Fishermen Share Concerns With New NOAA Administrator
John Bullard, the new Northeast Adminstrator for NOAA says the industry may have to live with the catch shares system, but he wants to see it working better. Bullard, a former Mayor of New Bedford, met for more than two hours Wednesday night with about 30 fishermen and others in the industry. He says the catch shares system has its flaws.
One retired fishermen said catch shares were inhuman, and not something a compassionate goverment would do. Others say catch shares encourages consolidation of the fleet, with fishing being left to only a handful of wealthy boat owners. The owner of New Bedford's dispay auction, Rchie Canastra, says its already happening in New Bedford.
Bullard says he wants to see more "diversity" in the fleet, not less. He plans to raise the issue of consolidation with the New England Regional Fisheries Management Council at its meeting next week in Plymouth.