How Foreign Private Equity Hooked New England’s Fishing Industry

Before dawn, Jerry Leeman churned through inky black waters, clutching the wheel of the fishing vessel F/V Harmony. The 85-foot trawler, deep green and speckled with rust, was returning from a grueling fishing trip deep into the Atlantic swells. Leeman and his crew of four had worked 10 consecutive days, 20 hours a day, to haul in more than 50,000 pounds of fish: pollock, haddock and ocean perch, a trio known as groundfish in the industry and as whitefish in the freezer aisle. Leeman and his crew are barely sharing in the bounty. On deck, Leeman held a one-page “settlement sheet,” the fishing industry’s version of a pay stub. Blue Harvest charges Leeman and his crew for fuel, gear, leasing of fishing rights, and maintenance on the company-owned vessel. Across six trips in the past 14 months, Leeman netted about 14 cents a pound, and the crew, about 7 cents each — a small fraction of the $2.28 per pound that a species like haddock typically fetches at auction. >Photos, click to read< 08:01

2 Responses to How Foreign Private Equity Hooked New England’s Fishing Industry

  1. David Goethel says:

    Well researched and well written article. The council has a lot of work to do to staighten out this mess. It could start by cancelling the scallop consolidation amdnement, something I rose out of a hospitak bed to vote against twelve years ago

  2. When catch shares were implemented this was all predicted. It’s arguably worse than what was predicted over a decade ago. As usual, follow the money and the politics.
    Politicians could f#€k up a free lunch. We were warned.

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