Approximately 50 fishermen have arrived in Washington, D.C. today to tell members of Congress how important catch shares are to their future. Funding for the national catch shares program is included in the Fiscal Year 2011 budget. The fishermen are in Washington to talk to their Congressional representatives and Senators about how conventional management is increasingly pushing fishermen off the water and how catch shares is a solution that keeps fishermen working – even while fish stocks recover.
Today more than 60 federal stocks are overfished or undergoing overfishing. Thousands of fishing jobs have been lost as fisheries have declined under the current management system. This adverse impact from conventional management continues to increase as many valuable fisheries face huge closures or dwindling seasons, which will have devastating impacts on fishing jobs and coastal communities.
During their visits to Capitol Hill, fishermen will tell lawmakers how catch shares are locally designed to meet economic, social, and conservation goals. Catch shares management is not a one-size-fits-all approach; rather programs are designed to meet the specific needs and goals of each fishery.