After NOAA head Jane Lubchenco’s failed attempts to distract the industry with platitudes about moving forward (while keeping arguably and allegedly the biggest offender on a six-figure salary), it seems a full-court press from Northeast representatives and the industry has gotten Locke’s attention.
To his credit, he seems knowledgeable about the industry, according to coverage by the Standard-Times of New Bedford, Mass., and was engaged with his audience.
Even better, the secretary is encouraging new cases to come forward and has pledged to establish a confidential platform for fishermen to report unfair enforcement actions or breaches of conduct by NOAA enforcement agents or attorneys. Reports can be sent via e-mail to EnforcementComplaintHotline@noaa.gov.
Most people in the industry understand this is the tip of the iceberg. Let’s hope the federal government is prepared to dig deep.