Comment on Amendment 23 re: Slighted Ports

I wasn’t going to offer a comment on this Amendment simply because GARFO & company has once again chosen to ignore the value & the importance of holding a public hearing with the New Bedford/Fairhaven, & Rhode Island groundfish fishermen!

My comment with regard to Amendment 23 to the NE GroundFish Multispecies’ FMP remains the same as I last tried to convey to the NEFMC & RA John Bullard!

When the hell does New Bedford/Fairhaven, the largest groundfish port on the East Coast, rate a Scoping Hearing? This same question is being raised in Rhode Island as it pertains to them as well.

At some point, the Service is going to have to recognize the fact that the majority of GF activity is from within those two (2) areas that you have taken considerable effort to avoid. It is not your comfort or convenience that you should be considering when designating the ports or areas that are worthy of hosting these meetings!

I’m not saying that these other venues don’t deserve to be considered, but neither do we deserve to be denied &/or ignored! The RA’s previous comment to me regarding this same issue (see my previous comment regarding when we were last summarily dismissed), “that we could attend via an online hearing” is not only condescending, but it is impertinent when viewed as his response to our fishermen!

I never would have expected to have to remind the RA (as a former mayor of New Bedford), not only of the importance of this fishery to New Bedford, but of the New Bedford fishing industry to that same groundfish fishery!

I am sure that my shipmates from Rhode Island harbor similar thoughts & feelings regarding this apparently intended slight to both our areas.

Jim Kendall

New Bedford Seafood Consulting

March 21, 2017