Connecticut: More Fishery Infrastructure In Jeopardy!

gambrella town dockOn Friday at 10am on April 15th, Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) and State Sen. Rob Simmons (R-CT) and Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) will be at the fish dock in Stonington, CT in support of Gambardella Wholesale Fish, Inc. during the making of a video chronicling the difficulties of maintaining an essential fishery support business in the current fisheries regulatory environment.

The video and subsequent article will be done by Don Cuddy, the Program Director at The Center For Sustainable Fisheries, a science-based fisheries advocacy group devoted to giving the fishermen a voice and promoting the socio-economic well-being of coastal fishing communities.

Mike Gambardella of Gambardella Wholesale Fish, Inc., at the Town Dock in Stonington, CT has run for decades one of the last packing facilities and wholesale fish houses in Connecticut.  It is where most of what’s left of the local fleet sell their fish.  Stonington is an iconic fishing port going back hundreds of years, and Mike’s Family has been in the fish business for generations.  The plight now is that the few remaining Stonington, CT commercial fishing vessels are not being allowed to catch and land enough fish for his business to remain financially viable. “We barely move enough product to pay the bills”, says Mike Gambardella, “My family has been in this business for over 100 years and it might all end with me.  My grandfather and my father, a WWII veteran, wouldn’t believe what the government regulations have done to the business they worked so hard to build.” He added, “Fish stocks are back, but tons of imported tilapia are filling in for the lack of healthy local product allowed to be caught and landed”.

The restrictions by the Federal and State government management agencies have not eased even though the fishermen and researchers are indicating that the majority of the commercially valuable stocks have been healthy for decades.