Jerry Leeman: Fishing is my life. Somewhere, people forgot to listen to the generations before us.

I’ve spent all my life on the ocean. My family and friends are fishermen and lobstermen. I grew up on an island in Maine and almost everyone was in some form of fishery, whether it be groundfishing, gill netting, seining and lobstering. We even had shrimping till that was mis managed away.

I grew up watching these men and women harvesting the ocean. Rules were put into place to harvest the ocean responsibly and sustainably for future generations. Most people in this nation know little to as of why our fish stocks became depleted.

Other nations like Russia and other European super trawlers were allowed to pillage our waters along the New England coast. They were eventually banned, but the destruction had been done.

We’ve spent years restricting ourselves fishing, going out of our way bending backwards to rebuild our fish stocks. Alot of fishermen couldn’t take the burden and hardships so they changed careers as the restrictions became too much for some to survive while others adapted to the regulatory environment. As the years have passed by less and less men and women became fishermen.

Here in New England, we have the Gulf of Maine and George’s Bank. Thousands of square miles of fishing grounds.

I have fished a good portion of it over many years, literally days at a time offshore with even fewer upon land. I’ve learned by observing the ocean and the men and women who came before me. I listened to them talk in the mornings before going out and the end of the day at the docks or the coffee houses. I paid attention to what they were doing when they worked on their gear. I was curious always asking why or how come. Then I watched where they set or towed their gear and watched as they shifted around and followed what they thought were the migration patterns of the specie in which they were harvesting. Every day I was their watching learning listening to what was said.

The knowledge these men and women had, was passed to them from the generations before who taught and explained their understanding of the ocean to the next. As the seasons changed so did the fishermen. This knowledge was accumulated through trial and error over generations. I’ve spent my younger years along the inshore waters. When I was 19, I started offshore groundfishing I had no clue what I was stepping into.

We fish around the clock with little to no sleep in all increments of weather. Could be sunny and 90′ or arctic cold where the sea freezes to the vessel. Winds and seas as big as multiple story buildings crashing down upon you, relentlessly testing your nerve. Many of the men and women today love the ocean, we are a part of it, it’s the life blood that feeds us and gives our lives purpose.

Somewhere people forgot to listen to the generations before us and the lessons that were taught. Fish migration and species habit is a very difficult thing to understand it takes years of observation to start to put the pieces together. What is the true meaning of knowledge the exact definition is: facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education and theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

So why does our government agencies NOAA and NMFS never ask us individuals who have spent our lives harvesting our ocean every day, watching the changes learning the migration and all the theories passed down from generation to generation? It makes no sense at all.

I have literally spent years at sea observing and tracking fish but no one from these agencies ever asked a question from me or any other fishermen. They place restrictions on us, and on species that aren’t even struggling by using their false assessments by folks with a degree but no real knowledge of our ocean. I’ve spent years at this, and I don’t have all the answers. Our ocean is still taking me to school and probably will till the day I die. I’ve accumulated this knowledge because I was passionate about it, loved the realness of it all and I fell in love with the sea.

Now big green wind energy wants to wipe everything off the charts. They say this will save our planet and oceans fish and wildlife. I hate to tell you this.


Running these offshore wind farms will create tanker traffic which vessels of greater size have a higher risk of striking whales. The windmill folks give money to conservation groups now which are giving the lobstermen a hard time because of the risk of entanglement, but the management at NOAA think it’s fine to allow the windmills to kill 2 whales a year. I’m sorry that’s pretty stupid.

NOAA has a history of messing things up. Like I said they don’t ask the fishermen anything about what we see, or think is happening in our ocean. It’s their way or no way. So allow me to tell you what I’ve learned from my life on the New England seaboard and offshore waters from the Gulf of Maine and George’s banks.

Fish come along the shore to drop eggs and juveniles stay along the coasts till they’ve reached a maturity that warrants them to make the trek to deeper waters. There’s a reason you see schools of fish inshore and why the sharks follow. It’s all a part of the balance. The windmill farmers want to place the wind farms in the Gulf of Maine all the way to the Maine shores. The power running through those cables put off a magnetic field which if juvenile fish or small freshly hatched fish cross it can have a 60% death mortality as well as throw off their internal compass. The power in the cables could change the migration of fish and lobsters from along the shores stopping them from their breeding grounds and cycles.

So, what does that mean? Well, it’s real potential to kill the ocean which we are trying to save all in the name of trying to save it. It’s bad business for this nation and threatens all the species of our ocean. Imagine if green energy is allowed to kill whales and is allowed to screw up the migration and spawning grounds of all the fish species that use the Gulf of Maine in their breeding cycles? I tell you it’s bad bad bad.

Don’t even get me started on what it will do to all the fishermen and lobstermen of this nation who’ve given and risked their lives every day to produce sustainable seafood. Funny, two years ago most the fisheries were considered sustainable, well windmills have changed that now the narrative is no one is sustainable. Weird, fishing effort along the coast went down so that means less men and women harvesting and we became unsustainable while efforts have decreased. Doesn’t make any sense at all.

Only thing that changed was the narrative our politicians and this green wind energy giant has been force feeding the public on how good it is. Allow this fisherman to tell you. The hell it is!  They are willing to allow the lives of two whales a year. They are allowing to run cables along the bottom with magnetic interference which could destroy the entire Gulf of Maines ecosystem and I mean wipe it out for generations to come.

Look all fishermen and lobstermen want to be green and have a clean ocean that’s sustainable but this is ocean suicide. The men and women with real experience and time who were raised from children to learn this with a passion are not even given a voice in any policy. The management at NOAA and NMFS has failed us for the sake of our government pushing a big money scheme, where do you think our politicians got their campaign money from. Everyone is being fed falsehoods about what is going on, while they are being quiet about the real impacts that will take place. I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to kill our ocean until now. We must stop this madness before it is too late. As always many blessings to you all. FISH ON MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS

8 Responses to Jerry Leeman: Fishing is my life. Somewhere, people forgot to listen to the generations before us.

  1. Dale Adkins says:

    Truth. My family has been doing this way of life for generations. I know more than some and less than others. The facts you discuss are factual. Someone or multiple people, lined their pockets to ensure vessels from other countries were allowed prioritized harvesting over our own people. Our state, our regs and management, our fishing stocks. If we went by their rules we should be able to go to any country, any state anywhere and do as we wished. We dont because that is being a gravy grabber. Good with the bad as intended. It’s like stealing food and money off of other families tables and pockets. Can you put a mooring in the fishing lanes, no. Can you use things like attractants for lobster like they were bugs you were leading them with the same scent trails like ants use, not unless things have changed, why, because some numb nut said that would be wrong. We could eat massive amounts of fish instead of using it for bait. Win win for me, I love fish. Most kinds. I used to work at Stinsons icing the main tanks. I was allowed to take home any fish left in the tanks after I drained them for daily sanitizing. I listened to the older people tell me how to cook them. OMG yumm. If we are not allowed to harvest our own food, we will have to buy everything from mega corp world. That is an idiot mantra. Should we then allow the Chinese Nationals to buy all our farms because having a garden or farm of your own is considered not good etc, no that would be stupid. Allowing others to ruin our stocks is an insult. We are careless for not doing the new numb thing they come up with. Yet others with more money and influence than God is considered good for all. You can’t make this stuff up. This is a bit off topic some will say but I say not really, Nichola Tesla did electricity without wires and windmills. We could return the favor by using it. We wouldn’t need them anymore

  2. John C Fairfax says:

    More than 90 percent of fish consumed or used in the USA is imported.

  3. Joel Hovanesian says:

    Many years ago I came up with a logo that I had put on a bumper sticker. The bumper sticker said, National Marine Fisheries Service…Destroying fishermen and their communities since 1976
    I am no longer able to fish because of health issues but seeing things like this article reminds me of exactly what Jerry is saying. I’d go to the council meetings and try to have the councils, both New England and Mid Atlantic see things from the point of view of someone who was witnessing things first hand. There were times that myself and a few other fishermen who recognized there was a problem actually sought to get the council to implement regulations to help out certain species that were being taken unsustainably. So I don’t want to hear the naysayers say that all fishermen want to do is kill the last fish.
    Reading this reminds me of why I had to stop going to the meetings. It was a total waste of time with decisions already made, and the council public meeting process only taking place because they were required to by law. I finally figured it out and stopped trying.
    I have no idea how many days I spent at meetings when I should have been fishing. I have no idea what those meetings cost me but it was very substantial.
    So Jerry here’s some advice, don’t be like me and let the process get to the point where it ruins your happiness for life. It will make you sick and you won’t even know it’s happening. Please, be on the lookout for this. It’s not worth your health.
    Finally, it saddens me to know that after all these decades nothing has changed. I fu@#ing hate to even say this. We’ve been pawns since 1976 for these sick elitist bureaucrats who’ve been selling us out forever.

    • Muddog says:

      I had no idea you came up with the perfect “catch phrase”. Thank you for that and all your time, money, sweat and tears educating others. It is not for naught.

      It is time to follow Martin Luther King, jr.s example.

      What pisses me off, is the many fishermen who don’t fight, don’t go to meetings and don’t contribute to lawsuits or writing editorials.

      Joel, you have made a difference and still are.

      • Joel Hovanesian says:

        Thank you for your kind comments MD. Giving up on something is not in my DNA. However slamming ones head into the wall gets old in a hurry.
        By giving up the fight, I’ve felt like I’ve failed and allowed the enemy to win. And yes, make no mistake, these people are the enemy.
        Failure is something that fisherman can ill afford. Be it in the pursuit of fish or the pursuit of justice.
        And you are absolutely about the fisherman who don’t get involved. Those who watch others do their bidding always pissed me off to no end.
        Happy New Year MD!

        • Muddog says:

          Thanks, Joel. I remember a fellow fish-warrior from AK said, we will never “win” in their “arenas” ( courts, regulators, etc). However, they will never “own” us. We have not compromised and took a stand.

          They are losing, running scared and making mistakes. This is a spiritual war between good and evil. The devil globalists are no longer hidden. God wins.

          Best to you and your family.

    • Alice Twombly says:

      Bring back the bumper sticker.

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