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Tricia Sheldon

Catch Shares

The Problem With Catch Shares

Our nation’s fishermen have expressed outrage and disbelief toward a system of fishery management called catch shares. Through catch shares, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration portions out the privilege to catch fish, claiming that their methods protect deteriorating fish stocks. But many independent fishermen believe that this program threatens their jobs and communities, and that the ramifications are quickly destroying the livelihoods of current and future generations of independent fishermen. 

Listen to their stories and learn why catch share management amounts to privatization of a natural resource that hurts consumers, fishermen and our oceans. 


Fair Fish: Protecting our oceans and giving fish and fishermen a fair chance

Report: Fish, Inc.

Read the full reportFish, Inc.: The Privatization of U.S. Fisheries Through Catch Share Programs

Many large fishing operations are getting more than their fair share of fishing opportunities. If this continues, the results are likely to include:

  • depletion of wild seafood
  • environmental damage to our oceans
  • the collapse of coastal communities

There is a better way: FAIR FISH

With continued demand for seafood, our government is trying to figure out how to conserve and manage the fish that we do have. Unfortunately, the latest proposed way to regulate our fish, called catch shares or more accurately catch-and-trade, is essentially an outdated privatization approach.

If this becomes the main way fisheries are managed, many traditional fishermen will be forced out of work, economies of their communities will crumble, there will be increased risk of harm to our oceans, and consumers will probably end up with lower-quality seafood. Read more.


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