The New England Boat Buy Back Program

The Government has recently offered the fishermen of New England an opportunity to sell their fishing boats as a proposed fishery management tactic. There is $2 million in available funding to purchase the boats. These funds would only be enough to cover the full purchase of five to ten boats. Interested fishermen submitted bids in early September, in doing so they agree to forfeit their fishing licenses and relinquish their boats. The bids are a reflection of the value of their boat and lifestyle change.

Nearly one hundred applications had been submitted in the first round, of these sixty-five came from the Gloucester area. After the submission the bids will go under review to look at the suggested bid, the owner's income from fishing, and the effects of the removal of that boat from the fishery. The goverenment is aware that $2 million is not enough to cover the number of applicants or to make any significant reduction in the level of overfishing in the New England area. This program was intended as a pilot to determine the reaction of local fisheries. The buyout program is modeled after a larger program in the United Kingdom.

The latest update on the Commerce Departments Fishing Capacity Reduction Initiative is the program now aims to remove eighty fishing boats from the New England fisheries. The cost to do this is set at $25 million.

The Gloucester case study hopes to provide the information that can better explain what biological problems are occuring in the fisheries to prompt this program. We also provide sociological and economic aspects of the current Gloucester fisheries.

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