Trying to sell institutional investors on the merits of the Obama administration's plan to convert the nation's fisheries into commodity markets capable of yielding windfall profits, an Environmental Defense Fund vice president described the industry before "catch shares" as a human wasteland.
Such a world, David Festa, told investors at the Milken Institute Global Conference in 2009, was governed by ever-greater effort controls limiting the amount of time fishermen are allowed on the water; with constraints on fishing time, comes social decay, he explained.
"That means all you have is itinerant labor that bounces around from job to job," Festa said. "It's unskilled, it's unprofessional, it's low paid, there's high drug use, it's a rough life."
The Obama administration, which adopted EDF's catch share mantra and made it U.S. policy, distanced itself Monday from Festa and his opinions.