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July 08, 2009


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Julie Wormser

I work for Environmental Defense Fund in New England. Our team has been working with fishermen and fishery managers for years in the development of groundfish sectors.

We were glad to see sectors approved by the New England Council and are now focused on helping to make sure that they are implemented well. There remains a lot of hard work we need to do together to restore the groundfish fishery and the jobs and communities that depend on it.

We asked my boss, David Festa, to answer to the allegation raised repeatedly in this paper. He posted his response on our blog, which you can access below.




Julie, I'm sorry for not finishing reading David Festa's whole article, but I had to donate to the bait bucket in the first couple of paragraphs. I worked in the industry my whole life, as has my family for generations, and I know spin from a nimrod when I see it.

The red flag goes up in Dave's first sentence. Get real you guys. Nobody challenged you in public so vociferously before because you weren't deemed very dangerous. That has changed. And sorry you got caught up in a Children's Crusade. Just be thankful you won't be sold into slavery.

The crux of your misplaced faith is that fishermen will suddenly change their modus operandi overnight with the implementation of 'catch shares.' (And to my knowledge it isn't over. Gary Locke still need to sign off on it and I think he is waiting for an investigation to conclude on privatization.) And then fishermen will suddenly become first class businessmen, monitoring supply variables in depth and also become research biologists. No, you guys, fishermen just want to point their boats to a fishing spot and work to keep it afloat, deploy gear they know how to use, and get it back safely, hopefully with some fish in it.

For Dave to say 'give it up all you who won't be big investors,' is tantamount to communism in my book. Millions of military service members and others in this country have sworn to fight against domestic terrorism. The success you and your kind attain in these regards is dependent on public apathy. That has been the norm in former privatization schemes.

The reason you get folk like the Gloucester newspaper folk on your case is that they recognize spin when they see it. They are trained that way. They just happen to be honest and brave enough to challenge you folk. Sorry.

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