Sectors instead will move away from these input controls of time to an output control of “quantity,” the quantity of catch a given group of boats can harvest.
This is arguably the biggest shift in New England fisheries since the first cod was salted. The majority of fishermen are adamantly opposed to the change. Yet the new rules have been set in motion by powerful political and environmental entities. Fishery managers feel that sectors will put more ownership into the hands of the fishermen, by giving them a “share” of the fishery. And with this “share” will come more responsibility, more stewardship, less harvest of nontarget species.
The sector system – set to go into effect by May 2010 – is being touted by the NMFS as the final solution to save both fish and fishermen. On the waterfront, Maine to the Carolinas, it’s a different story.
“This is about elimination, not conservation,” said Brian Loftes.