Petition Closed

Stop Failing the Fish and the Fishermen

My name is Tim Rider and I’m a commercial fisherman based in Saco, Maine. I became a fisherman not to make a killing, but rather to try and just make a living. Over the past 15 years, together with other fishermen who are trying to make a living, we have taken conservation measures to bring back the fish. Now, Catch Share policies are undoing all the good we did as fisheries access is concentrating into the hands of just a few players, communities are losing their infrastructure, and in the process, the stocks are decimated.

We have brought these problems along with a suite of solutions to our fisheries managers, the New England Fisheries Management Council (the Council), and yet over the past 5 years the Council has failed to address the problems. They’ve decided its more important to maintain the status quo, which they created when the Council adopted policies that turned the fish and fishing rights into private property to be traded and sold on Wall Street instead of policies that put local seafood on our plates at our schools, restaurants, hospitals, and dinner tables.

Status quo is unacceptable. We need to level the playing field for family fishermen and the fish.

Support the fight for fair fisheries by adding your name to this petition. Fish are still a public resource and should stay that way. They don’t and shouldn’t be anyone’s private property, except maybe when you buy some for your dinner. Fishery managers must understand they cannot give the rights and access to the resource away to the highest bidder. Our fight is about access rights, food access, jobs, and conservation. Thanks for your support.

**

Catch Share Policy Background

A policy called Catch Shares is squeezing out family fishermen like myself who have spent years taking conservation measures to restore overfished species, ensure a more healthy ocean, and provide access to a healthy source of food from the ocean. 

As they stand, Catch Shares concentrate the rights and access to fish into the hands of a few larger-scale businesses whose bottom line is primarily money. In its first two years, Catch Shares led to just three corporations controlling nearly 40% of the catch quota for one fish species here in New England and yet there is still no limit or quota cap. This is not the way to conservation. 

If we truly care about our oceans and our fisheries, then saving our family fishermen really matters. Family fishermen bring more value to the ocean, local economies, and access to locally harvested food.

We know from the experience with our US family farmers that consolidation resulted in large-scale factory farming corporations driving out family farmers and degrading the land based environment, biodiversity, and security of the food system everywhere. We must not repeat these same mistakes on our ocean.

 

This petition was delivered to:
  • Chair of the New England Fisheries Management Council
    Terry Stockwell
  • Executive Director of the New England Fisheries Management Council
    Tom Nies

    Tim Rider started this petition with a single signature, and now has 224 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.