Tag Archives: RI Fishing Industry

RI Fishing Industry Looks To Grow Local Demand Amid Changing Regulations

Fishing has long been a staple industry in Rhode Island. Over the last century ever more local seafood is shipped across the country and the globe. Now, as fishermen are working to grow the local market, in the face of changing regulations and technology.The Pawtucket indoor farmer’s market is bustling on a recent Saturday morning. Among the rows of vendors selling veggies, eggs, and homemade soaps is the Local Catch – purveyor of locally caught seafood. Laid out over shaved ice are fish like dabs, a type of flounder, John Dory, and Monkfish. It’s all readily available in local waters. Yet Rhode Islanders might be hard-pressed to find them in a neighborhood grocery store.  “Before we started the Local Catch I fished for about 35 years with my own boat,” said Local Catch owner Richard Cook. “We went to a couple fish markets at Stop and Shops and stuff like that and nobody had any local fish it was all from Alaska and China and all over the place.” click here to listen to audio, read the story 08:23

RI Fishing Industry Faces Extinction under Federal Regulations

rifaIt’s hard to image an Ocean State without a commercial fishing industry, but one local business owner warns it could happen. Increasingly restrictive federal regulations have cut the commercial fishing fleet in half over the last four years and are imperiling its future, according to Richard Fuka, the president of the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance. “We’re at a dangerous low level,” Fuka said. If the fleet is diminished any further, Rhode Islanders could see a local heritage industry “slip away” and become “a museum piece,” Fuka says. Further tightening federal regulations he says could be just thing that pushes the industry over the edge, according to Fuka. (See below slides for data on the decline.) Fuka said things took a decided turn for the worse after President Obama took office and his new appointee for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agenda has pursued a more aggressive regulatory agenda. But he says the industry was already chafing under regulations passed in the later years of the Bush administration. [email protected]  09:26