Our View: Commerce Department’s release of report would help heal relationship with fishermen SouthCoastToday

Enforcement changes were implemented after Inspector General Todd Zinser’s report on whether different regions were being punished differently under NOAA, and on whether administration of the Asset Forfeiture Fund was appropriate, but the pace of the agency’s attempt to make good on inappropriate enforcement is holding back greater progress. http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121207/OPINION/212070308/-1/NEWS01

  • Dick Grachek

    This below is a comment I posted on South Coast Today; it is currently "under review":

    When NOAA Fisheries' (aka National Marine Fisheries Service) Northeast Fisheries Science Center doesn't use a 16 inch roller sweep on clean bottom towed at close to 4 knots to survey flatfish (which cannot be caught with that rig at that speed); I would then agree that their science might be "evolving".

    When they don't then "develop" policy based on that fallacious data, a policy which promises to shut down not only what's left of the groundfish fleet, but will also disrupt a healthy scallop industry, I would then agree that their policy might appear to be "evolving".

    When they stop choking off the "allowable catch" with the extinction-crisis-mentality-management based on the bogus rationales of "best available science", the "margin of uncertainty ", and the "precautionary principle", I might begin to think that they "appear to be moving in a direction that could benefit fishermen".

  • Dick Grachek

    But when NOAA Fisheries has behaved so reprehensibly in dealing with the enforcement "third leg of fisheries administration" debacle, stonewalling reports and taking little to no action; it's really a stretch to believe they'd be capable of any more enlightened governance of the other two legs, stock assessment science and management policy. These are three legs of the same stool.

  • Dick Grachek

    John Bullard, so far, has been a breath of fresh air, and I believe his posture of listening to fishermen is greatly appreciated; but for decades at NOAA there's clearly developed a culture of ignorance, arrogance, and disrespect towards the fishing industry. Until that hostile attitude and its perpetrators disappear (like they've accomplished for 70% of the fleet) there will be very little trust or healing.

  • borehead

    I think the release of the documents could be the ice breaker, but it won't be allowed to be.

    The two other legs have rot inside, and to have that stool stay solid under a load,they must be replaced.