9PM TONIGHT ON PBS – ‘Saving New England Fisheries’

The documentary “Saving New England Fisheries” was premiered during a screening on Friday night at the Sheraton in Portsmouth. The hour-long special, created for New Hampshire Public Television, is hosted by Willem Lange. One of the fishermen featured in the film is David Goethel, owner of the 44-foot fishing trawler Ellen Diane out of Hampton. During a panel discussion after the screening, Goethel said officials often try to overcomplicate things. Things in the room got tense as NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard fought back, telling Goethel he doesn’t have a clue about what motivates him and his team. “The fact that you think we lie for a living, I think that says more about your credibility than it says about ours,” Bullard said.Goethel responded by saying, “Well, let’s have it out right now…  The documentary will air on PBS on Thursday at 9 p.m   Read the rest here 09:30
  • Edward Everich

    The truth always hurts, Bullard is nothing more or less than a political hack who went from one political job to another. He will retire with a fat pension on the backs of the Fishermen that are being forced out of work. All Federal and state fishery agencies are well beyond saving and should be shut down, period. These people are bullet proof and their track records as “political scientists” speak loud and clear on the low level of performance at all levels. When a person knows they can’t be fired they have no reason to maintain a high work ethic. In any private sector you either produce accordingly or you are terminated.
    The existing research programs should be “privatized” and put out to bid with a performance bond posted so there is some recourse if the project is not carried out to the highest standard possible.
    There is a total lack of accountability from the top down in these agencies and they must be held responsible or face termination.

    • Joel Hovanesian

      Spot on EE. These bureaucrats are teflon and they know it. Zero accountability, do and say anything they like.
      How about Mr. Bullards private verbal assault of the young lady who read my prepared statement to the council in NY last year, complete with F-bombs and all. I was not able to attend this sham meeting unfortunately and she read my statement as a favor to me, so Mr. Bullard took the time after she read it to find her privately and dress her down. Not for her comments but for the comments she read on my behalf.
      This coward would never have said to me what he said to her that I’ll guarantee. If he had I would have knocked his teeth out. This is what bullies and cowards do, go after those who they know they can get away with it and in a setting where no one can hear it.
      This is what I asked her to read on my behalf that he took so much offence to. All I can say to the coward Bullard is prove me wrong.
      And if by any chance the coward reads this, please feel to get up with me, any time, any place. Again these are my words and not hers.
      Question: Why did you have to go after her, and do you deny doing it? Answer: Because you are a bought and paid for coward.
      And by the way, nothing has been done to this day to address the explosion of Black Sea Bass on our coasts that are destroying the Southern New England lobster fisheries. Why?

      Dear council members,
      I write this letter to the council to voice my concerns with the way it seems to cherry pick the rules and the letter of the law it is sworn to uphold.
      As a commercial fisherman who tries to fish responsibly and minimize the effects of the rules and regulations forced upon me by government agencies that seem to have no idea whatsoever of the effect of the rules they hand down, I have had enough. In the past I tried to attend many council meetings in order to voice my concerns and offer the fisherman’s perspective that should be part of the process but as we all know seems to fall upon deaf ears. I stopped attending council meetings in New England and in the Mid Atlantic because frankly I felt the process had been hijacked by special interest groups who have infiltrated these government agencies at their highest levels in Washington DC. These NGO’s who have taken over the leadership positions within the agencies that govern fisheries management now have become partners with government in order to push their industry destroying agenda’s.
      It started with EDF’s Jane Lubchenco and her ill advised catch share plan in New England and seems to have continued unabated. And I have to ask the question, Is this part of an overall plan to rule management from within to see to it that the plans forwarded are constructed from theirs and only theirs playbook?
      Now on to the source of my issues. For years now there has been an explosion of black sea bass up and down the eastern seaboard. This council has been hearing it and has been told for years about this problem. From Maine to Florida the cries of both commercial and recreational fishermen have fallen upon deaf ears. I ask myself why? Why would so many people who have taken the time to voice their concerns be ignored? To me there can only be two answers.
      1. I am right about the agencies being taken over from the ranks of the NGEO’s or
      2. There is gross incompetence and a total lack of reasonable leadership that is either totally blind, or totally ignorant.
      Does it seem possible that people from all sectors of fishing, commercial and recreational alike, from up and down the Atlantic coast have colluded and conspired to attempt to pull one over on the government? Your inaction on sea bass over the years would seem to suggest that.
      Now I hear through the grapevine that there is a plan to possibly increase the take on sea bass next year. That those in charge of managing this resource have finally seen the light. If this is true than it is welcome news. However I will tell the council this. As you sit here today there are literally hundreds of thousands of sea bass being caught and discarded every week. This is a result of the inaction of government agencies once again not listening to those who have the eyes and ears on the water.
      Another question: Why have we not instituted an emergency action to allow for the harvest of these fish rather than this continuation of regulatory waste? These actions have been used in the past to close fisheries when there was a perceived problem, yet when a problem arises that screams of waste and mismanagement nothing is ever done to mitigate these problems. I would suggest that such an action would possibly restore some faith in the system that has brutalized this industry. You all have an opportunity and a legal obligation to do what is right. Please consider fixing this problem so we can stop this sickening waste.
      The good lord put those fish in the ocean for a reason and it was not to be caught and discarded only to be eaten by the birds and crabs.
      I will end this with a reading of national standard 9 which seems to have been forgotten, not only in this fishery but in a whole multitude of fisheries which are managed by this council and other councils.
      National Standard 9 – Bycatch
      Conservation and management measures shall, to the extent practicable, (a) minimize bycatch and (b) to the extent bycatch cannot be avoided, minimize the mortality of such bycatch.