THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Fisherman's plight

April 4, 2009
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RE "BRING this fishery back" (Editorial, March 27): One might think that one year without fishing won't really hurt. But face reality - members of the fishing industry are feeling the economic crunch too, probably more than most of us can imagine. What once was a flourishing trade is now one that barely pays the bills.

My uncle is the captain of a groundfishing boat. A few years ago, he wasn't rich, but he did well.

Then Big Brother stepped in and tightened regulations, and now my uncle and aunt are fighting to make ends meet.

I see the worry and frustration on their faces. Sometimes, it's all my uncle can do to cover the cost of a trip (fuel, food, salaries) - that is, when he can actually make one. He has been limited on how often he can go to work and how much he can catch. Imagine your boss telling you that you can only work, and get paid, for one day a week.

I'm not saying that conservation is unimportant. I agree that there should be regulation.

But while we protect the dwindling stocks of fish, we risk bringing another species to the brink of extinction: the local fisherman.

Jessica Burrows
Jamestown, R.I.

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