Sector Management in New England | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Sector Management in New England

  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Lisa L. Colburn
Interviewee Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation Collection
Steven Wilkes

Steven Wilkes, 65, is a retired commercial fisherman out of Newport, Rhode Island. Mr. Wilkes fished with his grandfather as a boy and began fishing commercially at age 18, buying his first boat at age 29 after working as a teacher and deckhand for a few years. Though he in no longer an active fisherman, he still lives on his boat and maintains a permit in the common pool. Mr. Wilkes did mostly day trips as a fisherman, but worked patrolling telecommunications cables prior to retiring from fisheries. He does not have a positive impression of sectors or government involvement in business.

Azure Cygler Newport, RI NOAA Sector Management in New England
Steven Welch

Steven Welch, 51, is a fisherman out of Scituate and Plymouth, Massachusetts. He worked on boats as a kid and began commercial fishing full time when he graduated from high school in 1979. Since that time he has participated in most fisheries except herring; he now fishes offshore. Mr. Welch has been a member of sector 10 since sector management was initiated and participates as the treasurer. He does not like sectors or catch shares as he catches 62% fewer pounds under his allocation of quota than he did under the previous management by days-at-sea (DAS). Since sectors have begun, Mr.

Angela Wilson Scituate, MA NOAA Sector Management in New England
Richard R. Walz

Richard "Rob" Walz, 50, a commercial fisherman out of Tiverton, RI, began fishing as a boy. Mr. Walz fishes offshore, targeting different species seasonally. He has been a member of the common pool since sector management began, because his sector allocation was too small. Mr. Walz finds that sector management often causes fishermen to target one species, whereas fishermen used to diversify and catch numerous different species in an effort to conserve less abundant fish.

Azure Cygler Tiverton, RI NOAA Sector Management in New England
Rodman Sykes

Rodman Sykes, 59, is a commercial fisherman out of Point Judith, Rhode Island. His family was in the fishing industry and he grew up on the docks fishing with his grandfather, father and uncles; he bought his own boat in 1984. He currently fishes predominantly for fluke (summer flounder) and skates. He is a member of Sector 5 and has participated in various cooperative research projects, including underwater cable monitoring off Vero Beach, Florida. Mr. Sykes believes that sectors could have been a great management tool but for the way National Marine Fisheries Services allocated quota.

Azure Cygler Narragansett, RI NOAA Sector Management in New England
Christine Sykes

Christine Sykes, 60, is the wife of commercial fisherman Rodman Sykes who fishes out of Point Judith, RI. Though she is not from a fishing family, her husband is and has been fishing since he was 17, working with his grandfather. He currently targets finfish, especially yellowtail and codfish, and sometimes squid. He is a sector member. Mrs. Sykes believes that increased regulations, including those related to sectors, lead to more stress, often with respect to heavy observer coverage on the vessel.

Angela Wilson Wakefield, RI NOAA Sector Management in New England
Russell Sherman

Russell Sherman, 64, lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts and has been fishing for over 40 years and came to Cape Ann during his summer breaks from Harvard University where he was studying History. He got his first boat in 1980 and maintains that active participation in fisheries management is very important. He has attended meetings at the state and federal Council level for years until recently when his stress and frustration with the management process overpowered his decision to attend meetings.

Azure Cygler Gloucester, MA NOAA Sector Management in New England
Christine Sherman

Christine Sherman, 60, lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts and is married to a commercial fisherman that is a member of Sector 2. Mrs. Sherman also works for the Northeast Seafood Coalition, an industry advocacy group based in Gloucester and is primarily in charge of fundraising for the group. Mrs. Sherman has felt a huge impact from sectors and feels there is only a few years left for a viable, small boat commercial fishery in Gloucester. She has seen the impacts in her own family and life, having experienced physical and mental issues related to financial stress in an uncertain industry.

Azure Cygler Gloucester, MA NOAA Sector Management in New England
Dan Shannon

Dan Shannon, 48, is a commercial fisherman out of Scituate, Massachusetts. He began fishing around age 15 and has had his own boat for 20 years. He currently fishes predominantly lobster on Stellwagen Bank and in Massachusetts Bay, but also catches codfish and haddock. He joined sector 10 because the common pool was not a viable option. Mr. Shannon believes that sector management is not the appropriate strategy and was implemented unfairly.

Angela Wilson Scituate, MA NOAA Sector Management in New England
Angela Sanfilippo

Angela Sanfilippo, 62, lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts and serves as the President of Gloucester's Fishermen's Wives. Her husband was a commercial fisherman who lost his boat due to a fire and now works for on a charter boat because they knew it'd be too risky to re-invest in fishing; she does have a brother and other family members that are involved in sectors. Mrs. Sanfilippo works very hard to assist with commercial fisheries, whether through helping fishermen gain health insurance or by working in the permit bank.

Azure Cygler Gloucester, MA NOAA Sector Management in New England
Philip Ruhle Jr.

Phil Ruhle, 37, is a commercial fisherman out of Point Judith, Rhode Island. His grandfather began fishing in the 1950s; his father and uncles also fished and his children now fish with him on occasion. He fishes for a broad variety of fish using a dragger, catching predominantly groundfish inshore in recent years. He is a member of the Sustainable Harvest Sector and is on the Board of Directors; his father, along with other fishermen, began developing the Sustainable Harvest Sector even prior to 2010 when sectors were put in place throughout New England. Mr.

Azure Cygler Narragansett, RI NOAA Sector Management in New England