Albert Einstein said, “Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom”. This quote epitomizes what the fishing industry was. We worked harder than most and we were able to provide for our families, communities and feed the nation.
Our freedoms have eroded slowly. Requesting permission to fish has consummated into 24 hour-7 days a week GPS tracking. Observers on boats and dockside monitors are becoming more prevalent. Pre-landing emails must be sent six hours before returning to port. If we want to picnic at the beach, we need to send a request and receive an acceptance. There are cameras on some boats and talk of more.
U.S. fishermen have the most stringent regulations in the world. Now we need something else-money. Obama’s administration with its “Catch and Trade” regime is dictating that we need to buy or lease fishing quota. A few, lucky, fishermen are gifted with future fish shares. I’ve heard “Catch Shares” compared to diamonds for the minority and herpes for the majority-both last forever. TAC (total allowable catch) achieves the same thing without gifting.
A fishery management scheme being heavily promoted by mega-corporations. What do they know about fishing? Monsanto’s idea of sustainability is sterile seeds. “Catch Shares” is an economic -tool not a conservation one. EDF (environmental defense fund)a ENGO, who works with these corporations, claim fishermen may become better stewards because of ownership of fish.
One obvious error in that statement is the leaseholder becomes “mailbox” fishermen. Technically they don’t have to be fishermen. Many fish owners are not from our coastal communities. In fact, how are we being protected from foreign ownership? Some Japanese companies have owned fish in Alaska for years.
The fishing industry is indicative of all our American industries. The small businesses are being strangled by regulations that the huge corporations are immune to. Obama healthcare is mandatory. McDonalds and 29 other employers have gotten exemptions. What has become of fairness and equality?
I think our country has lost its foundation of ideals. The freedoms of religion, speech, equality and our unalienable rights that our founding fathers succinctly recorded in our Constitution have gone awry. How has this happened? Money and power are in the driver’s seat of government. The corporations are the navigators.
We must become involved and demand better from our elected officials. They need to familiarize themselves with the real issues of the people and not the propaganda from the mega-corporations with their lobbyists- media, scientists and environmental shills. If the politicians listened, they would realize the cure doesn’t always have to be buyouts and bailouts. We need the infrastructure of fishing jobs.
“We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both”. Louis Brandeis. It is our responsibility to become engaged in the process. There are no magic pills. The power is ours but we have to realize it. We need to put people back in the equation.
“Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” Louis Brandeis.
We must spread the message: We are concerned about the plight of the fishermen. Mega-corporations are stealing jobs, fish resources, and heritages under the guise of environmentalism. Welfare and food stamps will not cover the losses.
NOAA: Now Obama’s Agenda-driven Agency.
NMFS: No More Fish Science.
NMFS: Now My Family Starves.
Please send this to 3 people and ask them to send to 3, and so on.
A Fishing Family
Mary Beth de Poutiloff
A Note for Barack Obama’s Fridge
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,
that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to
secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their
just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of
government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the
people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying
its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form,
as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should
not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all
experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while
evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to
which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and
usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to
reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty,
to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future
security. –Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and
such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former
systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is
a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct
object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states.
Post that on your refrigerator, Mr. President. You will do well to
remember it. You are not just Barack Obama. You are the President of the
United States of America, and you carry the abuses and usurpations of the
previous office holders along with the title. Maybe people will finally
wake up. Maybe they will stop worrying about who controls the power of the
federal government, and realize the federal government wields too much