Photo by Jacob Bøtter/Flickr CC
Yesterday, the day the Atlantic tuna commission voted at its Brazil meeting to reduce the eastern bluefin quota from 19,500 to 13,500 tons--a move the World Wildlife Fund, among many others including our own Barry Estabrook and the World Wildlife Foundation, considers completely inadequate to protect the fish--the Boston Globe published an op-ed about a similar fish-quote meeting today written by Peter Kaizer, a Nantucket fisherman (I guess there still are some) who fishes bluefin tuna.
If the WWF, Estabrook, and others have their way, Kaizer will have to find some means to make a living until at least 2019, the first time a sustainable bluefin fishery might come back if the bluefin fishery were closed for several years. I'll refrain from making a possibly callous remark about Nantucket being to real estate what bluefin are to commercial fish--that is scarce and overpriced--and applaud Kaizer for his concern over the fish today's meeting will discuss: herring, bluefin's main supply of food in the northeastern Atlantic. Herring, Kaizer writes, has been mismanaged and underprotected for decades by industrial trawlers that come far too close to shore:
Small boat fishermen like me have been sounding the alarm about the herring stock for years, especially on Nantucket Shoals, and trying to convince fisheries managers that the creation of an industrialized, midwater trawl herring fleet in our local waters was a big mistake.
He notes today's meeting of the New England Fisheries Management Council, which will call for new quotas, and hopes it will follow the recommendation of one independent group that has called for at least a 40 percent cut, a recommendation bolstered by another that warned that industrial trawlers are killing herring's central breeding stocks.