The ramping-up of federal red tape has catastrophic effects on New England fishermen and lobstermen. They are killing a centuries-old industry and the lifeblood of New England.
“We’ve got billions of dollars of money up for grabs for climate, so corporations and associations are looking at ‘how am I going to tie this into climate?’ Whoever comes up with the biggest excuse gets the biggest funding,” writes Michael Caputo.
The government ties everything into climate and follows up with rules and regulations. It doesn’t matter if it’s not true.
The Maine lobstermen and other New England fishermen are distressed about government overreach and so-called green energy initiatives. The regulations will likely destroy the New England maritime economy and communities.
“The main thing is just the constant cloud over our head of a total shutdown,” one Lobsterman tells The Spectator. “I’d like the guarantee of a future, really. And it’s not just for me. I have four kids. Twenty years ago, I’d be like, ‘You gotta get into [this industry].’ Now, I don’t even know if that’s something you should push. There’s a wharf culture and a community culture, and that’s just dying, and it’s really, really sad.”
He listed federal rules restricting catch quotas; shortening fishing seasons; implementing expensive and onerous permitting requirements and regulations mandating net sizes with a lower yield than those of Canadian competitors; and insisting that lobstermen use complicated, costly “ropeless” gear as reasons he and fellow lobstermen and fishermen fear for their livelihoods.
THE NEW ENGLAN FISHERMAN
One New England fisherman Jerry Leeman left his 22-year career as a commercial ground fisherman. He chose to become executive director of the New England Fisherman Stewardship Association (NEFSA). It is a newly formed non-profit, nonpartisan advocacy group. They are fighting “against needless regulation and offshore wind development threatening the viability of the American fishing fleet.”
One day, he was at home, winding down after a ten-day trip at sea, when he saw a television report of “the lowest landings of codfish in Maine’s history due to overfishing.”
“I was like, ‘You’ve got to be shitting me!’” Jerry recalls. “I’ve seen more fish now than twenty years ago when I first started fishing. I wanted to throw the damn clicker through the TV.
That’s when he decided to do something about it.
The green energy government has united usually competitive Maine lobstermen and fishermen over a more recent proposal.
The government plans a ten-million-acre offshore wind energy project in the Gulf of Maine. Sinking turbines into the ocean would obstruct the seafloor and prevent trawlers and lobstermen from doing their work. NEFSA also cites European studies that have found “cables carrying energy inland from wind farms can change fish migration patterns and deplete populations.” As Jerry puts it, construction noise can cause similar harm, “depleting our stocks without even touching our stocks. There’s not one alive who agrees with it.”
The Green New Deal and their radical allies are destroying New England fishing and the Maine Lobstermen.