Another push for catch shares – Nils E. Stolpe, FishNet-USA

Don’t get the idea from this that I oppose any fisheries management regime. What I do oppose is having the future of particular fisheries determined by people and/or organizations and/or corporations with no meaningful ties to and no concern about the existing industry and the people in it. Irrespective of whether the decisions have their roots in in corporate, ENGO or foundation board rooms, the halls of academe or “investment” seminars, as the ongoing debacle in the New England groundfish fishery so clearly and tragically demonstrates, if the fishing industry doesn’t have final say in the imposition of measures that its members will be working with, the affected communities will suffer.) With talk in the air of an upcoming Magnuson Act reauthorization which is coincident with the 40th anniversary of its passage, the proponents of catch shares in general and individual transferable quotas in particular, are mounting a public relations barrage in a continuation of their efforts to “privatize” our fisheries. Most recently, the April 19 New York Times Opiniator column How Dwindling Fish Stocks Got a Reprieve by freelance journalist Sylvia Rowley, touted the benefits of catch shares by citing the example of the West coast groundfish fishery. It also quoted catch shares proselytizer and NOAA ex-head Jane Lubchenco, back on the Environmental Defense board after her brief sojourn in the almost-real world of the federal bureaucracy, on catch shares: “If you have 5 percent of the pie, you’d like to see the pie grow.” Read the rest here

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