Most often, we buy quota from retiring fishermen, then make this quota available for lease locally at reasonable prices. We also provide financing along with business planning and technical assistance to fishermen who want to buy quota to grow their own portfolios.
There is growing evidence that the Trust's strategy is working. We're seeing success in keeping quota local and in diversifying the species fishermen target. We're seeing growth in the number of working fishermen and in fishermen's earnings.
- CCFT started buying quota in 2008, and now owns million of pounds of scallop and groundfish quota—enough diversity of access to keep our Cape Cod fleet working at healthy levels.
- Our quota portfolio has been a good investment for our community, appreciating in value since its purchase and in turn stabilizing the cost of access to fishing rights for local fishermen.
- The portfolio supports good fishing jobs: in 2012, our leasing program helped 106 captains and crew working aboard 29 fishing vessels to catch 623,000 pounds of fresh seafood worth $2.9M on Cape Cod—and studies show that "fishing dollars" stay local on Cape Cod and have a vitally important multiplier effect on our overall economy.
- Cape Cod fishermen are participating actively in keeping quotas local; in recent years, no quota has been sold by our local fleet to larger off-Cape companies.
- Local scallop quota ownership continues to increase, a good sign for our fleet.
- Scallop and groundfish captains are using Trust support to help diversify their businesses. Fishermen are finding good catches in dogfish, monkfish, skate, tuna, lobster, conch and striped bass as a way to avoid becoming overly specialized and reliant on a single fishery.
- The Trust has become an inspiration and model for others who are working to create sustainable fisheries and economies. One example: in 2017, the Martha’s Vineyard fishing community created its own Fisheries Trust modeled on CCFT that is now supporting both conch and scallop fisheries on the island.