A fishing conglomerate created a fake company to facilitate a merger. It could now be on the hook for billions of dollars.

Commercial fishers are one of the professions that’s been nickeled-and-dimed in recent decades, right up there with long-haul truckers and chicken farmers. In New Bedford, Massachusetts, the most lucrative port for seafood catches in the country, a fisherman profiled by ProPublica in 2022 was forced to contract with one of the world’s seafood powerhouses, Blue Harvest, because it had become the only buyer in the local market. Per the contract, fishers have to lease fishing permits from the company; the costs for vessel maintenance, fuel, gear, and repairs on company-owned boats are taken out from fishers’ own paychecks, called settlement sheets. After fishing around the clock for ten days to meet quotas, Jerry Leeman only made 14 cents on the pound and his crew 7 cents, even as their haddock catch sold for $2.28 per pound at market. Blue Harvest took the lion’s share of earnings, while placing all the risks of the trade onto fishers. “Tell me how I can catch 50,000 pounds of fish yet I don’t know what my kids are going to have for dinner,” more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 07:59

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