Archive for March, 2011

Mar 8 2011

Tribal Seas

State officials search for ways to respect marine habitats and native fishing rights



It’s been almost a dozen years since the California legislature approved the Marine Life Protection Act, a momentous piece of legislation designed to help coastal ecosystems rebound from decades of overfishing and ecological abuse. The Act was based on a model that’s proved effective elsewhere, including the oceans off New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef, where fishing is limited or prohibited inside designated marine reserves. Establishing such a network of Marine Protected Areas here in California has been slow and tumultuous as virtually every resident with a toe in the Pacific has lodged objections to the process or the outcome or both.

The latest attempt to unravel the work done so far came last week when a group of southern California fishermen filed suit against the state Fish and Game Commission. The anglers argue that the MLPA work completed in their region last year should be nullified because the process violated the California Environmental Quality Act. Tensions between commercial fishermen and environmentalists have accompanied nearly every step of the MLPA initiative.

Read the rest of the story here.

Mar 3 2011

Caito Fisheries Letter to Rep. Mike Thompson

Mar 3 2011

Kerry still weighing catch-share stand

By Richard Gaines  Staff Writer

Pondering how he might vote on the so-called Jones amendment — should the House-approved cutoff of funds for future NOAA catch share programs come to a Senate vote — Sen. John Kerry announced Monday he would be holding a “due diligence” meeting Thursday with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco.

Lubchenco is the lead advocate for the catch share management program, which she began promoting while an academic scientist and officer of the Environmental Defense Fund before President Obama nominated her to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Kerry also said Monday he hoped to gain insight into catch shares via a field hearing he plans to schedule in Massachusetts for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Read the rest of the story here.


Mar 3 2011

Editorial: Lawmakers should recognize bogus catch-share push

The threads of corruption infesting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and administrator Jane Lubchenco’s beloved catch share fishery management program gets wider and more varied with each passing week.

So it is a mystery why every member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation is not making every effort possible to reign in the federal fishing regulatory agency through a budget amendment aimed at freezing NOAA’s funding for expanding this job-killing national policy.

The latest example is an anonymous petition faxed to and circulated among fishermen, asking that they sign on in support the new regulatory system, which allocates fishermen “shares” of an allotted catch that be bought, sold or traded like commodities.

The system, launched in New England last May, has concentrated control of fisheries into larger, corporate hands and out of the hands of smaller, independent fishermen like those who dominate Gloucester and many other fishing communities around the country. And remember that, back in 2009, Lubchenco indicated that’s actually a state goal of her program, saying she felt the need to eliminate “a sizeable fraction” of the fishing fleet.

Now comes a contrived petition, designed to make it look like there is grassroots support for catch shares among those it is putting out of business — smaller fishermen, and those who work as boat crew members.

Read the rest of the editorial here.