Fleet Diversity Gains Traction – NAMA Newsletter December 2010

A Year End Message From NAMA Staff

At NAMA we feel lucky to be able to work amongst and amidst people who are passionate and caring about healthy oceans. From the Fish Locally Collaborative folks who help guide our every step to the fishermen, community and food activists who have come together to embrace new ideas such as Community Supported Fisheries. We really feel that despite knowing that there are significant challenges in the coming year, the work that is being done will lead us to the kind of healthy ocean and healthy communities we all value.

2010 was a year to watch the seeds of 2009 sprout and become strong. Another 8 new CSF’s formed, science continued to emerge supporting finer scale management, and of course we gained some traction around fleet diversity in the New England Fishery Management Council (see article below) These are just some of the things that happened with the help and support of our cohorts, conspirators, collaborators and well wishers, to all of whom we offer a heartfelt and sincere thanks. We are looking forward to another year connecting peoples and fish in rewarding, sustainable and productive ways. Have a great holiday season and New Year!

With Kind Regards,

The NAMA Team

Fleet Diversity Gains Traction; NEFMC Votes to Make an Amendment Protecting a Diverse Fleet Priority in 2011
by Sean Sullivan – NAMA Staff

A critical step forward in the battle to save the community-based fleet took place two weeks ago when the New England Fisheries Management Council voted to address fleet diversity as a priority in the upcoming year. This marks a sea-change of sorts considering Fleet Diversity was off the council’s radar as recently as last spring. The change is the direct result of many of you choosing to weigh in through your signature, testimonies and other means.

The vote marks a culmination of efforts by NAMA and our partners including fishermen, food system activists, community advocates, and non-profit allies who traveled to testify, recorded video, signed our petition, and spread the message that ‘Who Fishes Matters’.  Together, we worked to ensure family based fishermen and fishing communities are fairly represented and protected in the new Catch Share regime. We are forging the path toward a shared Fleet Vision and now look to the challenges ahead.

The vote also marks the beginning of a much more difficult and perhaps protracted battle: How do you define Fleet Diversity? And how do you achieve fleet diversity? Based on the Fleet Vision Project, which has a clear vision statement on Fleet Diversity, and evidence from other Catch Share programs the measures we feel will ensure the diversity of the fleet include: fishing quota set-asides that invest in fishing communities, leasing policies that foster an affordable fishery, owner-operator incentives, opportunities for new and/or younger fishermen to enter the fishery, and accumulation limits.

Each of these measures tackles a different aspect of a diverse fleet and ultimately will ensure an ecologically viable and sustainable ecosystem supporting an economically and socially just fishery. However no single measure in and of itself will work to ensure a diverse fleet.

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Terra Madre, Slow Food, and Slow Fish

by Brett Tolley – NAMA Community Organizer

Ciao from Italy! Once every two years Slow Food International’s Terra Madre conference in Torino, Italy brings together thousands of players in the food chain who together support sustainable and local food systems in countries around the world.

Our team from New England led a Terra Madre workshop called Between Land and Sea highlighting the critical connection between farmers and fishers. The panel featured NAMA’s Brett Tolley, Ellen Tyler and Amanda Beal (Tufts University and the By Land and By Sea Project), Lisa Fernandes (Eat Local Foods Coalition), Robin Alden and Ted Ames (Penobscot East Resource Center), and Russell Libby (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association-MOFGA).

Slow Food International recently launched a campaign called Slow Fish aimed at supporting responsible fishing communities and promoting good, clean, and fair fishing. Over the course of the conference fishers, including members of the New England delegation, laid the tracks for Slow Fish’s guiding document that will shape the campaign’s direction moving forward. NAMA is working closely with Slow Fish organizers to finalize the document and help make the Slow Fish campaign a powerful tool for fishing communities around the world.

Terra Madre day is December 10! Already more than a hundred countries will bring together local Slow Food networks of farmers, fishers, producers, schools, cooks, and members in hundreds of creative events to celebrate local food, with many highlighting the right to a healthy daily diet, particularly the world’s poorest people.

Help promote better food systems. Join Terra Madre in creating ‘a global revolution with local roots’. Visit Terra Madre’s website to learn more.