Saturday, November 28, 2009

Letter From A Maine Fishermen

So that everyone clearly understands, here is another of many letters and emails being sent to elected officials across the gulf, south atlantic, mid atlantic, and new england. Some in the Gulf area have been told by a select few that those of us who oppose catch shares and oppose sector separation are against charter and commercial fishermen because we see the benefits of working together for the benefit of all. The below letter is from a fisherman in Maine, the most northern state on the east coast.

I do not know this fishermen, nor do I know many more like him who feel as most of us do that United We Fish! More and more are sending emails and letters and contacting legislators and elected officials to ask for help. The select few located in the Gulf region who are standing with groups like the Environmental Defense Fund to destroy your way of life are in the very small minority and are helping the enviros stop fishing and our way of life. I now challenge the few who have signed with the EDF Gulf group to join with the majority of fishermen, families, support businesses and communities to work with us and be part of the movement to have congress repair the unintended damage they have done, and amend HR1584 and S1255 to address "overfishing" and pass both bills so we can continue to fish while our marine resources prosper.

More and more legislators are working to help us because we are standing together as a national fishing community. Help us by joining with us. Together we can effect change and all survive. Our movement is growing daily, our momentum is building, and we will succeed in overcoming the enviro impact that seeks to destroy us. The EDF and other enviro goliath giant bullies will fall as the small fishermen come together as David in biblical times. We can win this fight and we will survive.

Hi Bob, I fwd this particular letter because it is written by a fella who happens to be both charter & commercial----he is my husband's younger brother & 8th child in the family. amanda
----- Original Message -----
From: Rob Odlin
Cc: aodlin@
Sent: Saturday, November 28, 2009 9:53 PM
Subject: United We Fish

I'm a Scarborough, Maine resident.

My wife and I are expecting our first child. I had planned on supporting them making a living fishing. I work as a commercial fisherman and have for 25 years. I'm the son of a fisherman, my brothers fish, my uncles fished and my cousins fish. For the last ten years I also operate a charter boat.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is planning a new policy of Catch Shares for May 2010.
I'm not sure you are aware of this or not, but thousands fisherman like me will not be able to survive this new form of regulation.

The new system only allows catching a small percentage of fish judged on what your vessel or permit history landed during the ten year period 1996-2006. There are thousands of struggling fisherman along the east coast , gulf coast and in Maine that will lose their boats, homes and livelihoods.

I'm asking you as my elected officials to join ranks with 5 governors,senators and congressmen of coastal states to demand NOAA and NMFS reconsider this Catch Share fiasco. Sign HR 1584 (S-1255) allow room for flexibility to help keep the nations oldest profession from losing a huge amount of its workforce.

We as fisherman contribute in many ways to the economy and provide healthy food to our nation. Many jobs are at stake on fishing boats, shore side infrastructure and support industry. Millions of dollars and thousands of jobs depend on smart and deliberate action by elected officials of this great nation. Please let congress know we need flexibility in the current law, the Magnuson Stevens Act. Demand on my behalf a reprieve from the Catch Share ITQ plan that is being quickly and unnecessarily forced upon us.

Sign or encourage those who can to sign : HR 1584 (S-1255) - [Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2009] which will allow flexibility within the time frame for rebuilding fish stocks.

Sincerely submitted,

Robert M Odlin
Captain/owner F/V's Maria and Dorothy , Maine Lady III

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