Gloucester Daily Times Editorial: Fed loans don’t cut it when it comes to fishermen’s aid

gdt iconThe truth is, the dire catch limit cuts imposed by NOAA for the current fishing year — on the heels of what was already a recognized “economic disaster,” as declared by the Secretary of Commerce last year — have left fishermen in or beyond bankruptcy and to the point where they are selling their boats and homes. So without freeing up the catch limits, and boosting the quota for some of the industry’s staples, such as cod and yellowtail flounder, there would seem no way for fishermen to generate the level of income they would need to pay back any loans, regardless of rates. [email protected]  02:50

One Response to Gloucester Daily Times Editorial: Fed loans don’t cut it when it comes to fishermen’s aid

  1. Jim Kendall says:

    What is a culture worth?
    Posted to the Gloucester Times @ 9.18.13

    Originally posted on Sept. 17, 2013

    I agree with all the previous commenters who have spoken out with the same voice regarding the viability of low interest rate loans. As Paul Cohen stated, no offense intended to those who may mean well, but it is an ill-advised concept.
    It’s not loans but opportunities to fish & catch more fish that they need. Of those few vessels that have been able to fish this year, many are telling me that their biggest problem beyond their low catch quotas, is avoiding going over those limits in no time at all due to the abundance of many species.

    Somehow we need to document those facts & get the catch levels raised to optimum levels, that match the true abundances that are currently out there. People & science need to realize that fishing is a day to day event, if not hour to hour, & science must be able to adapt & adjust accordingly, not on a bi or tri-annual schedule.

    Low interest rate loans to fishermen at this time would be tantamount to the low interest, unsecured & risky loans that had the financial institutions falling all over themselves, several years ago, to issue to unsuspecting home buyers. They knew that in spite of their glowing promises of home ownership, most if not all, were due for failure. Without adequate quota, only the same can hold true for vessel owners without sufficient quota to meet their future commitments & obligations.

    If low interest rate loans are available, they should be considered for the shoreside infrastructure. These are businesses that are also being drawn into the black hole of fisheries. Many of them, if not most, need to diversify & grow beyond their dependence on a fishing industry, that in all likelihood will never regain its former prominence.

    What the NE groundfish fleet needs is a bail-out of some sort, to accept this loan would be just like adding more water to the an already sinking boat. Short of more quota, a grant program or even a federally funded buyback program is the only practical solution to the total dissolution of the New England groundfish industry, along with more than 400 years of our history & culture.

    Jim Kendall
    nbscWhat is a culture worth?
    Posted to the Gloucester Times @ 9.18.13

    I agree with all the previous commenters who have spoken out with the same voice regarding the viability of low interest rate loans. As Paul Cohen stated, no offense intended to those who may mean well, but it is an ill-advised concept.
    It’s not loans but opportunities to fish & catch more fish that they need. Of those few vessels that have been able to fish this year, many are telling me that their biggest problem beyond their low catch quotas, is avoiding going over those limits in no time at all due to the abundance of many species.

    Somehow we need to document those facts & get the catch levels raised to optimum levels, that match the true abundances that are currently out there. People & science need to realize that fishing is a day to day event, if not hour to hour, & science must be able to adapt & adjust accordingly, not on a bi or tri-annual schedule.

    Low interest rate loans to fishermen at this time would be tantamount to the low interest, unsecured & risky loans that had the financial institutions falling all over themselves, several years ago, to issue to unsuspecting home buyers. They knew that in spite of their glowing promises of home ownership, most if not all, were due for failure. Without adequate quota, only the same can hold true for vessel owners without sufficient quota to meet their future commitments & obligations.
    If low interest rate loans are available, they should be considered for the shore side infrastructure. These are businesses that are also being drawn into the black hole of fisheries. Many of them, if not most, need to diversify & grow beyond their dependence on a fishing industry, that in all likelihood will never regain its former prominence.
    What the NE groundfish fleet needs is a bail-out of some sort, to accept this loan would be just like adding more water to the an already sinking boat. Short of more quota, a grant program or even a federally funded buyback program is the only practical solution to the total dissolution of the New England groundfish industry, along with more than 400 years of our history & culture.

    Jim Kendall
    nbsc

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