Sykes reduced the number of fish he was catching as part of a government research project in the '90s, a fact that later came back to haunt him when the government assigned quotas to fishermen based on their previous decade's catch.
In 2001, New England was home to roughly 1,200 fishing boats. In 2009, only about 600 remained. Of the 247 boats that were still active in New England waters as of January of this year, 55 boats account for 61% of the revenue.
Each year, 99% of the world’s commercial ocean catch comes from coastal waters such as those in New England, within 200 nautical miles of the shore. These narrow coastal fringes are both the most productive and the most vulnerable.