work.
The privatization approach to catch shares gives away public control of our fisheries resources and favors big business in the initial handouts. This makes it more difficult for small-scale fishermen to stay in the fishery and for new entrants to join.
To avoid this, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration should retain control of our fisheries resource for the benefit of the public and allocate access to it in a fair and equitable manner that respects historical fishing communities. A Fair Fish program would allow fishermen to rent the resource in the same way that other public resources are managed. As shares are retired, they would be returned to the government who could keep costs at a reasonable level for new entrants and those seeking to rent additional quota. Programs could be designed to benefit fish, fishermen and the public.