Vol. 10, No. 1  January 2005    News & Comment for and by the Fishermen of Maine          SUBSCRIBE NOW!!
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The Hidden Cost Of Oil
by Niaz Dorry with contributions from Jeff Della Penna

   Worried about your heating bill this winter? Thought the price of gas was too high last summer? For fishermen, there are additional costs associated with the global use of fossil fuel that are not always reflected in the price at the pump.
   Out of concern for the marine environment, fishing communities have joined forces with environmental groups for decades to fight against oil and gas exploration, transportation, or storage of various forms of fossil fuel near or off shore. Whales, fish, seabirds, and shellfish have been cited as vulnerable species impacted along the path various forms of fossil fuels take to reach our homes, cars, boats, and factories.
   From oil spills and extreme weather episodes to mercury in fish and rising sea levels, fishing communities find themselves in the eye of the fossil fuel hurricane. The global dependence on fossil fuel could be contributing to the many challenges facing fishing communities and the recovery of marine species around the world. Considering its substantial impact on the marine environment and fishing economies, little more than disaster preparation is done to protect the fish or the coastal communities from events resulting from continued use of fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas.
   As a result, fishing communities have taken matters in their own hands. New England’s fishing communities were instrumental in the passage of a moratorium on drilling on Georges Bank.
   In addition, fishing groups and coastal communities in the U.S. have taken a leadership role in opposing dozens of plans to build Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities within casting distance of fishing communities.
   So adamant is the fishing community opposition that in 1997 declaring “oil and fish don’t mix,” Father Thomas Kocherry of the World Forum of Fisher People turned down an award from the Pew Foundation, explaining that the foundation was established by the owners of the Sun Oil Company and receiving the award money might affect the fish workers' movement. Based in India, Father Kocherry was selected to receive the coveted Pew Fellowship Award of $150,000.


On April 27, 2003, Bouchard Barge 120 ruptured its hull, spilling over 90,000 gallons of No. 6 Oil into Buzzards Bay off the coast of Massachusetts. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife listed several commercially-valuable species as “resources at risk” due to the spill. Photo NOAA


No Place For A Woman
by Mike Crowe

   Born in the small town of Skowhegan, Me., on December 14, 1897, to a family of modest means, with neither silver spoon, nor gilded campaign fund, Margaret Chase Smith cleared her own path to a seat in the U.S. Senate. She was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate in her own right. Along the way, with 32 years in office, she was engaged in confrontation and compromise with some of the most renowned characters in American political history. Lesser known, though no less influential in the government behind these political stars, were the congressmen and insiders operating the machinery of government, with whom she dealt. She was known and is remembered for her good sense and integrity in both parties.
   From the beginning of her political life in a man’s world, there were rumors and press coverage aplenty. Rumors and criticism surrounded her from her first public office to the fallout from her last campaign, in 1972. She gave the press plenty to write about since she was more than willing to speak her mind.
   Margaret Chase was one of six children. Her mother worked as a waitress, a clerk at the 5 & 10, and a sewing woman.


President Harry S. Truman signs a bill to establish a permanent Army and Navy Nurse Corps, 16 April 1947. Margaret Chase Smith, standing next to Truman, promoted this legislation. In her 1st speech on the floor of the House she sought recognition for working mothers, child care, medical coverage and equal pay for women. Congress is still sitting on these sixty years later. Photo courtesy Margaret Chase Smith Library.


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