National Fisherman

The chairman of the federal House Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight has written a third letter to NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco seeking executive travel records that have been withheld from Congress, asserting that “this level of recalcitrance mocks the notion of transparency.”

Chairman Paul Broun, a Georgia Republican, wrote previously to Lubchenco seeking travel records on April 26 and Oct. 24. His letter of last Thursday ended with the question “I must ask myself — what is NOAA trying to hide?”

In the latest letter, which the Times obtained, Broun wrote that “by law, NOAA must comply with citizen requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act within 20 working days. I shouldn’t have to remind you that a congressional committee with jurisdiction over NOAA is afforded greater access than that of citizens under FOIA.”

Lubchenco’s spokeman Scott Smullen emailed the Times that “we will soon provide an answer to the congressman.”

The Commerce Department inspector general, Todd Zinser, revealed in 2010 that NOAA’s agents and litigators had improperly gone to conventions in exotic locales, covered with money drawn from excessive fines exacted from fishermen and fishing industry businesses.

Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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