Six Things to Know About NAMA

As the year wraps up, we’re reflecting on the past 12 months (during which time we started celebrating our upcoming 20 year anniversary!), and we realized that we’ve gotten to know so many new allies and friends this year, some of whom may not know much about NAMA’s history. And we know from time to time, some of our faithful friends might wonder why we work the way we do. So, thought we’d remind ourselves and you about what’s brought us to today.
1. NAMA was founded based on a set of values and
. That makes us a value based organization, which means we
determine what we do based on whether or not it reflects those values and allows us
to be true to those principles. This means we measure success in ways that are
not always tangible or measurable in the conventional fashion.

2. We take risks. We’ll strive to be bold and
brave. We expect to make mistakes because we know we’re not perfect. We trust
our collaborators will tell us when we err, so we can correct course. We don’t
mind apologizing. But we also don’t mind standing our grounds when it comes to
differences of opinion. 

Our opinions are based on the principles NAMA’s built
on. That means on some issues, such as privatization of public commons, our
opinion won’t change because our principles haven’t. We will stand by our
oppositions to fisheries and ocean management that take public commons and turn
them into privately held commodities.

3. We believe our work should put us out of work.
Seriously. We’re not in this to perpetuate an organizational identity; we’re in
this to create real change believing that real change means we don’t have to
keep doing this work again. And again. And again.

4. We believe in decentralized community based
We believe that intrinsic ownership in Main Street is worth
more than anything on Wall Street. To that end we see our role one of
facilitating communities to access their own power, connecting with other
likeminded communities and advocates, and elevating their collective voices
toward creating long term change. That means we give up being quoted in the
paper, or speaking on a stage, etc. because we believe the voices of our
community partners are most important.

5. We share our resources, including funding. We
operate on a pretty small budget and anything we raise that doesn’t meet the
basic operational needs is used to provide stipends to community leaders,
enable fishermen to get where they need to go, and provide planning and
coordination support for the Fish Locally Collaborative.

6. We are not going to be polite. That
doesn’t mean we’re going to be rude. It means we will call things out as we see
them and not settle for silence on critical issues such as slavery in the
so-called sustainable seafood chain, or the strange bedfellows of the Koch Brothers, their allies, and environmental organizations pushing for ocean privatization. 

Ditto to issues
which, on the surface may not appear to be connected to fisheries and marine
policy issues but have deep roots that affect all parts of our society such as racial justice, economic justice, environmental justice,
food access, and corporate grabs of anything that isn’t tied down.

Now you know! Any questions?