(NaturalNews) Federal caps that limit the volume and frequency of fish catches are quickly bankrupting and destroying the fishing industry throughout New England, according to recent reports. Catch shares, which have allegedly been designed to stop overfishing and the many problems caused by overfishing, have inadvertently depressed the economic vitality of the fishing industry -- and conditions have gotten so bad that some fisherman have even tried to commit suicide.
"If they don't do something to modify the fishing regulations, we won't have a fishing industry on the Seacoast, is what it boils down to," said Fred Welch, Town Manager of Hampton, NH, to WMUR in Manchester. He and others have witnessed tremendous damage to the fishing industry since the regulations came into effect in 2010.
"We're off 1.1 million pounds of fish from last year, and over a million and a half pounds from the year before," explained Bob Campbell from the Yankee Fisherman's Cooperative, to WMUR. The cooperative has also seen monetary losses of roughly $750,000 since the enactment of the regulations.
The idea behind catch shares is to properly manage fisheries so that overfishing does not occur. Without some sort of understanding or agreement, even if informal, recognizing that resources are limited and need to be properly cared for, problems such as too many fishing boats, loss of sea life, and resource waste, are all a threat.
But the problem with regulations like the New England catch share program that are too restrictive is that they end up squelching the entire industry they were designed to regulate and protect. Not only do consumers suffer through high prices and food shortages, but also the fishing industry itself, which sustains many coastal communities, eventually falls into ruin.
A federal task force is currently evaluating the effects of the catch share program to assess its consequences. The group does not, however, plan to withdraw the program any time soon, even if it ends up killing the fishing industry.