“Don’t push us out.”
November 30, 2018 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Congrats on your first post!

Where do Portlanders stand on the referendum?
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 3:31 PM on November 30, 2018

And it's happening all over: the loss of fishing villages. I live on the outskirts of a shrimping/fishing area that's down to one place for the boats to come in with their catch and off-road to the fish house.

The yearly festival still happens but it's now a hollow commercial thing with non-local crafts and vendors. The condos and "marinas" are taking over.

Plus, fisherfolk say the rules are too strict (I don't know about that) and young folk aren't going into the industry. Pretty soon we will not be able to buy local seafood hereabouts.

The thing that money people want is water views. The picturesque fishing village isn't what brings them to our area. YMMV but there seems to be no meaning lost here on the southeast coast.
posted by mightshould at 3:42 PM on November 30, 2018

fisherfolk say the rules are too strict

After the collapse of the Atlantic cod fishery and the impending extinction of bluefin, I'm inclined to think that if the fishing industry says the rules are too strict, then probably the rules are just barely strict enough.
posted by aramaic at 3:58 PM on November 30, 2018 [13 favorites]

Yeah, it sucks but I'm inclined to think that there just aren't enough fish left for all the existing fishermen to be able to continue their livelihoods. If we fish at a rate that allows them all to stay employed, we'll run out of fish in short order and they'll all go out of business. It's hard. The only alternative would be for prices to skyrocket so that they can get by with much smaller catches.

Of course, in many fisheries it would also help if we could find the will to do something about the foreign factory boats that obey no rules at all. Fishing needs to go back to being an industry for small-scale business people, not giant corporations.

But everything these Mainers are saying is true, and that's what makes it so hard. Fishing is at the heart of many cultures, and it would be—will be—heartbreaking to lose that. But I feel like when we really get down to it, that ship sailed a long time ago. We're just drawing it out, at this point.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:33 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

As I understand it, the Portland situation is more about land-use issues and gentrification (i.e. it's about harborfront land being bought up by the investment class, taken out of the use of regular people) than the state of fisheries exactly.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:02 PM on November 30, 2018 [5 favorites]

Yes, LobsterMitten, this is yet another depressing post about gentrification. I have been visiting Portland and its harbor for 50 years. For a while, it was pretty much like a lot of un-gentrified warehouse/waterfront districts in cities all over the country. I could name five or ten; one could probably find 50 or so. Tied with the economy in Boston, Portland was not a hopping city 35+ years ago.

But Boston's resurgence and Portland's tourist industry started pumping up the local economy, and the Old Port area (the primary locus referenced in the article/video) became touristy 25+ years ago.

Obviously, it would be a shame and a crime to push out the fishing industry from their long-established homes in order to build expensive real estate properties. It would also diminish the tourist experience of an authentic fishing culture location, smelly and real.

The issue concerning the long-term deleterious effects of global warming on the Maine fishing industry, especially the lobster trade, is a separate and even more depressing topic.
posted by kozad at 6:36 PM on November 30, 2018

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