It's not often one can say they love their job but in this case I have. After working in Quality Control in the Aerospace/Defense industries for over 30 years I was laid off in 2009. For a year and a half I went to countless interviews and all of them looked promising. I'd hear the usual "You have great qualifications" but that was usually followed by "But you are over qualified"! What they don't say is what's on their mind...... being over 50 years old, no chance!
But in April of 2010 my sister called and said "check out this job, it's not in Quality Control but it will put you on the waterfront where you like to take pictures". It intrigued me enough to give them a call. It was a Canadian Company hired to monitor fish landings in the Northeast. NOAA(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the NMFS(National Marine Fisheries Service)were instituting their Catch Shares program. To insure quota integrity Dock Monitors were added to the program. Dock Monitors have been in place in Canada since the early 1990's with much success. In no time I was in Falmouth and Woods Hole for a weeks worth of training and on May 1st 2010 the new fishing season started.
And there I was on the dock to cover my 1st landing. Here I am not knowing how I'll be received by the fishermen and the dealers, this was new territory not only for them but for myself as well. Most captains(who didn't know me) asked: Are you from Gloucester"? When I replied "yes" I was in! So in no time I was not only collecting landing data I was resolving tally issues between the boats and dealers. The position as I discovered looks out for best interests of all involved.
Most know the dangers of fishing and the hard work fishermen put in. Add the stress of government restrictions and you would think fishermen are a hard bunch to deal with. That's far from the truth, I've never met such a brotherhood that's so passionate and dedicated to their profession. I kinda knew that while growing up in Gloucester but this job reaffirmed that. And let me not forget the dealers and dock workers, such a diverse hard working group that work at all hours. A major and crucial cog in the fishing industry.
Well....It looks like my job comes to an end on September 19th.
As per NOAA:
Groundfish Dockside Monitoring Funds Redirected to Defray Sector Costs
NOAA announced that it plans to redirect roughly $1 million in federal funding for its groundfish dockside monitoring program to help sectors defray some of their costs.
In the groundfish fishery, individual vessels can form groups called sectors and each sector is allocated a share of the year’s allowable catch. Individual sectors then manage their respective harvests as a group, according to an annual plan.
By providing funds directly to sectors, managers and members can determine how best to use the money to develop their respective operations. Sectors may use funds for approved operating costs such as sector manager salaries, office space rental and communications costs.
Effective September 19 until the end of the 2011 fishing year and for the entire 2012 fishing year, there will be no centralized NOAA funded dockside monitoring program. Any sector that chooses to continue dockside monitoring, after September 19, may do so on a voluntary basis at their own cost.
To ensure a smooth transition for sectors and dockside monitoring providers, NOAA will provide funding for a 50 percent coverage rate for sector vessels through September 18.
While NOAA has decided not to centrally fund dockside monitoring for sectors during the 2011 and 2012 fishing years, as it did in 2010, the requirement for the fishing industry (both common pool and sectors) to pay for dockside monitoring beginning in 2013 technically remains in place. The New England Fishery Management Council can recommend that this requirement be eliminated or further modified. The Council is a multi-stakeholder body that develops fishery management plans in the Northeast.
NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.
I don't know about you but I'm gonna miss scenes like this!
It's not "soda" and not "pop" or even "soda pop" it's "tonic"!
It's a "rotary" not a "roundabout"!
"Going up the line" is a term used when leaving the island!
A "jigga"is a homemade powerless go-cart!
It's not "Break Time or Coffee Break" it's "Mug-up"!
It's not a "water fountain" it's a "Bubbla"!