For Immediate Release
Obama Administration Approves Harmful Privatization Plan for Managing Mid-Atlantic Fishery
Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
WASHINGTON - “Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
approved an unfair and potentially destructive plan for managing the
tilefish fishery of the mid-Atlantic region, known as ‘Individual
Fishing Quotas’ or ‘catch shares.’ Tilefish is a common finfish of the
region, and the fishery is predicted to be a $10 million industry when
rebuilt. Under this plan, only fishermen who are awarded “shares” by
the management council—in this case, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery
Management Council—are allowed to fish, while large numbers of
fishermen are pushed out of their jobs. The plan determines how much
quota share a fisherman receives based on the quantities he has caught
in the past, thus inherently favoring bigger players and squeezing out
many smaller-scale and historic fishermen. This plan also essentially
privatizes the resource, ensuring that all the profit gained from its
use benefits only a few, despite that oceans and fish resources are to
be held in public trust for the benefit of all.
“The plan also includes a 49 percent accumulation cap, meaning that one
fisherman or fishing company may have exclusive access to as much as 49
percent of all the fish under this plan—and as few as three companies
could control the entire fishery. This could amount to a near-monopoly.
In 2007, then U.S. House Representative Jim Saxton (R-N.J. 3) raised
concerns over this control issue with the U.S. Department of Justice’s
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Our Summer Campaign Is Underway
Support Common Dreams Today
Independent News and Views Putting People Over Profit
“Further, while this plan is billed as necessary for conservation, it
is entirely about economics. Catch share plans do not eliminate
environmental problems such as overfishing, and may even exacerbate
them. The plan places the resources in the hands of a small number of
people—and in the process, eliminates large numbers of jobs. Food &
Water Watch opposes this plan and the privatization of publicly held
resources, and supports community-based fishery management solutions
that work to balance economic, environmental and social concerns by
keeping the public in control of public resources.”
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.