Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Working to Preserve the Fishing Industry

On Friday, January 16th, I participated in a joint meeting with Gloucester’s City Council and the city’s Fisheries Commission to discuss the current state and the future of the fishing industry. The meeting, which was held in Kyrouz Auditorium at City Hall, included fishermen; shoreside business operators; and city, state, and federal officials. It was a diverse crowd of stakeholders that provided a tremendous amount of expertise and experience in assessing Gloucester’s fisheries.

The meeting was broken into two segments that focused on short term fixes to preserve the existing infrastructure, and long term fixes to ensure the inshore fleet and shoreside businesses thrive. Essentially, we all agreed at some level that the science in assessing the fish stock is flawed. NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard also stated that NOAA needs to work better with fish stakeholders in communicating information regarding the industry.

During the meeting I reported on our accomplishments over the past year and the progress of other measures. They include:


·          The passage of a Seafood Marketing Bill;

·          Ch. 91 flexibility for Cape Pond Ice; and

·          Budget/economic development bill money for waterfront properties and CDC’s.

Working on:

·          Comprehensive and collaborative science effort;

·          Access to capital to rebuild wharves, piers, and infrastructure;

·         Tax relief for fishing vessels/gear; and

·         Lobster processing flexibility.

It is my hope, that as a group, we continue to work together to fight for an industry that has meant so much to the identity of Gloucester and the State of Massachusetts.

To read a more in-depth summary of the meeting, please click here to view a Gloucester Daily times report.