When The San Jose Mercury News slated a story on activists’ roles in the “comeback” of Atlantic swordfish populations, they probably didn’t expect much disagreement. But fishermen, through their trade association, are speaking up.

The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) tells that Mercury News that the vaunted “Give Swordfish a Break!” campaign deserves none of the credit. Any swordfish turnaround, it says, is due to self-imposed fishing limits and quotas that were put into place two years before the swordfish boycott began. And swordfish imports “nearly tripled” during the activist-led boycott, which ran from 1998 to 2000.

NFI spokeswoman Linda Candler told the Mercury News that seafood boycotts “keep American fishermen from fishing but allow for more imports to come in. These campaigns only punish those abiding by the law. They do more harm than good.”

In today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer, an opinion piece by Center for Consumer Freedom research director David Martosko points out that >today’s snowballing boycott of Chilean Sea Bass owes its limited success to the same charlatans that foisted the earlier swordfish crusade on an unsuspecting American public.