Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 19 August 2011
Retail giant Walmart announced this week (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/08/17/18688041.php) that it invested some $36 million to a variety of environmental initiatives in 2010 with an eye towards supporting ocean privatization efforts via catch shares programs and networks of marine protected areas.
If there is a silver lining to the Walmart announcement, it is this: Recreational and commercial fishermen are standing together in condemning the retail giant's move.
The Recreational Fishing Alliance strongly criticized Walmart's announcement. In fact, RFA executive director Jim Donofrio says anglers should boycott Walmart.
"The Walton family created this huge corporate entity that has threatened the vibrancy of our local retail outlets," he told San Francisco-based Bay Area Indymedia, "and now they're essentially doing the same thing with our fishing communities. Much like Safeway has done with their financial investment in the environmental business community, Walmart apparently prefers customers buy farm-raised fish and seafood caught by foreign countries outside of U.S. waters, while denying individual anglers the ability to head down to the ocean to score a few fish for their own table."
Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, welcomed the RFA's comments.
"The privatization of public trust resources in the antithesis of conservation," Grader told IndyBay. "I've been boycotting Walmart for decades and it's absolutely great that recreational and commercial fishermen are together on this."
Imagine that — commercial and recreational fishermen hanging together on important marine conservation issues. Relations between the two sectors haven't always been cordial, but it's good to see them increasingly reaching across the aisle, so to speak. Republicans and Democrats in Congress who are more concerned with party platforms than actually acting for the greater good could learn something from the fishing community.
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...