First the Codfather, Now the Rodfather [PHIL-OSOPHY]
The New England Fishery Council's three-day meeting, slated for September 29 to October 1 in Gloucester, is expected to include the council's final word on the highly quarrelsome measure I call '"The Rodfather," but is known in the commercial fishing industry as Amendment 23.
This gem will establish future kill-or-cure monitoring levels for our local fishing fleet. A lot of thought has gone into reaching this point, because for over two years, the fishery council has been working on this with the goal of improving catch accountability, maximizing the value of collected data and minimizing costs.
So far, the council has chosen to set monitoring levels at 100 percent, which means our groundfish vessels would have to pay for an at-sea monitor – at an excessive cost of about $700 per day – every time they left the dock. Our local commercial fishermen just recently said having to accept a monitor on every trip would result in the financial destruction of the traditional fishery.
This proposal, like everything else important, needs meaningful and persuasive political arm-twisting. I'm glad to see Sen. Mark Montigny leading, putting his predominance behind the fishermen, along with the other area legislators to remind the NEFMC that Amendment 23 would add a terrible burden on a fleet that's already struggling to stay above water financially.
Here's hoping the council listens to reason, and rejects "The Rodfather."
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.