Sectors Spark In-Fighting Among Comm. Fishermen
April 20, 2011
Boston.com: Mike Russo grew up on Cape Cod, where the sea was always in the air or just around the bend, and knew by middle school he wanted to work a fishing boat. Now 45, Russo owns a boat, hunts cod off Provincetown and is baffled that fishermen like him are being branded industry sell-outs by critics of a group that represents him, the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association.
The Hook, as it’s known, represents fisherman who use hooks or stationary nets and was an early backer of the cooperatives, called sectors, which are the foundation of current New England fishery management. The Hook helped Russo and other fishermen create one of the first sectors in 2004.
Others in the fishing industry consider the sector system a disaster that’s ruining fishing businesses. But the Hook defends the change as the best way to keep fishermen solvent while species rebound. Environmental groups who agree have given it praise and money. To some fishermen, that’s like allying with anti-fishing enemies.
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