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Massachusetts Fishing Industry Under Attack August 26, 2010

New Bedford Fishing Boats to Join Vineyard Protest
Under the direction of Dr. Jane Lubchenco, former board member of the Environmental Defense Fund, now the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the Obama Administration (NOAA), the New Bedford fishing industry is on the verge of being destroyed. The Obama/Lubchenco "Fish Tale" is stinking up the industry, and as usual, the fish rots from the head down. While the industry is sinking, this administration is saying "Let them eat fish."
Already suffering from catch limits, high taxes and high insurance premiums, middle class family fishermen in the 4th Congressional District are struggling to earn a living here because of the Obama administration's oppressive and unprecedented intrusion into their livelihood. Now NOAA wants to put a moratorium on lobstering. These new fishing regulations fly in the face of traditional American work ethics that include self-reliance, independence and opportunity which all lead to prosperity.
I warned of the death blow aimed at our fishing industry when Lubchenco was confirmed by the Senate in March of 2009. Her "spatial planning techniques", including smaller allocations, big-brother reporting, electronic tracking, and putting government observers on board fishing vessels, will devastate struggling family fishermen. The only beneficiaries of these misguided policies will be large foreign and domestic corporations.
With a $4 billion budget and 12,800 government employees, Lubchenco's interests, which mirror Obama's, lie in consolidating our fishing industry under the management system of "catch shares" - the buying, selling or trading for catching rights, or "catch credits". Unsurprisingly, this is the same type of system that's used in the Democrats' Cap & Trade scheme. They're both scams intended to enhance government revenues and exert more government control. This is just plain un-American!
Lubchenco is leading the direction of commerce on our waters by regulating the fishing industry through her tunnel vision of environmentalism. Her vision for the future? A more "consolidated" fishing fleet managed by the government with oceans that are more "ecologically diverse... and more reflective of society's values". In other words, social engineering... for fish, at the expense of an industry which has been the life blood for family fishermen for hundreds of years.
Fishing is a billion dollar industry in New Bedford. New Bedford also has one of the highest unemployment rates in New England. This administration's oppressive-style intrusion is going to turn New Bedford into a ghost town if the people don't take back control of their own government and this great country.
Fishermen across the region are holding a boat protest just outside Vineyard Haven harbor today because they're rightly angered by the fact that they don't even have a seat at the table for deciding their own industry's interests. Their voices must be heard.
This is just more evidence that the current administration and Congress are out of touch with the average working man. Barney Frank, cheerleader for bigger government, talks a good game when it comes to helping fishermen, but actions speak louder than words. Family fishermen need action now!
I have been a strong advocate for family fishermen and have spoken out on this vital issue many times. The first maxim of law is that it should do no harm. We don't need or want incompetent bureaucrats or government-sponsored corporations running the fishing industry.
Save the Family Fishermen!

Earl Sholley,
Republican Candidate for MA 4th Congressional District

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