Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Friday, 08 October 2010
The National Marine Fisheries Service took another step away from serving fisheries yesterday.
Doug DeMaster, a research director at NMFS, announced on Thursday that the service is rejecting the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's recommendations on restrictions and closures in Pacific cod and Atka mackerel fisheries of the Western Aleutian Islands and will instead hurry forth with its own drastic measures to completely shut down these fisheries.
The goal, they say, is to adhere to the Endangered Species Act to protect Steller's sea lions. However, the protection efforts, resulting from a "jeopardy finding," are based on two of seven subpopulations of the western population of Steller's sea lions.
So by no means is it clear that this species, or even its western population, is in serious danger.
Yet, we are in such a bind, apparently, to protect a minority of a population of this species that we are shutting down an entire jobs sector in Alaska.
If NMFS wanted to shut down these fisheries entirely, and the council wanted to avoid closures altogether, why can there be no middle ground?
National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14
In this episode:
NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first
NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.