Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 16 July 2010
Tell me, do you miss former NMFS head Bill Hogarth?
I can’t say I was Hogarth’s biggest fan. NMFS was saddled with over 100 lawsuits when Hogarth took office. One of Hogarth’s first missions was to make the lawsuits go away.
And they did — largely at fishermen’s expense. It was hard to shake the feeling that NMFS was managing fisheries so that environmental groups wouldn’t sue the agency.
Still, Hogarth was visible. He visited fishing ports around the nation and talked with fishermen. He gave keynote speeches at Fish Expo trade shows on both coasts. And he was available to talk to the media about fisheries issues.
Today, NMFS' role isn’t so clear. It's hard to even know what to call the agency anymore — is it NMFS or NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Serivice or NOAA Fisheries?
NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco is the one quoted in the media these days, not NMFS director Eric Schwaab. Lubchenco and NOAA, not NMFS, appear to be driving the U.S. fisheries management train. Neither Lubchenco or Schwaab, for whatever reasons, have been highly visible in the fishing community.
If there’s a page they should take out of the Bill Hogarth playbook, that would be a good one to grab. Actually visitng with and talking to fishermen would be a good way of promoting communication and fostering greater transparency in NOAA/NMFS operations.
The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:
The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.Read more...
Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.
Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.Read more...