Tag Archives: Amendment 16

Hang him! Hang him high!

OK, OK, I get it! Carlos Rafael, aka, “The Codfather,” has done some pretty reprehensible things while amassing what seemingly is the largest percentage of ownership of the US multispecies groundfish fleet. I am not going to try to defend his actions, or his reasoning, but I would like to point out that there is plenty of guilt to go around and some people should not be so quick to point their finger at him alone. What is it that they say about casting the first stone? Apparently, among his sins is his aforementioned ownership of the largest fleet of multi-species groundfish vessels, as well as some scallop vessels. While this may be true, let us ponder what enabled, abetted, and allowed him to gain such an advantage over everyone else. At this point, he wasn’t breaking the law, he was only taking advantage of it, and of those who most fervently wanted it! click here to read the op-ed 09:27

Richard Gaines – December 22, 2011 – Fish appeal claims feds misled, (and did they ever!)

130610_GT_DSM_RICHARD_2An alliance of fishing interests led by the port cities of Gloucester and New Bedford filed briefs Wednesday arguing that the First U.S. District Court of Appeals should overturn a lower court ruling in June that upheld a radical reorganization of New England’s fishing industry. According to the appeal, the government intentionally circumvented requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and camouflaged the changes in order to transform the groundfishery in a commodities market, trading in catch shares, the appellants argued. Since the start of the new regimen in May 2010, Amendment 16 to the Magnuson-Stevens Act has concentrated control of the industry in a small number of hands while “disenfranchising” a larger number of smaller businesses, according to multiple studies. Read the article here 10:15

FishNet USA/Update – So how’s that “catch shares” revolution working out for groundfish?

10172769-largeFrom Nils Stolpe – Alternating with original FishNet USA articles I will be going back to pieces I’ve written (for FishNet and other outlets) over the past 19 years – isn’t it amazing how fast time goes when you’re having fun? – to see how accurate I was in identifying industry trends and predicting what their impacts were going to be. Rather than redistributing the original articles I’ll link to them on the web and try to keep these updates to two pages or under. The original for this update from March, 2014 can be read here    Read the rest here. 13:31

City loses bid to have catch share tossed By Richard Gaines

The plaintiffs included U.S. Congressmen John Tierney, whose district includes Gloucester, and Barney Frank, who represents New Bedford.  The Conservation Law Foundation was allowed to intervene, allied with the government. A core complaint by the plaintiffs, rejected by the court, was the adoption of the catch share system without putting the regimen to a binding referendum. “Not allowing a referendum on such a measure effectively leaves the fishery up for grabs to the highest bidder,” said Tierney in an email. “This isn’t in the best interest of fishermen.”http://www.gloucestertimes.com/topstories/x1839362063/City-loses-bid-to-have-catch-share-tossed

News analysis: More NOAA appeal talk fails truth test ! (who knew?!) CLF Shyster in Denial.(yeah.that too.)

By Richard Gaines, Heading altered by Bore Head

The lead attorney for the government was not the only one whose statements before the second highest court in the land this week ran contrary to documented evidence.

Justice Department lawyer Joan Pepin, defending the legality of the federal government’s conversion of the Northeast groundfishery into a commodities market, was joined in that realm by her co-counsel, Peter Shelley, an attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation.

Appearing Wednesday in Boston before the First U.S. Court of Appeals, Pepin introduced a claim — contradicted by records and comments from the New England Fishery Management Council — that federal fishery regulators had already put into place a system to prevent industry consolidation that would destabilize the way of life and underlying culture of the ports, Gloucester and New Bedford and beyond from New Hampshire to North Carolina. A check of record and talks with council officials confirmed that’s not the case, as the Times reported Friday.

Following Pepin, Shelley said the New England Fishery Management Council, the arm of the federal fishery regulatory system, had adopted fishery consolidation as its official policy.

But Patricia Fiorelli, spokeswoman for the council — a part-time, 16-member panel charged with researching and writing policies for approval by the federal government — said Friday that “the council does not have a policy supporting consolidation.”

Shelley’s argument to the three-judge panel on Wednesday also condescended to scoff at concerns held and expressed by many plaintiffs — including Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk, former New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang, Congressmen Barney Frank and John Tierney and others — that major environmentally-rooted nonprofits and foundations, including the Walton Family Foundation, which operates as an adjunct to and with endowment from Wal-Mart, had gained improper influence over federal fisheries polices.

“The plaintiffs (believe),” Shelley argued, “(that) some dark force of privatization was at work — nothing could be farther from the truth. This is not Wal-Mart vs. the corner pharmacy.”

Yet the common fear among many plaintiffs that Wal-Mart, through the Walton Family Foundation and in concert with a Wal-Mart corporate partner, the Environmental Defense Fund, has achieved a controlling position in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is grounded in documented fact.

The catch share policy instituted by NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco after her appointment by President Obama and confirmation in 2009 was precisely the policy that was advocated in a policy paper written in 2008 by Lubchenco and a team of scientists and politicians. And The Walton Foundation was lead underwriter for the paper, “Oceans of Abundance,” which warned that overfishing was so depleting the oceans that jellyfish would be masters of the seas by the middle of this century.

Lubchenco at the time was vice chairwoman of EDF board of directors; the paper has since been widely discredited in both scientific and academic spheres.

One of the appeal plaintiffs’ attorneys, Gloucester fisheries lawyer Stephen Ouellette, alluded to the concern across the industry that the catch share system creates a business model that invites external investment. The worry, he said, is over the future erosion of the local ownership feature that has defined the groundfishery for centuries.

“There is a large political movement seeking to force a catch share system on all the fisheries,” Ouellette said. READ MORE!


Peter Shelley’s (as usual) bogus arguments on the AUDIO: Federal Court Appeal Against NOAA – Thanks Dicky

This is regarding CLF lawyer Peter Shelley’s intervention in the Amendment 16 Lawsuit Appeal Oral Arguments Hearing on September 5, 2012.  In general, the defendants’ arguments were embarrassingly lame and disingenuous, but discussed below is a particularly outstanding contention of Shelley’s and deserving of a mention.,,,,,,,,,Read more in the comment section.

From Savingseafood.org


Audio of the proceedings follows:

1 – James F. Kavanaugh, Jr. representing New Bedford, Gloucester, and the numerous named individual plaintiffs

2 –  Stephen Ouellette, representing the American Alliance of Fishermen and their Communities, New Hampshire Commercial Fishermen’s Association, Richard Grachek and David Aripotch

3 – Patrick Flanigan, representing James Lovgren

4 – Joan Pepin, representing the Federal Defendant-Appellees

5 – Peter Shelley, for the Conservation Law Foundation, an intervening defendant.

6 – James F. Kavanaugh, Jr. closing statement

Fishing appeal on fed docket- Catch share challenge

A three-judge panel of the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston is due to hear arguments today in a suit alleging the federal government’s re-engineering of the Northeast groundfishery into a quasi commodity market trading in catch shares beginning in 2010 was illegally introduced by denying industry the referendum promised by federal law.Read more.http://www.gloucestertimes.com/topstories/x1884284835/Fishing-appeal-on-fed-docket