Should the government interfere with New England’s fishing fleet?

It’s an election year, in case you’ve been in the hold of a boat for nine months.  One of the debates I hear over and over again is whether no government or very little government is better. Before you say “no government“, and reapply the tape to your Ron Paul poster, let’s remember how government subsidies helped to build the fishing industry in New England, and let’s talk about how the government is now being asked to step in again to dismantle part of the fishing fleet.

New England lawmakers are said to be mulling some emergency relief for the embattled New England groundfish fleet. Ask any northeastern fisherman and they’ll shake their head and tell you that things are not right. And it boils down to this simple fact: there aren’t enough fish for the number of boats out there. This sucks. Big time.

The reason for this is complex (surprise, surprise) and partly a mystery. For starters, the ocean ecosystem off the northeast may be shifting due to nearly half a millennium of fishing, climate change and Cod knows what other global and local forces.  But this isn’t the only problem facing the fleet.

After World War II, the United States was falling behind in the fishing game and foreign vessels were catching more fish offshore than domestic fishermen. The government responded, starting in the 1950s, with subsidies to the fishing industry. In 1976 the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act established the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone, in large part to give domestic fishermen preferential access to the nation’s rich fishery resource.  These subsidy programs (including financing for boat-building, tax-less gas, and new markets), plus a bat-sh#@-crazy optimism on the inexhaustible supply of fish out there resulted in just enough boats for the good times, but way too many boats for today.

Now, since the government helped to create this “overcapacity”, it can help undo it, right? This is an area of hot debate. As I argued in my post from last week, whether we should have a permit or a boat buy-back system, and how we should design said buy-back program, would depend entirely on the vision we have  for the future of New England fisheries.  If the government or other fishermen buy up permits from fishermen who want to get out of the fishery, do the fish those permits would have caught still get caught, or are they put aside?  Would this result in the well-heeled corporate fishing conglomerates coming out as winners at the expense of the small-scale fisherman?  Would the program actually help with overcapitalization, or exacerbate existing problems?  Would such a program result in a long-term benefit to the ecosystem? What about the socio-economic landscape?

As government and the public mull the value of a buy-back program in New England, these questions need to be answered. The trade-offs we face need to be well understood before the government “helps” again, and it would be a lot easier to find the “right” balance of ecological, economic and social benefits if we had a common vision in mind.

OK, now you can fix your Ron Paul poster. And once you’re done with that, focus hard on Capitol Hill. The prospects of a New England buyback gaining momentum are real. The likelihood of other regions positioning themselves to receive funds as part of any package? Also very real. The danger that a rushed injection of federal dollars will be a missed opportunity to, in Mike Conathan’s words, “hit the reset button” — in New England and elsewhere? Depressingly real. If that mistake is to be avoided, the time for action is now.

448 thoughts on “Should the government interfere with New England’s fishing fleet?

  1. Hi there are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new
    to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my
    own. Do you need any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  2. Usually I don’t read post on blogs, but I would like tto say that this
    write-up very pressured me to check outt and do so!

    Your writihg taste hhas been amazed me. Thanks, quite great article.

  3. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard
    time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.

    The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs
    and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but
    I had to ask!

  4. Generally I don’t learn article on blogs, but I would like to say
    that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do it!
    Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, quite great post.

  5. For reconstructing the damaged, restoring them to their original size, shape and color Anaheim Cosmetic Dentist use the caps and crown treatment.
    Here’s why you should consider cosmetic dentistry when you get older:.
    To stay ahead of the curve and to find out more, Sign up now.

  6. Hi I am so grateful I found your web site, I really found you by error, while I was researching on Askjeeve
    for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a fantastic post and a all round
    interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the minute but
    I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a
    great deal more, Please do keep up the awesome work.

  7. Thank you for every other informative site. The place else may I get that kind of information written in such
    an ideal means? I have a mission that I am just now
    running on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such information.

  8. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different web page and thought I might check things out.
    I ike what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to finding out
    about your web page again.

  9. I’m now not sure the place you’re getting your info, however good topic.
    I needs to spend a while learning much more or working out more.
    Thank you for magnificent information I was
    looking for this info for my mission.

  10. Thanks for any other informative blog. The place else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal manner?

    I have a mission that I’m just now running on, and I’ve been on the look out
    for such info.

  11. The media for downloading never been this fast and simple as
    it is now. Just must be link is on Piratebay does not always mean
    that the users are getting it, and hence, the flawed data.

    Now, movies aren’t the one thing that piracy trackers allow links too.

  12. With various loan schemes and flexible EMI options, middle class
    can afford to invest smartly. Consistency is keeping things
    consistent for the customers. The capital city, just like its namesake Christopher Columbus is
    ready to explore all the arenas of economic growth; and it has also seen small increases
    in its home values.

  13. Samuels (Eminem) “Nothin’ On You” — Philip Lawrence,
    Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Bobby Simmons Jr. Scores of reefs are now lying idle
    in Queensland from where tremendous yields were obtained
    nearby the surface, but which has been abandoned
    for want of capital. He told Mother that his two black boys became very nasty the evening after
    we left their camp; they yelled and sang during most with
    the night.

  14. Meal timing: eat approximately every 3 hours, with a substantial breakfast and a substantial post workout meal.
    To do this, I simply log online and catch up with some of my favorite
    surfing podcasts. Facebook additionally offers masses
    of apps, some in the form of games that you’ll be able to play
    against everyone else and others in the form of quizzes
    that tell you what your temperament is as an example.

  15. British glamour model Danielle Lloyd is based out off Birmingham, and has been both
    Miss Englasnd (in 2004) and Miss Great Britain (in 2006).
    She has had a long and successful career ass one of the top British glamour models, including modeling appearances
    in Nuts, Front, Loaded, FHM, and Maxim. Be aware that shooting
    uunder fluorescent lights will cast a green tijt
    too your photos.

  16. Thank you for every other magnificent article.
    Where else may anybody get that type of info in such an ideal
    way of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look
    for such info.

  17. Samuels (Eminem) “Nothin’ On You” — Philip Lawrence,
    Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Bobby Simmons Jr. After aiming for about two minutes
    and a half, he pulled the trigger. Juni, als Bombenanschläge
    in Kathmandu und anderen Städten Nepals acht Tote und 22 Verletzte forderten.

  18. With havin so much content and articles do you
    ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation?
    My blog has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either written myself
    or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all
    over the web without my authorization. Do you know any techniques to
    help protect against content from being stolen? I’d truly appreciate it.

  19. It started with i – Phone and contains now transferred
    to i – Pad 2; the reason- deficiency of availability.
    s no secret that illegal file sharing continues to
    be rampant in many countries, such as US, however, may possibly not
    be government interference that eventually leads
    towards the end with the age of illegal downloads. We’ll start our
    tour at Marina Grande about the north shore of the island, about one third with
    the way in from its easternmost point.

  20. Small breasts often diminish a woman’s sex appeal and give a shattering blow to
    her self-confidence and feminity. However, there is no guarantee
    that breast enhancement will be the result. The reason
    you should observe and maintain this type of implant more closely is because any leak or rupture
    may be quite hard to detect.

  21. You actually make it seem really easy with your presentation however I in finding this
    matter to be actually something that I think I would by no means understand.
    It sort of feels too complex and very extensive for me. I’m looking forward to your next post, I will try to get the hold off it!

    Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM

  22. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button!
    I’d most certainly donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and
    adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group.

    Talk soon!

  23. Put find me checking in the administration area any time frame.

    The saety features aree skme of the most important part of deciding what kind of
    vehicle to get. an experrt on car refinance and auto that loan.

  24. Hi, Neat post. There is an issue with your web site in web explorer, could test this?
    IE still is the marketplace leader and a huge part of folks will leave out your excellent writing because of this problem.

  25. Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem along
    with your web site in web explorer, would check
    this? IE still is the marlet leader and a good component to
    other folks will miss your great writing because of this problem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s