The examples cited in "One Fish,Two Fish, No Fish" [August 27] on the Bush administration's push to privatize publicly owned fishery resources don't tell the whole story of such programs.
New Zealand's extensive use of such programs has resulted in declining populations of orange roughy. It has also meant massive consolidation of quota ownership in the ground fish fishery, leaving family fishermen high and dry. In British Columbia, quota programs have practically eliminated ownership of quota by locals on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The most recently developed U.S. program, meanwhile, resulted in massive waste of Alaska king crabs and loss of hundreds of jobs. Congress's intent in authorizing such programs was to retain vibrant coastal communities and ensure healthy fish populations. The federal government needs to write regulations that genuinely keep family fishermen viable and conserve the nation's publicly owned fishery resources.
Marine Fish Conservation Network
The Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen's Association has led the charge to bring accountability and responsible fishing practices to a region that may be seeing fewer codfish now than ever before. These proactive fishermen broke out of a failed regional and national fish management scheme by acquiring the right to manage themselves, their community, and their marine resources. Community ideas, community decisions, and community enforcement prevent these fishermen from catching more fish than what is considered sustainable, thereby solving a chronic problem that has plagued New England fisheries for decades. By empowering their fellow fishermen to make better environmental and business decisions, ccchfa is preserving a resource, a tradition, and a way of life that will continue for generations to come.
Eric Brazer Jr.
Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen's Association
North Chatham, Mass.