Veteran fisherman David Goethel joins council

By Patrick Cronin

The Hampton Union, June 25, 2004

David Goethel

HAMPTON - David Goethel, who has been a commercial fisherman for the last 37 years, does not shy away from a challenge. "I like a challenge and this is about the biggest challenge you can get," said Goethel.

That is why he accepted an appointment to the New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC).

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced Goethel as its latest appointment to the NEFMC last week.

Goethel, who was nominated by Gov Craig Benson, will serve on the council for the next three years.

The NEFMC is one of eight regional councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The councils manage fishery resources off the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

Goethel said he's looking forward to serving on the council and understands the concerns of fishermen in the area.

One of the biggest concerns many fishermen have is with the restrictions put in place to rebuild the fisheries in the Gulf of Maine that have been overfished, Goethel said.

As a member of the council, Goethel said he wants to promote innovative management techniques and cooperative research among fishermen and scientists.

Goethel, who holds a degree in biology from Boston University, started working as a fisherman at a young age.

"I began working as crew on a vessel at the age of 13," said Goethel. "I paid my entire college education with my earnings as captain or crew of various vessels."

After graduating from college, Goethel took a job at the New England Aquarium in Boston as a research biologist.

But working indoors was not the job for him.

"I worked on the top floor," Goethel said. "There was no windows and I felt like I was working in a tomb."

Goethel decided to return to being a fisherman because it was what he knew and loved.

In 1982, he built a 44-foot stern trawler called the "Ellen Diane" and began his commercial fishing career.

Goethel fishes year-round, for cod and flounder in the spring and fall, silver hake and herring in the summer, and shrimp in the winter.

"I'm responsible for all aspects of the operation of a successful small business, including the capture and sale of fish, the maintenance of the vessel and crew, insurance, and the permitting and bookkeeping," Goethel said.

In the past, Goethel served on advisory panels for the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission and as an adviser for the governor's commission on marine biology.

Numerous officials praised Goethel's appointment to NEFMC including U.S. Sens. John Sununu, R-N.H., and Judd Gregg, R-N.H.

"I am confident that the New England Fisheries Management Council will benefit considerably from David's insight and experience," stated Sununu in a press release. "In the search for solutions to the current crisis facing the fishing industry, he has been a forceful advocate for a balanced approach to the industry's challenges."