CALL to ACTION – Support Needed for Local, Commercial Fishing!

Dear SN Supporters:

Bill Blount & the Ruthie B.

We know that, like us, you also feel it is essential for the island to maintain and strengthen its traditional industries of farming and fishing that strengthen our economy and have given the island such a unique sense of place and community character.

On Wednesday, April 22, the Board of Selectmen voted to adopt a set of changes to the Harbor & Town Pier Regulations. Included among these logistical improvements were alterations to the fee structure for boats utilizing the Town Pier that, if not amended before the Town Pier is finished this summer, could severely impact the island’s already struggling commercial fishing industry, and increase the already high barriers to entry for anyone hoping to go into fishing.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

PLEASE take some time to become familiar with the changes to the Harbor & Town Pier Regulations that have been adopted by the Board of Selectmen recently (Click HERE for details); and to become involved in the conversation currently going on around amendments to these proposed fees!

A 2013 study commissioned by the American Sportfishing Association comparing NOAA’s Recreational & Commercial Fishing Data concluded that the $ value of the harvest brought in by commercial fishermen in New England brings approximately 7.4 times that dollar value into the local economy where it is processed, sold and served. In 2013, Bill Blount’s Ruthie B, for example, brought in $77,000 worth of fish to Nantucket – which would mean that approximately an additional $570,000 was brought into our local economy as a result.

Do we, as a community wish to support our local fishing industry that is in turn contributing to our local economy? If we do, we need to structure our fees for the use of shared resources (town pier dockage) to reflect that support.

On April 22nd, the Board of Selectmen took a second vote to consider amendments recommended by the Nantucket Harbor & Shellfish Advisory Board before the summer season commences. SHAB will be considering how to move forward with this charge at the next meeting at 5pm on May 5th, 2015 in the Community Room at 4 Fairgrounds Rd.

We are writing to ask those of you who believe a strong local food system should be a priority in our island community, to please become involved in this conversation. Please attend the SHAB meeting(s), share your thoughts and write letters expressing your opinion to the Board of Selectmen. Please become a part of the process and contribute to the conversation.