FEB 10, 2018 - eVTR WORKSHOP - READ THIS STORY BY A COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN WHO ATTENDED THE WORKSHOP (ONE OF THE BEST ARTICLES ON THIS TOPIC)

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FEB 10, 2018 - eVTR WORKSHOP - READ THIS STORY BY A COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN WHO ATTENDED THE WORKSHOP (ONE OF THE BEST ARTICLES ON THIS TOPIC)

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:21 pm

Fishermen....I like to pass along one of the most insightful pieces written by Shelley Fleming Wigglesworth. This was originally posted in the 'Commercial Fishermen of America' group and if you read it closely, she nails many of the relevant questions we continue to ask those in fishery management and their lack of any reasonable response. Please take a few minutes to read through and thank her for the fine article!

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Shelley Fleming Wigglesworth

Kennebunkport, ME



As I attended yet another meeting/workshop today on required electronic fishing reporting and how to do it, I was struck by a number of things once again, which seems to be the same old song and game at so many of these meetings on rules, regulations, laws and changes that effect American Commercial/Charter fishermen.

1. There were more PAID federal and state employees or subcontractors for the computer software program/system, (which they said took them upwards of 5 years to develop-at what cost I do not know, but would probably cringe if I did) present than actual fishermen who attended.

2. As I stated previously, these employees were all paid for their time that day. Fishermen were not. We took a day off from fishing or boat work - a day that we could have been making $ or working on the boat and gear to be ready to make money, to attend this. We had to travel (in our case from Maine to Mass.) on our own time and at our $ cost for gas, tolls, lunch etc.

3. Those fishermen without the required operating systems were told (as usual) to purchase it at their own expense if they do not have it.

When a fishermen asked about the cost, which was a few hundred bucks new, one person suggested they buy a used one on Ebay. I wonder if any of the Federal employees had to buy theirs used on Ebay at their own cost?

We were constantly reminded about how much easier and more effective this will make things. "Easier and more effective for you or for us?" I asked.

I reiterated that we were there without pay and that they are being paid. I brought up the fact that we do not get paid when we miss work to attend. They get paid. We don't get paid when we can't go out to fish due to the weather, yet they will get paid regardless of the weather.

We don't get paid vacations, benefits and sick days-they do. Adding insult to injury, we have more and more days at sea taken away-therefore, we are again not getting paid-and neither are deckhands, bait dealers, fuel people, etc...down the chain, but guess what-they will still get paid, and probably get cost of living raises and benefits such as retirement etc. too boot.

I agree, the new way to report electronically looks like it will be easier than filing the paper VTR's but what happens when they change it to a new program or "upgrade" this one and require us to learn that and/or attend another workshop, or buy new software or new electronics again on our dime? This is the typical runaround. Keep in mind this was one of the easier "low key" workshop/ meetings.

I have been at the ones when they propose big cutbacks and changes and these same things happen on a larger scale-for far more is at stake-and it is far worse-but the principal is the same. When I pointed out the stark contrast between those being paid and the fishermen who are not and are required by law to do these things without pay, I also asked,

"Why aren't you paying us to collect this data that makes your job easier?"

The answer I got, "You reap the benefits of a healthy fishery down the road, that is your pay."

I responded, "Healthy fisheries down the road does not pay for me to live now. It pays for YOU to live."

No response from them. Think about it.

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Re: FEB 10, 2018 - eVTR WORKSHOP - READ THIS STORY BY A COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN WHO ATTENDED THE WORKSHOP (ONE OF THE BEST ARTICLES ON THIS TOPIC)

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:04 pm

The latest from Captain Tim Tower of the fv BUNNY CLARK - ME:


I spent the morning and part of the afternoon at the eVTR (electronic vessel trip report) workshop, either getting ready for it, driving up and back, attending or planning how to set up the Bunny Clark with the equipment I need to do it.

The eVTRs will become mandatory by March 12 or the for-hire fleet only. Commercial boats will still be able to fill out the paper forms and the private recreational angler won't have to do any reporting. However, when the eVTRs get to cell phones, I can see National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) go the direction of the private boat angler as well.

The eVTRs were pretty simple to operate once you knew how to do it. But there were many things that I ran across that made me glad that I went to the workshop. Plus, I think I asked the most questions. And they did have pity on the oldest guy in the room!

One thing that always strikes me is the time/money lost on these projects invented by the government that we have to attend. The time we spent to go to these workshops, the money it costs just to drive to a common place for a meeting, the time/money it costs to set yourself up and the money it costs to buy a tablet and maintain it in a harsh environment.

The industry is already depressed because of the regulations, the unfair regulations, that we have to comply with. Now we have to spend more. And I get that it is better for the fishery to have timely data. And, as a business, we can write some of this off. But if the Feds come up with an idea they think we need we shouldn't have to pay for it.

As businesses go, the for-hire fleet is at the bottom of the food chain, a place where we shouldn't be. If the government wants us to do these things, then provide us with the tools to do so. Don't make us go out and spend more to learn and acquire the tools.

My gripe.
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Re: FEB 10, 2018 - eVTR WORKSHOP - READ THIS STORY BY A COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN WHO ATTENDED THE WORKSHOP (ONE OF THE BEST ARTICLES ON THIS TOPIC)

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:59 pm

A few articles written by the author Shelley Wigglesworth...
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Shelley Wigglesworth – Fishermen denied disaster relief funds


On March 1, 2016 The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced it will soon be issuing the third and final payment to Maine-home ported commercial Northeast Multispecies (groundfish) permit holders to provide direct assistance under federal disaster relief funding which is being issued due to changes in fishing regulations and cutbacks in the industry. Shawn Tibbetts of the Miss Megan II in Saco and Pete Morse from Teazer Charters, Portland are two of the fishermen denied DMR federal disaster relief funds.

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Shawn Tibbetts of the Miss Megan II in Saco and Pete Morse from Teazer Charters, Portland are two of the fishermen denied DMR federal disaster relief funds.


This is the third and final bin of money being allotted in Maine.

Other New England states have also received federal relief funding in three separate dispersions, and although it is federal money, each state has individual discretion on how to allocate use of the funds. While some other states divided the money among permit holders and in some cases, their crews, Maine chose a formula based criteria for fishermen in this category to qualify for relief funds.

Last week, many charter/for hire boats in Maine received notification from the DMR that because of Maine’s criteria, they will not be eligible for any of these relief funds in bin 3 which was estimated to be in the $75,000 range and was intended for the charter/for hire sector as other sectors have already received compensation. This has this sector of fishermen very concerned about the method of qualification which excludes many of them and for the future of their livelihood altogether.



Read the story here:

FISHERY NATION: Shelley Wigglesworth – Fishermen denied disaster relief funds

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SOUTH BOSTON, MA – As ever-changing rules and regulations challenge the bread-and-butter end of the commercial fishing industry, something else is threatening the heart and soul of its very way of life – the steady demise of heritage, history, home, and a sense of place.

The chapel’s stained glass windows depict: the biblical story of Jesus walking on water and calming the storm to reassure his disciples, a number of whom were fishermen; Gloucester’s famous “Man at the Wheel” statute.

The chapel’s stained glass windows depict: the biblical story of Jesus walking on water and calming the storm to reassure his disciples, a number of whom were fishermen; Gloucester’s famous “Man at the Wheel” statute.

A prime example of this loss is the planned destruction of the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Voyage located in the section of Boston known as “Southie.”



Read more here:

CFN: South Boston to lose historic fishermen’s chapel October '14, People

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CAPE PORPOISE, Maine — Mariners, town officials and residents expressed concern this week that the Goat Island Light foghorn no longer sounds automatically on foggy days, since the Coast Guard switched the operating system Tuesday.

Mariners needing foghorn assistance must request it electronically via radio when coming in to port. This will require keying the microphone five times within 10 seconds on marine radio channel 83 to signal the horn.

The recent announcement has caused a stir among many townspeople and local fishermen who believe the change is a dangerous way to operate, leaving vulnerable those without the electronic equipment necessary to ask for foghorn assistance.



Read the full story here:

BDN - PORTLAND: Switch to electronic triggering of Goat Island Light foghorn prompts safety concerns By Shelley Wigglesworth, York County Coast Star • August 15, 2014 2:32 pm Updated: August 15, 2014

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