What Justice Looks Like for "Codfather"
The high-profile arrest of New Bedford fishing mogul Carlos Rafael, followed by his guilty plea for lying about the fish he caught and sold, has been in the news for months. His criminal actions stole from honest fishermen and undermined the science and management of the entire fishery for cod, flounder and other bottom dwelling species. The Fishermen’s Alliance is taking a clear stand on what action NOAA Fisheries Service should take.
Carlos Rafael should be banned from commercial fishing forever, and his fishing quota (pounds of fish allowed to be landed each year) should be redistributed to all of the fishermen from Maine to New York who suffered because of his criminal activities. But we need to go further: NOAA should fine Rafael for his fishing violations in order to make restitution to both fishermen and fish populations – our public resource. Fines collected should be put into a fund to repair the fishery he damaged by improving dockside monitoring, expanding electronic monitoring and increasing fishermen-scientist collaborations to get better fish counts.
This is NOAA’s opportunity to create a sustainable fishery for the future. And this is what real justice looks like.
Read below links for editorial, op-eds and letters that support our views and keep your eyes on news outlets and our Twitter pages to learn more.
The (New Bedford) Standard-Times - editorial
Cape Cod Times - CEO John Pappalardo op-ed
The (New Bedford) Standard-Times - CEO John Pappalardo Letter to the Editor
The (Worcester) Telegram & Gazette - op-ed by Arizona Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva
Portland Press Herald - editorial