Has the time come?
Many years ago I often wondered what would have happened if the entire nations commercial fishermen went on strike. And I mean all aspects of the commercial fishing industry. All coasts, all fisheries, everything, the whole kit and caboodle. It was at a time when the industry was beginning to feel the effects of legal abuses of the court system by the environmental organizations that were itching to control the way fishermen went about their business. It was probably in the early ninety’s.
I always thought that a show of unity on such a grand scale would enlighten the powers that be to realize how much of an economic force the industry represented. Back then, we felt things were getting pretty bad. Our livelihoods were under attack by eco zealots who felt as they do today, that fishermen’s jobs meant less than the food they supplied the nation. If I had to guess, back then American fishermen were probably providing around half of the seafood we consumed as a nation.
I recall thinking we could have a profound effect on the way we were perceived and have greater control of our own destinies. Can you imagine what would have happened when the American seafood consumers came to the realization that they were not going to have access to the finest and freshest source of protein on God’s green earth? The prospect of having to settle for nasty poor quality imported seafood would have had a profound effect. There would have been outrage.There also would have been an economic calamity. Think of all the associated business’s that were driven by the economic might of this industry. From the docks to the trucking companies. To the ice houses and engine shops. Welding companies, fuel companies, box manufacturers and the list goes on.
This doesn’t even take into account the restaurants and grocery stores that fed the hungry consumer who was accustomed to what the American fishermen provided them. I’m sure I’m missing plenty more peripheral businesses that are involved with this process but I think you get the idea. It would have shown just how much of our economy depended on fishermen doing their job.
I also recall thinking that this was a pipe dream. Getting fishermen on one dock to agree to something is just about impossible. And I wanted the whole nation to come together for a cause? Yeah right!
Then I remember thinking, what if fishermen belonged to a union. I remembered the union that was in New Bedford back in the day and about the times they went on strike over one issue or another. I remembered that many other ports along the coast were not under union rules and it hurt the union guys because these other ports would fill the void left by the union boats that were tied to the docks. Honestly I thought the union was a waste of time as I couldn’t imagine being tied up with no income. Back then, I was a young, and today I am older. I’m somewhat more opened minded.
Anyway moving ahead, I figured the only way for a nationwide strike to happen would be to have the vast majority of the fleet nationwide sailing under a union flag. That would have been the only way for it to ever happen. Like I said, it was a pipe dream.
Fast forward to today and look at where we are as an industry. Many have fallen by the wayside due to the extreme regulatory policies pushed by the radical environmental movement. Many others are barely hanging on and will soon be relegated to the scrap heap. These so called environmentalists have been very cunning, waging a long term war to eliminate fishermen.
Today our nation imports 92% of the seafood our nation consumes. The American fisherman is the most heavily regulated on the planet. These eco zealots are selling us a bill of goods. Don’t be fooled. While they claim to be saving our nations fisheries they turn a blind eye to what we are importing and from whom. Today, the 92% of the seafood we import comes from nations practicing little or no conservation whatsoever. This shows just how disingenuous these organizations are. Do you go after the nations who practice no regulations? No, you go after the most heavily restricted fisherman in the world to promote your social experiment until there will be nothing left of what is our nation’s oldest historic industry. Their perfect world is one that requires us to conform to their green agenda and their power is growing at an alarming rate. In a word they are taking over.
Now, over twenty years later I find myself asking the same question I asked way back when. Would a union allow what’s left of this noble industry to speak as one collective voice to fight those who seek to destroy what’s left? We have been divided and conquered in a well orchestrated plan of occupational genocide. Has the unions’ time come, and is it our last and only chance to unify those who wish to save this industry that has given so much to this nation? If we fail to back each other and speak as one, we are destined for the same scrap heap as those who have fallen before us.
I can honestly say, I can’t begin to realize all of the ramifications something this serious would have on the industry, nor will I pretend too. I just throw it out there to provoke thought and conversation. I’m of the feeling, honestly, how much worse can it get? Hopefully, getting people to speak honestly about the subject who surely know a hell of a lot more about it than I, will help me become educated to the pro’s and the con’s.