Hello, I must be going

Lubchenco’s lack of concise answers to the questions panel members posed at the recent Senate hearing that Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.) organized irked the politicians, who have been frustrated in their dealings with the NOAA chief. Then Lubchenco left the hearing two-thirds of the way through, reportedly to keep an afternoon appointment in Washington.

Her departure angered fishermen and politicians, who say the catch shares management system is having a severe negative economic effect on New England’s groundfish harvesters and coastal communities. They say Lubchenco needed to hear the testimony of all witnesses.

According to the Gloucester (Mass.) Times, when Lubchenco left the hearing, before heading back to Washington, she met with the Boston Globe’s editorial board and reporters to talk about progress made and challenges remaining in rebuilding fish stocks and strengthening the health of coastal fishing communities.

Leaving a Senate hearing to promote your agency’s policies to a newspaper is unacceptable. It’s flabbergasting to see the lack of respect, maybe even contempt, Lubchenco has for Congress and for the fishing industry. Never mind Wall Street. Maybe fishermen should Occupy NOAA until the president finds the agency a new leader.

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