Fisherynation Editorial – The Politcal Purging of Dr. Brian Rothschild. What is the Real Reason?

Dr. Brian Rothschild a world-renown fisheries researcher and author, Dean Emeritus of Marine Fisheries Institute, has been removed from his co-directorship of the Institute which he founded and developed over the past ten years.  This move by the UMass president’s office will place the Institute under the control of the president’s office and the Institute’s co-directorship will go to the current School of Marine Science and Technology Dean, Dr. Steve Lohrenz, a champion of President’s Obama’s controversial National Ocean Policy and a former Vice-Chair of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership which partners with Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (a program devoted to deep ocean geology exploration associated with oil and gas production) .

The stated reasons for Brian Rothschild’s removal are at best flimsy and at worst they are a Kafkaesque rationale for a political purge.

“… it lacked an oversight board, a budget and annual reports and it wasn’t coordinated well enough to solicit research grants from industry, government and other institutions, said university spokesman John Hoey.”

Really? After ten successful years this Marine Fisheries Institute now isn’t coordinated well enough to get research grants? Grants coming from industry, government, and OTHER INSTITUTIONS. Now who might they be? Could it be Pew or perhaps EDF/CLF/NOAA or the Dept. of the Interior?

Dr. Rothchild’s professional status now, for some reason, isn’t high enough to be co-director of the Institute he founded and has been dean of for many years?
“It’s appropriate that the co-director needs to be a dean or someone of that administrative level,” he [Hoey] said.

Brian Rothschild has forgotten more about fisheries science than entire science departments at government and “other institutions” will ever know. He has used integrity and common sense in his work (rare commodities in the circus of fisheries science).  He has benefited fishing enormously, keeping this vital local clean-food producing industry from the clutches of the ignorant faux science of self-serving bureaucrats and corrupt plutocracy-spawned NGO’s.

Dr. Brian J. Rothschild, Dean of the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, has been presented with the 2011 Oscar Elton Sette Award.
That would seem to qualify Brian Rothschild as “…a dean or someone of that level”, wouldn’t it?

Soas the nuisance local fishing industry is systematically dismantled to make way for the energy industry’s March Into The Sea, it is no surprise that one of the fishing industry’s most enlightened intellectuals would be removed and the Institute that he brought to prominence revamped.

 

  • The big green mafia strikes again. Pathetic.

  • Thanks for connecting the dots. Now, will the fisheries find a new reason to unite? Will they speak? Will they speak with one voice?

  • borehead – Moderator

    Dr. Steve Lohrenz appears to be another remove fishermen from the ocean kinda guy.
    This removal of Rothschild, and removing the scallop survey from SMAST to NOAA is another indication of EDF’s influence of a hostile take over.
    Uniting fishermen is my goal.

  • My friends (fishermen) gave up speaking at council meetings. After years of speaking up, and everything they said being 100% ignored. How can they be re-engaged? Trying to come up with some ideas.

    • borehead – Moderator

      This is the place for it. Click “ABOUT” on the menu bar.
      Copy and paste it in email and send it to everyone you know.

      • I will definitely promote FN, but I’m not having any luck getting the guys to go to NEFMC meetings and speak out. The clowns will turn off the mic, or just ignore them.

  • Dr. Wally Pereyra

    It is obvious that the real motive behind Dr. Rothschild’s ouster was political. This becomes obvious when one reads the glowing account of Dr. Rothschild’s recent awards and accomplishments in the following UMass Dartmouth October press release – – – http://www1.umassd.edu/communications/articles/showarticles.cfm?a_key=3053 – – – – – and compares that with the press release giving the reason for his ouster.

    Some investigative reporter needs to find out the facts behind Dr. Rothschild’s ouster and expose the real culprit(s). I suspect the fine hand of the Pew Environment Trust and/or one of their “fellow traveler” eNGOs. Dr. Rothschild brought into question a number of the cherished foregone, Chicken Little conclusions of Pew and their minions that the oceans are in a state of collapse and overfishing is the culprit. The cheapest and most effective way for these ‘foes of fishing’ to move their agenda forward is to have Dr. Rothschild removed. They obviously were successful – – – the “nuisance” is gone.

    I have had the distinct privilege of knowing Dr. Rothschild as a friend and colleague since we were fisheries students at the U of Maine. Brian was and is one of the brightest scientists I have known. He has a questioning mind and cares passionately about the “truth”. In that regard he is unwilling to accept scientific conclusions just because that is what the analysis suggests, particularly if he feels the underlying assumptions are in error or without foundation.

    Brian championed the interests of the fishing industry of which I am now involved, and our honored place in society as producers of healthy protein for a hungry world. His ouster is unfortunate, without merit and certainly a black mark on the U of Mass. Let’s hope Brian rises from the ashes as a Phoenix to question science when it goes astray and drifts away from the ‘truth’.

    • borehead – Moderator

      Welcome to your fisherynation, Dr.

      When one of the last trusted allies of the remainding New England ground fish fleet is scandalously removed, following the union of UMass Dartmouth and EDF, it’s obvious the Walmart funded ENGO has had an influence in the decision to remove him.

      The proposed trawl survey in the works at SMAST will surely be scuttled.

      We are not going to let this happen without serious consequence.

      • Dr. Wally Pereyra

        I suspect you are right regarding the UMass trawl survey. That may have been the provebial straw that brought the eNGO’s back. The survey most likely would have brought into question some of the conclusion reached regarding the status of the NE Groundfish complex and the scientists/labs involved.

        Unfortunately policy makers have forgotten one of the underlying tenants of the MSFCMA – – – production of food from the oceans. NOAA and the eNGSs obvoiusly aren’t championing that national perogative. Brian Rothschild did and has paid the price.

        • borehead – Moderator

          I am honored that you would come here and add your comments Dr Pereyra, And I would believe Dr Rothschild would feel the same way.

  • Dr. Wally Pereyra

    Thank you for your nice response. Fish, fishermen and seafood is my passion so rising in defense is appropriate. As we get set to celebrate Christmas let us not forget that Christ was a fisherman – – probably a tilapia fisherman. Fishing is an honored profession that deserves to be nurtured and enhanced for the value we create, not abused or ridiculed as some would do.

    • borehead – Moderator

      It seems as though if a marine scientist sides with fishermen, and bucks the ENGO science status quo trend, they become vilified.
      I bring this up because yesterday at the NEFMC meeting, Dr Bill Karp had to answer for the mistreatment of DR Butterworth at Woods Hole by Woods Hole scientists. I found some interesting information you may be interesting in reading. The link. http://fisherynation.com/archives/2711

  • Jim Kendall

    While I have had the pleasure of knowing & working with Dr. Rothschild since 1994, & I was greatly bothered by his removal, there are several issues that I’d like to bring up. The first is that I was one of the people who was asked to participate in the interviews for the position as Dean of SMAST after Brian retired. I found Dean Lorenz to be someone whom I felt could assume the post & continue the good work that SMAST began under Brian Rothschild’s guidance.
    While Dean Lorenz isn’t a fishery biologist, I didn’t feel then (nor do I now) that he wouldn’t try to continue the uncompromising fishery science that SMAST is noted for. For years now, some of the members of the Northeast Science Center have felt threatened by the work that SMAST has been doing, e.g., the scallop camera survey that stood the NMFS on its collective heads. They have used every excuse to question the science, credibility & even the personal character of Dr. Kevin Stokesbury, in very much the same way as some of those same people did to Dr. Gregg Butterworth. I guess it’s fair game, when you can’t argue the science, to call into question the credibility of the scientist?
    When the science of the camera survey proved to be accurate, they next attacked the funding sources for that program & others as well. Funding was often difficult to obtain & even more difficult to maintain. This removal of Dr. Rothschild as Co-Chair is just the latest example of how the National Marine Fishery Service is implementing the ENGO”S Rules of Order into the world of fishery science, by controlling the purse strings.
    I am disappointed that the University of Massachusetts is capitulating to the demands that are apparently coming down through the University to UMass Dartmouth & finally to SMAST. I’m not sure how well this would have worked prior to the retirement of Chancellor Jean MacCormack, but as they say; “timing is everything.”
    Some members of the local industry are trying to arrange a meeting with the new Chancellor, Dr. Divina Grossman so we can discuss these questions. If & when there is some new information regarding this, I will let you know.

    Jim Kendall Dec. 21, 2012
    New Bedford Seafood Consulting

  • borehead – Moderator

    Thank you, Jim, for joining us in the discussion, and taking the time to write your informative, and enlightening comment. I appreciate that.

    As I stated in an earlier comment, I’ve become concerned with EDF’s presence in the process.

    I find that fact troubling.

  • Jim Kendall

    My pleasure BH.
    What I think would be an appropriate response would be to get behind the push for having Brian considered for the Administrator’s position, of the (not soon enough) departure of “Calamity Jane” Lubchenco. Even were he not to get the appointment, just his serious consideration, might put a serious dent into much of the ENGOs’ Holiday Cheer.
    Academically, I don’t think that there would many challenges to his qualifications, but as we have recently seen, that is not always enough. I’m afraid that the recent recalling of Dr. Rothschild as Co-Chair of the MFI, is just a parting shot by Lubchenco. As evidenced by her own personal claims to fame, listed so modestly (if somewhat distortedly) in her letter of pending departure, she apparently has a clouded view of history. “Revisionist history” If you can’t make history, just rewrite it!
    JMK

  • Joel

    Jim we all know qualifications mean nothing. It’s all about the politics and going along with the script

  • Dick Grachek

    Jim I’m afraid Brian’s work is too much of a thorn in the side of NEFSC and NOAA/EDF/CLF/Pew, and that’s why he’s being removed before he shows up their cartoon attempts at stock assessment again.

  • Jim Kendall

    Yea,Hi guys;
    I know that you;re right Dick but it won’t hurt to give them a little bit of indigestion anyway. There’s a petition going around now asking people to sign on so it seems to be agthering momentum.

    Let me wish everyone a Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays.
    Jim