September 26, 2002
Fishermen’s Partnership Supports Northeast Science Task Force
The Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership (MFP) voted strong support for
the Northeast Science Task Force, which has been proposed by Senators Kennedy
and Kerry and Congressmen Delahunt, Frank, and Tierney. David Bergeron,
Coordinator of the Partnership, said, "The goal of the Task Force is to
restore confidence in the science which has been called into question by
recent information about flawed National Marine Fisheries Service trawl
Paul Diodati, Director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF),
has taken the lead in organizing the Directors of the Fishery Agencies of the
New England States to spearhead the Task Force.
The Task Force is needed to resolve contention over the shaky evidence
underlying proposed fishery regulations and potential inaccuracies in
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) assessments. Enactment of the
regulations would tear apart the economic and social fabric of the New
England fishing industry.
Rodney Avila of the Trawlers Survival Fund said, "It is more important now
than ever for all fishermen to set aside their differences and support
something that can make real improvement to the system."
Vito Giacalone, representing the Northeast Seafood Coalition at the
meeting said, "We should give our State Director our blessing to pursue his
initiative to form the Task Force. It is the most realistic option we have to
gather science regionally." Al Ferent, MFP president added, "Involving
fishermen is the only way to get reliable data and fair representation." John
Pappalardo of the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association said,
"Fishermen have everything to gain by participating in this Task Force."
Paul Diodati, DMF director said, "I am pleased that the fishing industry
is supporting our initiative because the direct involvement of fishermen on
the Task Force is essential to achieving one of our goals, which is to gain
industry confidence in the science that is used to guide fisheries
The Massachusetts Fishermen's Partnership (MFP) is an umbrella
organization of 17 commercial fishing associations representing all gear and
geographic sectors of the Massachusetts fishing industry. The organization
promotes the common interests and economic viability of commercial fishermen
and fishing families.
The Partnership is urging that the Northeast Science Task Force meet
before the New England Fishery Management Council is scheduled to vote on
Amendment 13 options in November.
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