One more time
Here's the news as we were going to press in November.
The cover of the most recent issue of Trade Winds, the newspaper of the North Carolina Fisheries Association, featured photos of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, NOAA's Jane Lubchenco and Eric Schwaab of NMFS, and asked, "Can industry survive these three?"
In Massachusetts, the mayors of Gloucester and New Bedford called for an investigation into virtually all aspects of federal regulatory processes around marine fisheries.
Along Florida's Gulf Coast, 64 percent of respondents to a Naples Daily News poll said neither the government nor BP had been truthful about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
And Steve Bodnar, executive director of the Coos Bay (Ore.) Trawler Association, declared that the implementation of catch shares means that "most of us will not be in business in 10 years."
There's really not much to say about NOAA that I didn't say last month, except that it is operationally so egregious that if commercial and recreational fishermen stay focused and cohesive I believe we will see the replacement of Lubchenco.
It's one thing to disagree with policy makers. I disagreed with Bill Hogarth all the time. (Strictly speaking, Hogarth was not Lubchenco's predecessor, as he ran NMFS, not NOAA. But both can lay claim to being the face of U.S. fishery management in their time.)
However, Hogarth had a background in fishery science and management, and I remain convinced that he wanted to do right by industry but was constrained by circumstances as he perceived them.
It's much harder to empathize with Lubchenco, whose orientation is limiting fisheries, not fulfilling their potential.
And although she took the NOAA position pledging to be guided by science, she has effectively turned her back on the study of the natural world and committed U.S. fishery management to the shaky political science of catch shares.
Meanwhile, the enforcement debacle in the Northeast malingers on, unresolved, raising questions about how well prepared she is to run a federal bureaucracy the size of NOAA.
* * *
If you've read this month's "Hail," you know that I am stepping aside as editor in chief. I had hoped to devote this space this month to a somewhat more lyrical swan song. But alas, I reasoned, coming into this issue I'd tried my best through 136 Editor's Logs to get things right.
Why not, I decided, give it one more try?
Thanks for the opportunity.
– Jerry Fraser
National Fisherman Live: 10/21/14
In this episode:
North Pacific Council adjusts observer program
Fishermen: bluefin fishing best in 10 years
Catch limit raised for Bristol Bay red king crab
Canadian fishermen fight over lobster size rules
River conference addresses Dead Zone cleanup
National Fisherman Live: 10/7/14
In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about the 1929 dragger Vandal.
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.
The Golden Gate Salmon Association will host its 4th Annual Marin County Dinner at Marin Catholic High School, 675 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Kentfield on Friday, Oct 10, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.