Tuesday, July 18, 2006

In the News: Monkfish captains may face $100G losses

As part of the CMRC's Sustainable Coasts Program, we work to create solutions to the environmental and economic challenges of coastal communities. Sometimes the decisions that are made to conserve aquatic natural resources can have a significant financial impact on those who make a living off the ocean. For the monkfishery, declining numbers of the species led to a limit on the number of days that commerical fisherman could be at sea to 12 days a year. The consequent economic impacts to the fishing community could be in the millions of dollars writes the Asbury Park Press. JB

Asbury Park Press
By Kirk Moore

The latest fishing crisis in New England has spilled into New Jersey waters, where monkfish captains are seeing their permitted work days at sea slashed to just 12 a year.

In a business predicated on 40 days at sea, that means individual boat owners will each lose about $100,000 in revenue this year, estimates Barnegat Light monkfish captain Eric Svelling.

"With about 20 monkfish boats in town, those are small businesses that are going to lose $2 million," Svelling said. That's a big hit in the small fishing community of 800 people at the northern tip of Long Beach Island.

Last week, the Borough Council drew up a resolution urging federal officials and New Jersey's congressional delegation to intervene in the monkfish action. The reduction in fishing time, called days at sea, comes amid draconian cutbacks across the board in New England's cod and related fisheries.

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