Privatization & the Future
of the Fisheries
Student Skippers Engage in
by Laurie Schreiber
WINTER HARBOR—The biggest problem facing small-scale fishermen is maintaining access to ocean resources.
So said Seth Macinko, an associate professor in the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Marine Affairs, where he specializes in fisheries law and management and comes from a long history in fishing and fisheries management, particularly in Alaska and New England.
Speaking to high school students who are part of the Eastern Maine Skippers Program, during EMSP’s day-long conference held at the Schoodic Institute on Jan. 12, Macinko said the two key questions around the issue of sustainable fishery resources center on how to know when to stop fishing and how to ensure future generations can get into the fisheries.
“If you can’t answer both those questions, you’ve got no business talking about sustainability,” he said.
As a former Alaska fisherman, Macinko said he witnessed the collapse of both the king crab fishery and the shrimp fishery. The king crab fishery closed in the Bering Sea for two years in the mid-1980s, but then opened again. The shrimp fishery subsequently closed around Kodiak Island and is still closed.