Posts Tagged catch and share

Apr 25 2011

Congress Defunds Wasteful Catch Shares Program

Washington, DC – In a big victory for commercial and recreational fishermen, the U.S. Congress on April 14 voted to defund the “catch shares” program, a controversial and wasteful fisheries management fiasco.

Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, said the program has been “blocking access to fish for thousands of smaller scale fishermen, destroying their livelihoods and our coastal and fishing communities.”

The widely-contested “catch shares” program on the East and West Coasts, a pet project of Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator and also under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, serves to privatize public trust resources by concentrating ocean fisheries in a few corporate hands.

This amendment, offered by Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina, is part of the FY2011 budget that President Barack Obama signed into law on April 15.

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Apr 21 2011

Budget measure blocks new catch share programs

United States Capitolphoto © 2006 Jeff Kubina | more info (via: Wylio)

By Steve Urbon
April 20, 2011 12:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD — As a budget amendment blocking catch share management from spreading in America’s fisheries makes its way to President Barack Obama’s desk, new concerns have cropped up about the arrival of private brokers of fishing allocations.

The measure in the budget prohibits the Commerce Department from funding the implementation of fisheries catch share programs such as the one imposed in the Northeast one year ago. It was introduced by U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., and backed by U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., among others.

The language in the amendment was softened somewhat in the budget deliberations. Originally, it stopped funding for even the study of new catch share systems. Now it simply prohibits their approval.

“This is a shot in the arm for fishermen and a shot across the bow of the National Marine Fisheries Service,” said Jones in a prepared statement. “The last thing our government should be doing in these economic times is spending millions of taxpayer dollars to expand programs that will put even more Americans out of work. NMFS would be wise to take heed of the opposition of fishermen, the public and the Congress to their catch shares agenda; we’re not going away.”

Catch shares and sector management are being blamed (or credited) with sharply reducing the size of the groundfish fleet in the Northeast and the rapid consolidation of catch into the top 10 percent of the boats. The measures are being challenged in federal court in a lawsuit filed by New Bedford, Gloucester and other fishing interests.

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Mar 21 2011

Judge hears catch quota arguments

March 19, 2011
Written by KIRK MOORE

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Some mid-Atlantic fishermen challenging a controversial system of catch quotas say that two-thirds of the fishing industry must vote in its favor before it can be imposed.

Their contention was raised during arguments in a federal court hearing in Boston. The New England case has been at the center of a legal and political battle over the catch quota system involving cod, haddock and flounder.

Fishing boat photo © 2009 Mike Baird | more info (via: Wylio)

When a federal judge, Rya Zobel, heard the arguments Tuesday, attention focused on one allegation raised by mid-Atlantic fishermen. They argue federal law says the catch quotas cannot be imposed without an industrywide referendum that wins support among two-thirds of the affected fishing boat owners, captains and crews.

“The arguments quickly zeroed in on the issue of catch shares being an ITQ (individual transferable quotas system) and needing a referendum,” said James Lovgren of the Fishermen’s Dock Cooperative in Point Pleasant Beach.

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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.

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