By Virginia Allen
New England fishermen are facing growing regulations—from the amount of fish they are allowed to catch to large sections of ocean they can no longer work because of “offshore wind development.”
“The New England fishermen are the most regulated fishermen in the world,” Jerry Leeman says. Leeman has been fishing in Maine his entire life. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all fishermen.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration collects data and determines how much of a certain kind of fish the fishermen are allowed to process, Leeman says, but the limits have been so greatly reduced in some categories of fish that it is “making it so unviable for us to even make a profit.”
“It’s forcing boats either out of the industry or forcing them to lease their quota just to make ends meet.”
Federal regulations have now reduced the amount of haddock landings for commercial fishermen by more than 80%, Leeman said.
The reduction in fish that fishermen are allowed to catch and “offshore wind development,” which is taking over “just under 10 million acres” of ocean, prompted Leeman, along with fisherman Dustin Delano, to create the New England Fishermen’s Stewardship Association to advocate for the region’s fishermen.
The association launched in May to “keep the resource viable for our heritage, for the next generation to be able to process a resource for the U.S. consumer,” Leeman says. If something doesn’t change, Leeman says, America will be further “dependent on other nations to feed us with protein resources.”
Read the rest of the interview transcript at The Daily Signal.
Virginia Allen is a senior news producer and podcast host for The Daily Signal. She is the co-host of “The Daily Signal Podcast” and “Problematic Women.”
Originally published by The Daily Signal. Republished with permission.