Monday, October 1

The Gloucester Fish War

The problem with overfishing is an increasing one Son. This is a classic example of the 'tragedy of the commons'. When everybody owns something then nobody wants to take care of it. Same goes for govt property. You take care of your stuff but we aren't that careful with public property. The sea is open and thus overfishing happens. This is going to be a very big issue as a significant part of the world and most coastal countries rely on sea fish and food for protein. When fisheries collapse, it takes a very long time to recover if at all. Whole species can disappear. One of the few cases where government intervention is required if nothing else to protect what cannot protect itself. 



The Gloucester Fish War - BusinessWeek

How a small town in Massachusetts destroyed a decade of law enforcement

By Brendan Borrell

The bidding starts early at the seafood auction in Gloucester, Mass. Each day about 30 tons of fish—mostly cod, haddock, and flounder—come in by boat on Cape Ann, a fist jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. Fishermen motor up to the concrete docks behind the beige-and-white warehouse, then wait while workers in rubber boots hoist their catches and weigh them out on a stainless-steel digital scale. At 4 a.m. grocery store buyers, restaurant owners, and distributors file in to inspect and bid on the haul.

The traders and graders were wrapping up their business just after 9 a.m. on Dec. 7, 2006, when 16 federal agents in Crown Victorias and Ford Expeditions pulled into the parking lot. They entered the building in pairs. Although most of them worked for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, they wore bulletproof vests and carried Glock pistols, according to interviews with participants and the NOAA investigative report.

They were looking for the auction’s founder and chief executive officer, a mustached man named Larry Ciulla. When they found him in an office off the auction floor, they officially informed him of their search warrant. They suspected he had illegally bought and sold cod, one of the world’s most valuable, most threatened, and closely watched stocks of fish. The agents were there to seize the auction’s last three years of records and had rented a U-Haul for the mountain of evidence they intended to truck away. In raiding the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction, the largest fish dealer on the Gulf of Maine, which extends from Cape Cod up to the southern tip of Nova Scotia, they hoped to send a message to the fishermen of Gloucester: Overfishing doesn’t pay.

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