The annual meeting; an in-house calendar
By John Pappalardo
Calendars can be arbitrary, highlighting particular dates for no obvious reason -- why is Groundhog Day always February 2? Why was Presidents’ Day February 17 when no president was born that day, the closest being Washington’s birthday February 22, or Lincoln’s February 12?
But regardless, calendars have a way of focusing the mind. And at best their dates give us a moment to stop, consider the big circle that is a year, take stock of where we are and where we’ve been.
We'll do that at our annual meeting on Thursday, March 26, 5 pm, at the Alliance’s home in Chatham.
These annual meetings usually cover a fair amount of ground. We report on the year just concluded, everything from financial performance to policy achievements, challenges and successes. I’ll give my small equivalent of a State of the Union for the Alliance, reporting to the board of directors and the community at large. Other staff members will join in, and of course the board will offer both feedback and direction. We’ll open it up for questions and comments from whomever might like to offer perspectives, whether that be congratulating us, informing us, or taking us to task.
We also invite someone we think the community would like to hear, always with a unique perspective on the fisheries and the work we try to accomplish.
This year I’m very pleased to report that our keynote speaker is Dan McKiernan, presently acting director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.
Dan has been in the trenches of fisheries management (maybe “in the trough” is a better nautical term) for a long time now. He has worked through pretty much every issue that has come up in state waters for decades. He has gone to more fisheries management meetings than anyone I know – even me! – and probably has sat on more hotseats, faced more tough questions, tried to explain more marine-related policies, than anyone in Massachusetts. He is now running an agency he knows from bottom to top. He also understands the Cape fishing community and the broader Massachusetts community, which do not always see things the same way. He makes the regular drive to Boston from his home in Sandwich, so he also understands and lives with the rugged commute many of us try to avoid.
I’d welcome Dan talking about most anything and everything he’d like to at our annual meeting, but a topic will be a major port study he’s been working on in partnership with us and UMass Boston’s Urban Harbors Institute. At his strong suggestion, we’ve been pulling together a report that profiles commercial fishing activity in every town in Massachusetts (that has it), gathering information from harbormasters and fishermen, landings data and insights from people who use ports up and down the coast. The final rundown should be ready soon after the weather warms up and our hope is that it offers all kinds of great information, a better appreciation of how important waterfront access and infrastructure can be to our economy, and ways we can improve our facilities.
I’m looking forward to hearing from Dan but even more importantly getting us together to catch up, look ahead, and turn the arbitrary calendar on another year for the Fishermen’s Alliance.
(John Pappalardo is CEO of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance)