One fisherman explains that before catch shares the crab fishing season, “was long enough that everybody was exhausted and you went beyond what maybe you should. And short enough that you couldn’t stop and rest.” Another fisherman states that with the catch share management system, “I don’t have to race for fish.”
Earlier this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that in 2009 fishing was – once again – the deadliest job in America. The profession is often made more dangerous by traditional fishing regulations that sharply curtail when fishermen can be on the water. This increases pressure to catch as many fish or shellfish as quickly as possible. Fishermen sometimes go fishing even in the face of dangerous weather, overload their boats with equipment, and work much longer hours. Under catch shares, fishermen have far more flexibility on when to fish as long as they stay within their specified quota allotment for the season.