INDUSTRY: Failing Fleets

They gather each morning at dawn, waiting to see if the boats coming in are empty or full. Crewmen, captains, shipowners, processors and union representatives huddle in the gloom on fishing piers all along the New England seacoast. Like generations of fishermen before them, many of these weather-lined men work grueling twelve-hour shifts in biting winds and high seas for days on end. Unlike their predecessors, however, they are catching fewer fish every year—which is one reason that U.S. fish prices are rising so fast.

In the 1960s, New England fishermen harvested some...

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