The Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) along with supporters from around New England are launching the 'WHO FISHES MATTERS' campaign. If we truly care about our oceans and our fisheries, then "WHO" fishes matters! Our goal is to ensure fleet diveristy and prevent excessive consolidation for the well-being of our fishing communities and marine ecosystem. The New England Fisheries Management Council has made clear that consolidation is a priority in order to reduce total catch. However, a Council vision for who stays and who goes is absent.
We learned from the experience of US farm policy that consolidation without a vision resulted in large-scale factory farming corporations driving out family farmers and degrading the land based environment, biodiversity, and security of the food system in this country. As it did this, it also destroyed the fabric and vitality of farming communities in the heartland.
On the marine side we are heading down the same path. By ignoring 'Who Fishes' policy-makers will end up undermining the conservation objectives aimed at preserving a sustainable ecosystem. We need protections! Please support the "WHO FISHES MATTERS" campaign by adding your name to this petition.
In New England fisheries managers have mandated goals and objectives to maintain fleet diversity and prevent excessive consolidation. Protections must be put in place to ensure that our New England fishing fleet remain diverse for the sake of fishing communities and the marine ecosystem.
The New England community has a Vision for "Who" should fish. Over a two-year visioning process, a diverse group of commercial and recreational fishermen from all geographical areas, boat sizes, and gear types came together with scientists, fisheries advocates, community members and shore-side businesses to create a long-term vision for the fleet. One of the participating fishermen said the Fleet Vision Project was as comprehensive and detailed an effort as New England had ever seen. The Vision for a diverse fleet states:
"A geographically distributed commercial and recreational fleet that includes all gear types and boat sizes. Clearly the community values and understands the need for many different boat sizes and gear types that provide diverse products to markets. The community strongly dislikes the possibility of a fleet that is consolidated either by ownership or geography, and participants in this project advocate many jobs and coastal community welfare over economic efficiency."
I support the Fleet Vision Project that calls for a diverse fleet and I urge you to do the same.
I await your reply,