A CASE STUDY OF GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY AND THE SOCIOPOLITICAL PROCESS: AUTHORIZATION OF PROCESSOR QUOTA SHARES IN THE MAGNUSON-STEVENS FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT ACT
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Special interest groups are trying to change language in the Magnuson-Steven Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA) to allow fishery management councils to create and allocate processor quota (PQ). This limited entry tool is a companion to Individual Fishing Quotas (IFQs) which allocate harvesting rights to individual fishermen or vessel owners. Authorizing PQ would allow councils to give seafood companies exclusive buying rights and would require fishermen to sell their catch to the limited number of buyers holding PQ shares. A grassroots advocacy campaign opposing PQ prevented the 107th Congress from including controversial PQ language in MSFCMA reauthorization. Employing the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association (CCCHFA) as a case study, I will analyze how strategies of coalition building, constituent mobilization, and media contact were effectively applied in this campaign. Likewise, strategies to activate members of Congress played a prominent role in the effort. The CCCHFA led 225 visits to Congressional offices, trained more than 17 commercial fishermen in advocacy techniques, generated press coverage on both coasts, and produced a hard-hitting advocacy video that was distributed to all 535 members of Congress. To accomplish future goals, the anti-PQ campaign requires a long-term commitment with flexible goals and strategies, which allow the CCCHFA to take advantage of the changing sociopolitical climate. Given its limited resources, the organization must use time efficiently and continue to build upon past victories.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
Magnuson-Steven Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA)
Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association (CCCHFA)
Individual Fishing Quotas (IFQs)
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