COMPETING APPROACHES TO POLICY CHANGE IN FISHERIES: THE REGIONAL MANAGEMENT COUNCIL AND STAKEHOLDER ORGANIZATIONS

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1 COMPETING APPROACHES TO POLICY CHANGE IN FISHERIES: THE REGIONAL MANAGEMENT COUNCIL AND STAKEHOLDER ORGANIZATIONS M. Hall-Arber MITSG Sea Grant College Program Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts NOAA Grant No. NA10OAR Project No A/A-3 Presented at the 73 rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Denver, Colorado, March 19-23, 2013

2 Competing approaches to policy change in fisheries: The regional management council and stakeholder organizations Madeleine Hall- Arber, Ph.D. MIT Sea Grant College Program SfAA 2013, Denver CO

3 Fishing in the Northeast US Centuries of * Diversity of gear (mobile and fixed) * Trawlers * Purse seines * Gillnets * Long- lines * Dredges * Pots and weirs * Differences in scale * Differences in practice * Differences in ethnicity * Differences in ownership

4 Traditionally * Diversity * Flexibility * Owner- operated fleet, many small- scale * Multiple small ports * Four hub ports Then and Now Today Diversity- for now Consolidation Hired captains Fewer active ports

5 Multispecies (Groundfish) Fisheries * Amendment 16 to the Multispecies FMP encouraged fishermen to join sectors (self- selecting) * Envisioned as a way to work in a group to handle the quota allocated on individual species * The catch shares allocated to each sector annually is based on the history of individual member s catches (like ITQs elsewhere) * To establish ITQs, the NE would have been required to hold a referendum Management Plan

6 Effect of A16 * ITQs elsewhere have led to consolidation * Armchair fishermen own the quota and lease it out * A few owners accumulate permits and quota (by buying or leasing) * Fewer fishing vessels * fewer jobs for fishermen * fewer support services

7 The Social Contract Political theory (Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau): * An agreement that leads to a state or organized society, the prime motive being the desire for protection * Surrender of some or all personal liberties * Assumes the consent of the governed Cultural metaphor (Hearn, Walzer): * An agreement to reach decisions together about what goods are necessary to our common life, and then to provide those goods for one another * Even without an explicit social contract, political action often proceeds as though an implicit trust has been broken.

8 Northeast Seafood Coalition Mission * Work for the long term health of fishery resources, fishing communities, and the fishing industry throughout the northeast. * Policy work - - develop rules to rebuild the northeast groundfish fishery. * Rules that embody real solutions to complex fishery problems. * NSC opposes overfishing.

9 Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) Mission: * Restore and enhance the marine system * Support a healthy diversity with * An abundance of marine life and human uses * Decisions and policies grounded in fishing communities based on sound science

10 Sectors & the NE Seafood Coalition ) * 17 Sectors * Each sector has a manager and a NOAA approved operations plan * A few share a manager * 12 sectors in NE are represented by the Northeast Seafood Coalition 9 in MA; 2 in NH; 1 in RI * Helped them organize ( * Helped develop their plans * Represent 509 permits (11 to 81 per sector)

11 Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance Began as a voluntary organization to gather together disparate stakeholders interested in community- based management of fisheries, hoping to achieve the success of Dee Hock s Visa business model of decentralized governance. Campaigns: * Community- supported fisheries * Local marketing including health care institutions * Seafood Throwdowns (linked with local food movement) * Who fishes matters (NAMA)

12 Amendment 18 Proposes Accumulation Caps and Diversity Goals * Inshore and offshore fleets; * Diverse groundfish fishery * different gear types, vessel sizes, geographic locations, and levels of participation; * Balance the geographic distribution of permits * protect fishing communities and the infrastructure they provide; and * Prohibit any from acquiring or controlling excessive access

13 Opposing Views * NAMA supports and has been pressuring the Council to develop A18 * NE Seafood Coalition opposes A18 * Council s scoping indicated a lack of consensus in the region * About the problems * Whether regulations are necessary * What the desired outcome is

14 NAMA asking Council for: * Inshore/offshore delineation * Owner- operator incentives * Quota set- asides particularly for new entrants * Leasing provisions, and * Quota caps Also: * Transparency * Set aside for jig- fishing Safeguards (NAMA)

15 Coalition Keeping Social Contract? Joining sectors was a matter of trust that the sector operations and manager would protect members and allow them to continue fishing. * NSC testified (to Council) the sectors were * Maintaining diversity * Limiting consolidation * Worried about further complicating regulations

16 * An agreement that leads to a state or organized society, the prime motive being the desire for protection * An agreement to reach decisions together about what goods are necessary to our common life, and then to provide those goods for one another The Social Contract

17 Coalition: internal adjustment * Sectors have the right of first refusal when members want to sell quota * Little transparency * How do members learn of available quota * How is the price set? * Sectors have boards that set policy * How do the rank and file express their views? * Formal processes tend to be intimidating

18 * Economic suicide, if openly complain * Big Box Boat and Who Fishes Matters slogans allow sector members to express views * But, some worry if accumulation limits imposed, quota is so low that no one will survive Complaints to NAMA

19 Gloucester Permit Bank * Overlapping board membership with NSC, the permit bank intends to keep permits in Gloucester * Only those landing in Gloucester may lease * Funding Mitigation for LNG terminals built on fishing grounds

20 New England Fishery Management Council * Maine to Connecticut * Regulate multispecies (groundfish), small mesh multispecies, herring, scallops, monkfish, dogfish, red crab, skates, Atlantic salmon * Collaborate with the Mid- Atlantic Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission on cross- boundary stocks * Relies heavily on their Scientific and Statistical Committee though are also increasing in- house staff capacity

21 NEFMC (Council) * State and Federal Representatives (6) * Appointed At- Large Members from each state * 3 Commercial Fishermen * 2 Recreational Fishermen * 1 Processor * 1 Fishermen s Representative * Appointed Obligatory Members * 2 Commercial Fishermen * 2 Environmentalist * 1 Former state rep (Lawyer) * Non- voting reps from Coast Guard and ASMFC

22 What would you do? * Paralysis by analysis * Hurry up and wait A18 has been on the Council s priority list for two years * Chairman turned off the microphone * Council members do not read the SIAs * Stakeholder views are not unanimous, how could we help managers reach a middle ground?