Gas Prices Deal Devastating Blow to Atlantic Clam Industry
Government Scientists Cancel Essential Survey to Save Money
June 13, 2008 Washington, D.C. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has told the hard working fishermen of theMid-Atlantic that the all-important 2008 Clam Survey will not happen because of unexpectedly high fuel costs.
Everyone is feeling the pinch of gas prices. But to cancel this survey is not like canceling a trip to the mall in your SUV in order to save a few bucks, said National Fisheries Institute (NFI) President John Connelly. This decision could have devastating effects on the clam community. We are talking about peoples livelihoods here.
The survey, conducted every three years, determines how many clams watermen are allowed to harvest. Without the survey government regulators rely on equations that are based on old harvest numbers rather than a true scientific analysis of the potential of the current stock.
This could cut limits by 20%, 30% or moreit has the potential to shut some folks down, said Blount Fine Foods Vice President Steve Blount, the chairman of NFIs Clam Committee. We are dealing with a nightmare scenario.
NOAA representatives announced the cancelation on Thursday at a meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, less than two weeks before the survey was scheduled to begin.
Unfortunately, this is a short sighted decision that could have long-term repercussions, said Connelly.
For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit: www.AboutSeafood.com.