Written by Jen Finn
The news that Congressman John Tierney, six other members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, and five federal lawmakers from Maine and New Hampshire are pressing the acting Commerce secretary to at least continue fully subsidizing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's at-sea fishing monitoring costs is good news.
Indeed, NOAA's insistence — and the declaration by NOAA's Gloucester's based Northeast regional administrator John Bullard, who, as former mayor of New Bedord should know better — that a Commerce budgeting shortfall somehow means fishermen must pick up the tab for this sad-sack monitoring project shows just how clueless and truly anti-fishing this rogue agency has become.
As lawmakers step up the pressure to secure NOAA funding for the failing monitors' program, it's also important that they not lose sight of a far bigger picture as the new Congress takes its early steps forward regarding ocean policy.
The fact is, the level of competency shown to date by the hired monitors — who, among other incidents, have clumsily disabled or broken captains' on-board communication equipment and spent entire trips seasick — all suggest this program should be scrapped. And while lawmakers are pushing for action on the boat monitoring program, let's not for a second forget that:
NOAA and Commerce have not extended a single dime to the fishing industry to address the growing "economic disaster" that Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank declared for the Gloucester, New England and the entire Northeast groundfishery last September.
Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>
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.Read more...
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.Read more...