A federal disaster declared for all of New England's fishing industry, is the government's first step towards sending 100-million dollars to struggling fishing communities, but many local fishermen don't want any handouts.
Brian Loftes is a third generation fishermen here in Rhode Island. He owns his own boat but recent regulation changes have put a hold on a lot of his catching. He says, "don't believe that there are no fish in the ocean, there are so many fish in the ocean that I could go and fill my boat every single day."
Joel Hovanesian has also fished in Rhode Island his entire life. He owned his own fishing boat for 26 years but two years ago decided to sell explaining, "it wasn't because I didn't want to do it, it was because I didn't see a future in the business." He doesn't see a future because of the 'catch-share' program which ultimately consolidates local fishermen. Going on, "What's happening now is we have this consolidation of resources into the hands of the few. The small guys such as myself, I'm just a small business man like a lot of people up and down the coast who can't compete with the deep pockets of these other people."
Neither of these fishermen are looking for government handouts, they say they just want to fish. When asked about each of their futures here in Rhode Island, they both had similar responses. Hovanesian said, "To be completely honest with you, I can see in the not to distant future that I'll be gone, I'll probably be leaving Rhode Island." And Loftes said, "My future? To be in a different country in a place where they actually appreciate people that fish and provide food, because that's what we do."