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Interviewee: Dan Shannon

Role: Commercial Fishing Captain

Date of Interview: 2/16/12

Collection: Sector Management in New England

Click on the link below to play the audio clip from the interviewee.

Abstract: Dan Shannon, 48, is a commercial fisherman out of Scituate, Massachusetts. He began fishing around age 15 and has had his own boat for 20 years. He currently fishes predominantly lobster on Stellwagen Bank and in Massachusetts Bay, but also catches codfish and haddock. He joined Sector 10 because the common pool was not a viable option. Mr. Shannon believes that sector management is not the appropriate strategy and was implemented unfairly. He finds that he has to work harder, spend money and gross more revenue in order to make the same amount of profit as he did under Days-at-Sea (DAS) management. His quality of life is worse, largely due to stress associated with sector management. He believes that instead of regulating big boats who put the most pressure on the resource, little boats are being put out of business. Overall, Mr. Shannon does not believe it is right for individuals to own fish; fish were a public resource that have been privatized by sector management. However, there is no viable alternative to that privatization under the current management regime.

Transcript: AW: And in your opinion, what do you think the best years for you were as a fisherman?

DS: And then when sectors came in I took about a 50 to 60 percent cut in what I could catch in the groundfish, so… and now that's like a permanent thing. And so I took a financial hit there, so it's kind of emotionally and…. It's kind of… I've had a tough time coming to term with how, you know…. We struggled out here and starved for 15 years under trip limits and closed areas and then it all kind of got thrown out the door when sectors came in, you know?

AW: And so have you had to make any big life changes since sectors started?

DS: Not, you know, I've been able to kind of roll with the punches, but it's like my wife will tell you, I'm always saying it drives me crazy, the unfairness of the sectors. It really has, you know, has aggravated me and kind of emotionally it's, you know. I'm able to deal with it, but I just, it really, you know, makes me mad and pisses me off the way everything went down.

To read Dan's full transcript, click here.