OPINION|Phil Paleologos: Bullard Needs to Meet with Fishermen
John Bullard, former Mayor of New Bedford, sits as a NOAA executive and has enormous power to reverse his decision to withdraw a management plan that forces a complete shutdown of Sector IX, due to fraudulent actions by Carlos Raphael. The innocent and ancillary businesses are being punished here! Their livelihood is being deprived! This decision threatens the very existence of the New Bedford groundfishing fleet.
A 15-page letter is asking Mr. Bullard for a meeting with the new leaders of Carlos Rafael's former fishing sector who never got a chance to introduce themselves personally to John Bullard, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Greater Atlantic Region. Bullard made the decision in November to end their groundfishing season five months early. I believe that Mr. Bullard's wrongheaded decision was based on incomplete information.
In the meantime, Bullard's decision has had a bad economic hit on our local economy, disrupting the lives of our fishermen and their families and shore based businesses.The hope is that Mr. Bullard will see them in a face-to-face meeting, as soon as possible. We're all looking upon John Bullard for the right answers.
Editor’s Note: Phil Paleologos is the morning talk show host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6am-10am. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.