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When we lease from the trust, we also join a team of small-boat fishermen with similar problems and goals. When we work together to solve problems, we can get huge results.
—Bob Keese, sea scallop fisherman
Bob Keese comes from a fishing family and is passing the tradition down to his son, Drew, who has been on the boat with him since he was a young kid. Keese enjoys fishing, because he enjoys the outdoors and being his own boss. The day-boat aspect of his job allows him to have a family life and to bring the freshest scallops to market, which gives him great pride.
Keese is one of 400 small day-boat fisherman who works with the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance. He represents the scallop lessees for the Cape Cod Fisheries Trust. Keese finds that the small-boat fleet has a difficult time competing with big-boat scallopers for inshore scallop populations, resulting in a boom-and-bust cycle for the small-boat fleets. In November 2014, the small-boat scallopers petitioned the New England Fishery Management Council to hold a workshop to bring together the two fleets and help protect the inshore scallop populations.
"This is just the first step in a long process to get a sustainable future, but it’s a big step," says Keese.
Keese finds that while leasing quota from the trust helps his business, the best part about the trust is working together with other small-boat fishermen. "If we were all working alone, we might not be able to get any policies to move in our direction. But together, we can really make an impact."
When profits are redistributed into the community, they support the long-term sustainability of the local fishing industry.
—Pam Andersen of the Community Development Partnership
“Is this a fishing day?” is the first question Pam Andersen asks herself when she has an appointment scheduled with a fisherman. Andersen has learned that there is no such thing as working 9 to 5 or Monday through Friday in the fishing industry.
Andersen is a business and credit programs manager for the Community Development Partnership, which collaborates with Cape Cod Fisheries Trust. The unique relationship between the trust and the Community Development Partnership helps new scallop fishermen succeed in today’s competitive business market and comply with the many regulations that govern our fisheries.
Andersen helps them reconcile federal reporting paperwork, us accounting software, and meet best business practices, including hiring and paying fair wages to local crew.
“When profits are redistributed into the community, they support the long-term sustainability of the local fishing industry," says Andersen. "Fishermen can’t keep using old ways to run their business; they have to plan, adapt, and project as any modern businessman would.”