Fishermen work to get Trump’s attention on Thames River

Thames River (WTNH/ Jacquie Slater)

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)– Supporters of President Trump are gathering in southeastern Connecticut Wednesday. Among them are a group of fishermen who organized on the Thames River.

These fishing vessels were on a different kind of mission. News 8 was on board the Tradition, a 70 foot vessel that is one of more than 25 boats out trying to get the president’s attention hoping for change to what they say are outdated and over regulated rules that could eventually kill the fishing industry here in New England.

The vessels set out from Stonington at around 8 a.m. for the one hour sail to the Thames River. The Tradition works out of Rhode Island but the boats there Wednesday also came from Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts.

Related: President Trump delivers commencement address at Coast Guard Academy

Aaron Williams, the Captain of the Tradition, has been a fishermen since 1998 but has been out on the water since he was 5-years-old. This is his families’ business, their livelihood and he doesn’t argue that regulations were needed two decades ago when inventory was low. But, he says after decades of responsible and regulated fishing, it’s time to change things again so the industry can survive.

It’s kind of tough and scary to think that what’s provided my family for four generations now might not be there. That’s, I don’t know, it’s a tough pill to swallow.

“We never ever want to see unregulated fishing because we know where that goes; but what we would like to see is more participation from us in the management process. We’re not in it to catch the last fish that would be pointless.” said Williams.

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