Fight the Big Box Boats; Save Family Fishermen and the Fish
  • Petitioning Terry Stockwell

This petition will be delivered to:

Chairman of the New England Fisheries Management Council
Terry Stockwell
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate

Fight the Big Box Boats; Save Family Fishermen and the Fish

    1. Petition by

      Ron Borjeson

My name is Ron Borjeson. I'm a second generation fisherman and I've fished for 42 years. Over the past 15 years, together with my fellow fishermen, we have taken conservation measures to bring back the fish. Now, new policies are allowing the biggest boats to take it all away and, in the process, the stocks are decimated.

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. 

Fisheries managers have made it clear that consolidation through Catch Shares is a priority. 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 just two years, Catch Shares have led to just three corporations controlling nearly 40% of the catch quota for one fish species here in New England and yet there is 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.

We need to level the playing field for family fishermen and the fish.

Please support family fishermen and help save the fish 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. Catch Shares are about giving away the rights to fish. Our fight is about access rights, food access, jobs, and conservation. Thanks for your support.

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 1,500 signatures
    2. We Are Winning and Tide is Turning

      Ron Borjeson
      Petition Organizer

      We just surpassed 750 signatures and at last week's policy meeting we saw a turning of the tides. More support for community fishers, and less for big box boats!

      Policy makers voted the Fleet Diversity Amendment - Amendment 18 - a top priority for 2013 policy despite strong opposition. But that's not all. The newly appointed Regional Administrator, John Bullard, publicly announced his support for moving this amendment forward.

      Between support from the new administrator and the priorities vote we are seeing a major turn in the tides.

      Your voices are helping keep the pressure on. Our next step is a key vote in January. With continued support we can ensure the Fleet Diversity Amendment addresses the inequities that are displacing smaller scale fishers and wreaking havoc on the ecosystem.

      Big box business is everywhere these days. But when it comes to public resources and our fisheries it is time to take a stand -- HANDS OFF, BIG BOX BOATS!

      Thanks,
      Ron

    3. Reached 750 signatures
    4. Key Amendment Stays Top Priority for Policy Makers

      Ron Borjeson
      Petition Organizer

      You all signed the petition and last week policy makers kept the Fleet Diversity Amendment - AKA Amendment 18 – a top priority for 2013. Thank you!

      The amendment will ensure a level playing field for family fishermen, restrict concentration of fishing rights in the hands of a few, and address who controls the rights to fish.

      Fleet diversity protections are essential if we want a fishing fleet that is owned and operated by family fishermen and not by fewer and larger-scale operations, a trend that has already become evident since the adoption of the Catch Share policy in New England.

      Despite all the public and policy maker interest things can still shift. So we have to keep pressure on.

      Please help share the petition and help us reach 1,000 signatures by the next policy meeting in mid-November. Thanks again!

      -Ron

    5. Reached 500 signatures
    6. NOAA Calls for Fisheries Disaster

      Ron Borjeson
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks everyone for the support thus far. Only 700 more signatures to reach 1,000!

      The NY Times published an article today on a recent NOAA and Dep. of Commerce announcement that the New England fisheries is officially a disaster.

      But what caused this disaster? NOAA and the Dep. of Commerce don't have an answer.

      Getting rid of the family fishermen and replacing them with big box boats is a major part of the cause. Just like industrializing our farm lands didn't help the soil or ecosystem, neither will these policies on water.

      This message needs to get to our policy makers, especially now, when we have an opportunity to redirect our course, protect access to the ocean's resources, and ensure the fish stocks stay healthy well into the future.

      Thank you again,
      Ron

    7. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • mark craig ISLESBORO, ME
      • about 18 hours ago

      its a way of life and a livelyhood to so many in this area.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 25 days ago

      “Human beings are so destructive. I sometimes think we're a kind of plague, that will scrub the earth clean. We destroy things so well that I sometimes think, maybe that's our function. Maybe every few eons, some animal comes along that kills off the rest of the world, clears the decks, and lets evolution proceed to its next phase.”

      ― Michael Crichton, The Lost World

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Carole Donagher FARMINGTON, CT
      • 3 months ago

      We need dramatic measures to preserve the fish of the ocean by keeping harvests sustainable. We need to keep huge corporations from grabbing all the resources and controlling the policy-making! The smaller scale fishers are as important as the family farmer!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jeff Woolley MILLVILLE, UT
      • 6 months ago

      As a chef, I need to know that my seafood is fresh. I am also a firm believer in keep family fisherman doing what they do best. Its not in our best interest to keep letting the "Big Box Boats" fish an area and species to the point of not coming back.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Noel Gasparin ANNAPOLIS, MD
      • 7 months ago

      I live in a coastal community and know watermen who are struggling.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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