Interviewee: Ian Parente

Role: Commercial Fishing Captain

Date of Interview: 7/12/12

Collection: Sector Management in New England

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

Abstract: Ian Parente, 30, is a commercial fisherman out of Sakonnet Point, RI. He is a second generation commercial fisherman who has fished his whole life and bought his own vessel out of high school; he also has 2 brothers that fish. Mr. Parente now fishes mostly for groundfish offshore on his common pool boat; his other boat does not have a groundfish permit and mostly monkfishes. He feels that sector management is not a bad idea in theory, but that it has been poorly implemented, largely as a result of allocation issues. Sectors management favors the corporations rather than the small fishermen, who represent the heritage of fishing communities such as Sakonnet Point. As a result of sectors, Mr. Parente has experienced a loss of freedom in the fishing industry and experienced increased stress in himself and his family.


AC: So looking at your span in the fisheries in general, what were some of the best years in your opinion?

IP: My last couple of years have been the best. I'd say my last three years or so.

AC: So even though sectors were a couple years ago…?

IP: Yeah, [well] I've been doing better monkfishing than with groundfishing.

AC: Ok, so it was a forced switch?

IP: Yeah, the forced switch probably helped me in the long-term. [But] not emotionally, no, I still resent being forced out of groundfishing. You know, we've done it in town here for hundreds of years. So for us to be pushed out is not the way we wanted to exit it nor did we want to exit it at all. But it's forced me to invest more in the monkfish fishery, and I've been doing really well with that.

AC: Would you recommend another fisherman join a sector? Not necessarily one close to you, but any sector?

IP: Depending on the structure. I don't think, I think it could have been structured better and I don't think any of the ones existing now are [structured well], but the basic idea of it isn't horrible. I just think the way it was worked out, ya' know, so we took huge hits in our total allowable catches for those species at the same time as sectors were coming through. For a few different reasons, it didn't work. But with better monopoly clauses which they didn't put any in, I think it might not be a bad idea. I'm not completely against the theory of it, but the way they put it into practice, I disagree with almost every line item.

To read Ian's full transcript, click here.