Thursday, April 26, 2007

Calls for more regulation for commercial fishermen

A few weeks ago, I commented about the Ethan Allen, and that congressional changes can result from single tragedies, and in particular, my fear that our industry is only one tragedy away from having some changes imposed. Here is a recent story in the on-going saga of the fishing vessel Lady of Grace which was raised on Wednesday [read story here] A link from the South Coast Today's website led me to this related story: SouthCoast fishing advocate asks Congress to improve safety

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., whose district includes New Bedford, called for more federal money for voluntary safety training programs, expanded dockside inspections by the Coast Guard and stricter safety standards for smaller fishing vessels, such as mandatory stability tests

Please do not misconstrue my posting this here. I'm not pointing out that regulation is always a bad thing, or suggesting that more regulation of commercial fishing isn't needed (it probably is). But there is no denying the connection between the tragic events and Rep. Frank's call for more standards. This is why we need to support the efforts of C-PORT to improve and increase our own standards. Our goal should be not to avoid the regulations, but to avoid the tragedies.

On a side note: The South Coast Today has done a truly remarkable job in covering this entire story with fairness and in depth.