I smell a rat. Several of them, in fact. Paul Cohan, Gloucester

I smell a rat. Several of them, in fact.pcohan

The fisheries collapse isn’t going to rectify itself at any time in the near future, that is, if the situation is as dire as NOAA and it’s ENGO puppet masters insist. Therefore, a buyout program, as originally incorporated into the industry disaster relief plan, is clearly not only a commitment, but a necessity.

There is a substantial number of permit holders who have been forced to sell their boats in order to just catch up with their bills simply because they don’t have enough fish, and access to what few they do have, to remain solvent. And many more just hanging on by the slenderest of threads.

Most of these fellows are nearing retirement and have long considered their businesses as their retirement. Now they are left with neither. Face it, another 20 or 30 grand for those who qualify as double dippers, will do nothing for anyone in the long run.

Since the Disaster Declaration was declared, the crisis has only deepened and broadened. And the situation is certain to become even more dire in the foreseeable future. It is shortsighted, to say the least, to squander the remaining relief funds like a drunken sailor on shore leave, when we have the potential to address some of the long term issues, which we all face, in a calculated and effective manner. Isn’t that what those funds were originally earmarked for? What has changed in the mean time? The only change has been for the worse!

Logically, a buy-out program should be expedited for the long term benefit of all, not eliminated, for the temporary benefit of a few. I’m certain, however, that “The Consolidationists” would not agree. Really, isn’t consolidation what “Catch Shares” have always been all about? Look at the numbers and think about it. Catch shares and their associated sectors demonstrably haven’t worked for most fishermen, nor have they worked for fish, otherwise we wouldn’t find ourselves in this predicament.

But alas, the monopoly game goes on, only with far fewer players in the game than when it started!

Paul Cohan, Gloucester

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