The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has in recent weeks been casting about for a pool of money to tap for its controversial onboard fishing vessel monitoring program. Efforts to make fishermen pay directly for the program — yet another unfunded federal mandate — have so far fallen short.
Not to be deterred, however, NOAA administrators have come up with an even more disturbing idea — take the money from the emergency funds the government set aside for fishermen.
On Friday, NOAA Regional Administrator John K. Bullard said the $2.5 million needed to pay for at-sea monitoring for the rest of this fishing season could come from yet-to-be-delivered federal fishery disaster aid.
“The states sill have about $10 million in the ‘third bin,’” Bullard said. “(Monitoring) would be an eligible use of those funds.”
We’re sorry, Mr. Bullard. That money is already spoken for.
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