Port Saun­ders fish­er­man wor­ried about trickle-down ef­fect of shrimp quota re­duc­tion


Eugene Caines won­ders what the fu­ture holds for the lob­ster fish­ery with more pres­sure put on the stocks.

In­volved in the in­dus­try for 45 years, Caines is wor­ried about the trickle-down ef­fect that he en­vi­sions with the re­duc­tion of the shrimp quota in the Port Saun­ders area where he’s made a liv­ing since he was 15-years-old.

The slash in shrimp quotes has led to at least seven fish­er­men in the area mak­ing the move to lob­ster with li­cence in hand.

They didn’t avail of it last year. Some of the shrimp fish­er­men af­fected by the re­duc­tion had li­cences in their back pocket while oth­ers pur­chased li­cences from lob­ster fish­er­men who re­tired this year.

Caines makes it clear he has no prob­lem with a fel­low fish­er­man hav­ing a li­cence be­cause they are en­ti­tled to it, but he’s won­der­ing how peo­ple will sur­vive when there will be less lob­ster to go around and a shorter sea­son be­cause it won’t take as long to fill quo­tas if there is a hike in the num­ber of peo­ple on the wa­ter.

He said if all of the sea­soned lob­ster fish­er­men went af­ter shrimp 10 years ago he figures it would be safe to say the shrimp stocks would have long been de­pleted long be­fore now.

“One fish­ery slows down and ev­ery­body gets in­volved in an­other one and even­tu­ally there is more of the pie to share around and even­tu­ally there will be none,” Caines said.

A 65-foot shrimp boat tied up to the wharf for a few lobsters is a pretty sad pic­ture of the fish­ery re­al­ity in this prov­ince in the eyes of a guy who has been on the wa­ter a day or two.

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