NOAA lawyer’s claims don’t match record

BOSTON — The attorney for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration argued to the US. First Circuit Court of Appeals that there was no need to put the catch share management program under the authority of a federal judge to limit rampant consolidation of the fleet because the regional arm of the agency was already doing that.

“The problem is being taken seriously; it is being addressed,” Joan Pepin, a U.S. Justice Department attorney, told the three-judge panel Wednesday. “The process has been under way since the end of last year. It’s called Amendment 18.”

The comment was made in discussion with Chief Justice Sandra L. Lynch, near the end of the hour long oral argument over the suit by New Bedford, Gloucester and widespread fishing interests against NOAA for introducing a radical re-engineering of the groundfishery without considering the socio-economic implications or giving fishermen the chance to vote on whether to create this new world which made fishing more efficient but also powered consolidation.

Moments later, then in discussion with the plaintiffs’ lead attorney James F. Cavanaugh Jr., Judge Lynch adopted Pepin’s description of Amendment 18.

“You asked for an order that in effect (NOAA) would have to do a study and consider consolidation and consider whether they have to modify this program,” the judge said, distilling and rephrasing the redress sought by the plaintiffs. “As I understand it, they’re doing that, so what’s the difference?”

Cavanaugh said he was not aware from the record that NOAA was addressing consolidation.

“No?” said the judge. “Amendment 18.”

“Amendment 18?” a non-plussed Cavanaugh said.

The fact that Amendment 18, as Pepin and Judge Lynch described it, didn’t ring a bell with Cavanaugh should not have been surprising. Pepin’s characterization of a directed effort, known as Amendment 18, that was addressing a clearly defined problem — consolidation of the groundfishery — was inaccurate, a check of records shows. Amendment 18 — the genesis of which traces to 2010 but has not yet made it on the agenda of the New England Fishery Management Council for official consideration as a possible action — is an idea whose time has yet to come…………..Read more



New Bedford / Gloucester Fishing Litigation Documents

September 6, 2012 — The Office of New Bedford Mayor Jon MItchell has created a reference website with all documents pertaining to the appeal of CITY OF NEW BEDFORD, et al., vs HON. GARY LOCKE, et al. New Bedford, Gloucester and Industry Appeal Against NOAA Heard in Federal Court

Oral arguments in the appeal of the lawsuit filed by the Cities of New Bedford and Gloucester, and a number of East Coast fishing industry interests against Amendment 16 were heard today. 

BOSTON – September 5, 2012 – Oral arguments in the appeal of the lawsuit filed by the Cities of New Bedford and Gloucester, and a number of East Coast fishing industry interests against Amendment 16, the framework for the federal government’s fisheries catch share system, were heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston today.  The plaintiffs allege that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ignored important procedural and substantive provisions of law enacted by Congress to protect traditional fishing communities and to shield small businesses from arbitrary acts by the agency.


Editorial: Judges shouldn’t be swayed by false NOAA claims

Gloucester Daily TimesThe Gloucester Daily TimesFri Sep 07, 2012, 12:00 AM EDT

Amid a series of probing questions during Wednesday’s First U.S. Appeals Court Hearing on New England’s fisheries, Chief Justice Sandra L. Lynch posed the most intriguing.

If the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its New England Fishery Management Council , she wondered, was already addressing the perceived “problems” brought on by rampant consolidation in the fishing industry — as NOAA attorney Joan Pepin shamelessly argued — why was Wednesday’s panel facing so may plaintiffs still actively challenging the system?

The answer is simple. It’s because the claims argued in the federal Appeals Court by Pepin that, essentially, NOAA is actively working to supposedly correct the issues brought about when NOAA and the council basically forced Gloucester’s and New England’s fishermen into a new catch share management system were misleading at best — and blatantly false at worst. And the same goes for Conservation Law Foundation attorney Peter Shelley’s absurd claim that Amendent 16 and its catch share system now driving more and more independent fishermen and boats out of the industry is actually popular with fishermen.

The truth is, neither of those arguments — perpetuated since even before NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco made her job-killing catch share program the Obama administration’s national fisheries policy —has ever held water. And the fact that officials, corporately-backed catch share activists and attorneys like Pepin and Shelley mouth them over and over again doesn’t make them true.

And we can only hope that the three judges hearing and deciding this case will indeed put resources into their own investigation of the issues – not be blindly led by claims that, as today’s Page 1 news story notes, just do not match the documented path the government has taken toward policies that are wrongly forcing independent fishermen to cast aside their way of life while larger fishing operations and corporations acquire more “shares” and fishing quota and gain more and more control of the industry…….. Read more

6 Responses to NOAA lawyer’s claims don’t match record

  1. philips66 says:

    So many public meetings and comments went into the Catch Shares policy. They must have worked so hard on the plan over at NMFS, and considered all the possible outcomes, right? And how about that amazing Catch Shares task force?

    All that, and what we got is the EDF Catch Shares plan. They just changes the cover page and put NOAA/NMFS logos on it.

    • borehead says:

      I am amazed that A18 was brought up by Judge Sandy, who sounds like the rest of the EDF supported mouthpieces. If I get this thing straightned out, I'll start writing again. This is keeping me busy.
      How do yo like this one?
      I may change it again. I don;t like the way it shows only one article at a time. I had to combine three, and if someone else posts, it goes to the side bar menu.

  2. philips66 says:

    Besides it only showing 1 article I like this theme. At least the previous articles show up on the right so it's not so bad.

  3. borehead says:

    I would like everyone that wants to post an article to have t show with like half a dozen before it gets dumped to th sidebar. At least wo don;'t have to side bars with same thing like last night!

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