Posts Tagged fishing rights

Mar 22 2012

Fishermen, Politicians Rally Against Federal Regulations

Written By Morgan True and Aarthi Gunasekaran

WASHINGTON –  Fishermen from across the United States descended upon Capitol Hill Wednesday to voice their displeasure with a federal bureaucracy they believe is regulating them out of business.

Politicians from both sides of the political aisle and both houses of Congress joined a crowd of several hundred current and former fishermen, along with industry advocates, in lambasting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its director, Jane Lubchenco.

One small boy wore a sign around his neck reading, “NOAA, Jesus was a fisherman. Why can’t I be?” Others waved signs declaring, “Show Me The Science” and “Let Fishermen Fish.”

A bevy of public officials spoke, including Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Scott Brown, R-Mass.
“What does it take to get fired at NOAA?” asked an incredulous Brown. He was joined on stage by a staffer holding a blown-up photograph of a $300,000 luxury craft whose purchase has been sharply criticized by NOAA’s inspector general — and which Brown has sought to make a symbol of the agency’s bureaucratic excess.

“The nation’s primary fishing regulator, NOAA, is being run by Washington insiders with a radical agenda to change the way that you do business and it’s wrong,” he charged.

In his remarks, Kerry focused on the theme of improving the science that guides regulation, declaring, “If [regulators] make judgments that are based on unsound science, no science at all or science you can’t believe in, then we are going to have a problem.”

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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.

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