Local fisherman Doug Maxfield writes a blog about fishing (among other things - fair warning sometimes the content is spicy) and late last week he penned a post about some of the issues we have been concerned about, specifically consolidation of the fishing fleet into fewer boats. We consistently hear that consolidation is happening and it is driving out the small guys most. Doug's view is something we hear all the time from fishermen up and down the coast.
In recent and likely in coming years the costs to go fishing will continue to rise. Everything from fuel to the cost to lease fishing quota (a necessity for many fishermen under the new catch shares management plan). Meanwhile fish prices have remained largely unchanged in the last decade, ranging from 1.50/lb to 2.50/lb.
The resulting picture is not pretty for the smaller day-boat vessels that have the least impact on the ocean and provide the highest quality seafood. Supporting CAFC is a great way to support the local dayboat fleet, but in the long run, more will need to be done to ensure a healthy diverse fishery.
In the coming weeks, NAMA will be making a push to put protections in place for smaller inshore vessels and we hope that some CAFC folks will help us get the message to fisheries managers that people other than fishermen care about who fishes!