Council Moves
on Fleet Diversity

by Laurie Schreiber

 A Congressional hearing was held October 3, 2011 to address dramatic consolidation of the New England fishing fleet into the hands of fewer vessel operators. The 2010 catch shares and NOAA have been faulted for the loss of jobs and businesses. Assembled in hearing room A-1 at the state house in Boston were near left, Rep. John Tierny, Sen. Scott Brown, Sen. John Kerry and Rep. Barney Frank, and Near right Chief NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, and Asst. Administrator Eric Schwabb. See accompanying story. ©Photo by Sam Murfitt

At the New England Fishery Management Council’s Sept. 26-29 meeting, the council agreed to move forward on actions designed to protect the diversity of the Northeast groundfishing fleet, and to forestall further consolidation of the groundfish resource to a shrinking number of boats by imposing accumulation limits. The NEFMC said the issues will be addressed in Amendment 18 to the Groundfish Management Plan.

As part of its discussion about management priorities for 2012, NEFMC voted to release a public scoping document for the amendment.

The Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, based in Gloucester, Mass., praised the vote.

“This was a big vote to further our work around protecting fleet diversity for the benefit of the ecosystem, fishing communities, and our locally caught seafood,” NAMA said.


Wall Street to Wharf Street


James “Howdy” Houghton of Bar Harbor on the Village Green, Bar Harbor, ME October 15th, a day when protesters worldwide gathered for global change in tax and financial regulation policy. In a press statement, the MDI General Assembly organizers said their gathering will be held “in the spirit of the peaceful protest that began with the Wall Street occupation in NY, and spread to Washington, DC, Portland ME, and dozens of other cities.” The stars on the flag were replaced with corporate logos.