Cape Cod Fishermen Sell Permits in Effort to Keep Business Viable
BARNSTABLE – The decline of groundfish is causing many fisherman to sell their permits and the Nature Conservancy is partnering with local fishermen’s organizations to acquire them in an effort to keep them local.
Tenacious II’s Eric Hesse, of West Barnstable, recently sold two groundfish permits to the conservancy.
“The Nature Conservancy has bought the permits as a way to ensure that they won’t migrate towards a large institutional-type buyer who might eventually own an inordinate share of the fishery,” Hesse said.
Hesse said fishermen are at a particularly vulnerable time.
“Stocks have sunk to a level where the permits can be just given away,” he said. “The Nature Conservancy has stepped in and offered a reasonable price for local fisherman and many see it as a chance to get out and move on to the next thing.”
Three other Cape Cod fisherman recently sold permits to the Nature Conservancy, and Martha’s Vineyard’s last remaining historic groundfish permit was also acquired.