Maine Voices: Diversity, versatility important to future health of fisheries

By PATRICK SHEPARD

In light of the recent disaster declaration for the New England groundfishery, fishermen and managers need to begin planning for the future of this important industry to ensure that affordable opportunities exist for young fishermen as groundfish stocks rebuild. Let’s fast-forward, for a moment, to when populations of cod and haddock are commercially abundant off Maine’s coast once again. What will this mean for local fishermen? The shocking, short answer is that most Maine fishermen won’t have the rights to be able to catch those fish. While there’s been a lot written about the high abundance and low price of lobsters this year, one thing that hasn’t been discussed is that most of the fishermen in this state don’t have the federal permits required to catch anything other than lobster.http://www.pressherald.com/opinion/diversity-versatility-important-to-future-health-of-fisheries_2012-10-05.html