The Catch Share destruction spreads south!
The BP Horizon oil spill of 2010 is apparently not the only environmental and economic disaster that the Obama administration has presided over in the Gulf of Mexico.
On Wednesday, the national consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch released a report on the dramatic effects of the “catch shares” program, a federal plan to privatize public trust fisheries, on Gulf of Mexico fisheries. You can read the report at: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/briefs/catch-shares-gulf-of-mexico/.
“Analyzing brand new federal government data, the report, entitled A Closer Look at Catch Shares in the United States: The Gulf of Mexico, reveals that Gulf fisheries managed under one controversial program have seen significant industry consolidation and job losses and that certain catch shares programs have failed to meet ecological goals,” according to a November 16 news release from Food & Water Watch.
The report comes a day after congressional sponsors of a bill to continue a recently enacted ban on new catch share programs along the east coast and Gulf of Mexico confirmed that Congress had reached an agreement to kill the vote.
The report also was released a time when the Occupy movement is spreading throughout the nation and world in an unprecedented grassroots effort by the 99 percent to stop the 1 percent from plundering and privatizing the public trust, including the oceans.
“Under catch share programs, fishermen are assigned a certain amount of fish, or ’shares,” stated Food & Water Watch. “This allotment is typically based on how much they have caught in the past. Fishermen who fish the fastest and hardest often receive more shares, with smaller fishermen receiving less or none at all. Like shares in the stock market, these shares can be bought or sold for profit by corporations and banks.”
Once fish are turned into commodities under catch shares, the added costs of buying shares can push fishermen out of the fishery, either into bankruptcy or into other fisheries that aren’t under such a program.