NOAA’s attitude toward the traditional New England fishing fleet has been on full display for some time now. Independent fishermen, who once made up the bulk of the fleet, have been squeezed out by the larger corporate boats. NOAA’s commercial fishing regulations have helped to greatly speed this process along.
Now another sector of the fishing fleet -- charter boats -- are feeling the squeeze. Many of them are small, local, family-owned businesses. We are witnessing another sector of the fishing fleet being quietly squashed by the federal government.
It’s long past time for NOAA to pay heed to the regional advisory boards.