The special investigator commissioned by the Department of Commerce has concluded that the same two attorneys in NOAA's Gloucester office who extracted an excessive settlement from a New Bedford scallop fishing business owner in 2005 did the same thing years earlier to a pair of New Bedford fish processors using coercive methods "with an intention to intimidate."
A detailed narrative of how NOAA's Gloucester-based enforcement and litigation attorneys Charles R. "Chuck" Juliand and James "Mitch" MacDonald improperly manipulated the system of fisheries enforcement law to drive Thomas R. F. Riley and his partner, Dennis Saluti, in Sea Rich Seafoods and another company to pay a $1 million cash penalty plus the loss of business licenses and fishing permits for what were found to be exaggerated charges is detailed in the 554-page report to the acting commerce secretary by special investigator Charles B. Swartwood III.
In releasing a redacted version of Swartwood's second set of case studies into allegations of NOAA Fisheries law enforcement excesses, Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on Dec. 14 made reparations to Riley and Saluti of $373,500, the amount recommended by Swartwood.
According to the report, the abuse and manipulation of the law in the prosecution of the Sea Rich case occurred in 1997. But Riley and Saluti's complaint of proprietorial misconduct came to light only with the decision by then Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, based on Swartwood's initial report in May 2011, to commission an additional study of industry complaints that NOAA law enforcers harassed and intimidated fishermen and shore-side businesses.
Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>
Callifornia crabbing: Here's a fun video shot on the decks of the Majestik while catching Dungeness crab off the coast of northern California.
Alaska fisherman and commercial fisheries activist Kevin Adams was elected chairman at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute board of directors meeting on May 9 in Anchorage.
The governor-appointed board consists of seven members: five seafood processors and two industry representatives actively engaged in commercial fishing. Adams was appointed to fill a harvester seat by Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2004.
With 38 years of fishing experience in Bristol Bay, Adams has long been an active member in the Alaska fishing industry, ASMI says. He has worked for both the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation and the Bering Sea Fisherman's Association, and represents Alaska fishermen on numerous boards.
The Northeast Regional Planning Body, a group of state, tribal and federal representatives from New England who are working to implement the National Ocean Policy and address critical New England ocean issues, is holding a series of public meetings in May and June.
The meetings are being held to discuss draft regional ocean planning goals and associated potential actions. The planning body seeks input on these goals and actions. Additional information on the group's progress can be found here.
The meetings will also provide an opportunity to review draft maps and products from initial efforts to gather information on the natural resources and diverse uses of the ocean, including fishing, transportation, energy and infrastructure, aquaculture, and recreation.