Tag Archives: Conservation Law Foundation
New England fishermen and conservationists fear one of President Trump’s executive orders will have disruptive effects on fisheries management, although it will not affect routine seasonal fisheries regulation, as some had initially feared. The order prompted a fiery letter three days later from two prominent Democratic congressmen pointing out it could have “devastating impacts on commercial and recreational fisheries and the businesses and communities they support.” “Effectively what it means is that nobody can do anything because agencies will have to stop doing major regulatory actions because you can’t comply with this order, which may be the point,” says a former top federal fisheries management official, Andrew Rosenberg, who is now director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Drew Minkiewicz, a Washington, D.C., lawyer representing larger Eastern Seaboard scallop fishermen, says fishermen need not be concerned about most regulations. “This executive order has zero impact on 99.9 percent of the fishing regulations going out, so people who are wondering if the fishing season will be delayed don’t need to,” he says. “It’s much ado about nothing.” Read the article here 08:39
New England fishermen who opposed President Barack Obama’s creation of the Atlantic Ocean’s first marine national monument are now hopeful President-elect Donald Trump will abolish it, shrink it or allow some fishing inside it. Environmentalists view the monument as a way to sustain important species, as well as research and reduce the toll of climate change. “We take the monument very seriously and any threats to it are threats, I think, against the national interest,” said Peter Shelley, senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation. “We would take appropriate action if and when anything happened, including making a compelling scientific case to the president for the monument.” It’s unclear whether Trump could unilaterally undo a marine monument designation. It hasn’t been done before. There’s precedent, however, to modify a monument. Obama quadrupled the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, also in August, to create the world’s largest oceanic preserve at nearly 600,000 square miles. Read the story here 15:45
Will Obama use the State Departments “Our Oceans” Conference to designate canyons and seamounts National Marine Monument?
The third installment of the Our Ocean forum will convene in Washington, D.C., this week and the betting window is open on whether the Obama administration will use the event to announce the designation of new National Marine Monuments. No one — neither conservationists nor fishing stakeholders — claims to know exactly what will happen when the two-day, international event opens Thursday. But it has not escaped anyone’s attention that the Obama administration has used the same forum in the past to make similar announcements. The Obama administration’s decision not to use the Antiquities Act to designate any portion of Cashes Ledge as a monument validated fishing stakeholders and others who characterized the proposal — which originated with the Conservation Law Foundation, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Pew Charitable Trusts — as an end-run around the existing fisheries management system and wholly unnecessary given the existing protections already afforded the area. Read the story here 07:55
Despite the Obama administration’s declaration that Cashes Ledge has been taken off the table as a possible location for a marine national monument, the divisive issue of the monuments continues to percolate nationally between fishermen and conservationists. From Hawaii to New England, the lines are clearly drawn. Conservation groups have sustained a steady lobbying campaign to convince President Obama to employ the Antiquities Act to create new marine national monuments in the waters around Cashes Ledge, about 80 miles off Gloucester, and the seamounts off southern New England and Monterey, California. “We’re pushing as hard as we can with elected officials and the White House on those areas that have been identified and confirmed by the scientific community as being of great interest,” Peter Shelley, interim president and senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation, said of two New England areas. “These areas need permanent protection and this is not going to go away as a priority for us.” “This is not going to go away as a priority for us,” Shelley said. “It is not going to change with (presidential) administrations.” Read the story here 08:17
In the final months of President Barack Obama’s term, they’re hoping he’ll protect an underwater mountain and offshore ecosystem in the Gulf of Maine known as Cashes Ledge. They also want him to protect a chain of undersea formations about 150 miles off the coast of Massachusetts known as the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts. The White House Council on Environmental Quality said in March, and reiterated last week, that while the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts area is under consideration, Cashes Ledge currently is not. There are no marine national monuments in the Atlantic Ocean. The Conservation Law Foundation, which has been leading the Cashes Ledge effort, is continuing its campaign. It says that a coalition of environmental groups collected more than 250,000 signatures between August 2015 and this month in support of protecting both areas. Read the rest here 09:56
World famous oceanographer Sylvia Earle dived Cashes Ledge and declared it to be a “Yellowstone” of the ocean. Visions of enviro’s appear in my head doing the wave chanting ocean Serengeti over and over, trance like,,, Despite all the fishing that has rendered much of the Northeast a shell of its colonial riches, there remains in precious spots underwater life every bit the rival of the California coast and the Caribbean. Two such areas, Cashes Ledge and the
New England Mid Atlantic Coral Canyons and Seamounts, deserve national marine monument status from President Obama before he leaves office. But there aren’t any such protections in the Atlantic, and groups such as the Conservation Law Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the National Resources Defense Council, are campaigning for protection. (Full disclosure: I (Derrick Jackson) coauthored a book on Maine’s puffin restoration and discussed the bird’s winter feeding at a CLF luncheon this winter). Get the gist? Read the rest here 16:58
As the owner of Coonamessett Farm in Falmouth and a partner at the Woods Hole Oyster Co., I spend as much time navigating regulatory hurdles as I do tending the farm or going to sea. Many farmers and fishermen have similar fights with overbearing bureaucracy, something likely to become more common as the noose of government regulations tightens.,,Things aren’t much better out at sea. I do a substantial amount of research for the scallop industry, and sustainability is the key reason scallop management is a continued successes. Through a system of rotational management, certain zones are fished while others are left off-limits to allow them to repopulate. Much as with farmland, this system allows the resources to remain sustainable. Read the article, Click here 09:47
The decision by the Obama administration to pass on a proposal to make a large swath of the Gulf of Maine a national monument is not only a victory for fishermen. It’s also a win for those who favor open government. News came late last week that the administration would not, in fact, use the federal Antiquities Act to make the area around Cashes Ledge a permanent “maritime national monument” by executive decree. The environmental lobby is not abandoning its efforts. Read the rest here 07:49
As some New England fishermen struggle under intense quota cuts, the industry is fearing another political move that could prove to have devastating consequences. There is an effort to designate Cashes Ledge — a historically important fishing area — as a national marine monument. This would require a presidential order and would effectively close the area to all commercial activity. About 80 miles off the coast of Cape Ann, a cold-water kelp forest grows from the tip of a ridge that rises from the ocean floor known as Cashes Ledge. Audio, Read the rest here 17:12
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Obama Administration are working closely with several environmental groups to “protect” vast areas of ocean off New England’s coast from the dreaded commercial and recreational fishermen. After NOAA’s utter failure to work with the stakeholders that make up the fishing community through the National Marine Fisheries Service, rebranded NOAA Fisheries after the name became synonymous with disastrous over-regulation, it appears an even less transparent process is now underway to regulate our natural resources. Read the article here 07:55
The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee has demanded records of all meetings, correspondence and memos related to marine monument designations. The letter references emails that “show representatives from the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Pew Charitable Trusts warning their members to avoid talking to the ‘outside world’ about the organizations’ efforts to influence the Administration to announce a Marine National Monument off of New England during the ‘Our Ocean Conference’ in Chile.” The emails in question were originally obtained by Saving Seafood via public records requests, and were first reported by Greenwire. Read the rest here 17:00
One month ago, environmental groups were strategizing over their latest bid: Get the Obama administration to create its first marine monument off New England. They had talks with fishing groups, lawmakers and think tanks. At the end of August, they exchanged emails over their progress — and in one, the president of the Conservation Law Foundation warned everyone to keep quiet about the possibility of a breakthrough at the upcoming Our Ocean Conference in Chile. The email showed up in response to a public records request that Saving Seafood filed with the office of Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s. Read the rest here Read the email’s here 08:40
In her letter read into the record Tuesday night at a NOAA-hosted town meeting in Providence to discuss the issue, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken stated the city’s objections to designate the deep sea canyons and seamounts — and Cashes Ledge — as a national monument. “We have learned over the years to take a balanced perspective on issues, to make sure to have researched all the facts, and to include the public in our decisions,” Romeo Theken wrote. “It is from this perspective that I write in opposition to the Conservation Law Foundation-organized proposal for a national monument.” Read the rest here 07:01
Hundreds of people filled a conference hall Tuesday night to speak out on a federal proposal to permanently protect a network of deep-sea canyons and underwater mountains off New England by creating the first marine national monument on the Atlantic coast. Terry Stockwell, chairman of the New England Fishery Management Council, said the existing regulatory framework already protects Cashes Ledge and the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts area. The council in April voted in favor of keeping Cashes Ledge closed to most fishing. Read the rest here 18:29
Analysis: New England Marine Monument Proposals Overlook Existing Protections, Overstep Democratic Management
Fishermen, fisheries managers, and environmentalists agree that the Cashes Ledge region of the Gulf of Maine is home to some of the most important marine environments in New England. Since the early 2000s, federal fisheries managers have recognized the value of these areas and have taken proactive steps to protect their unique habitats, preventing commercial fishermen from entering the areas and allowing them to develop mostly undisturbed from human activity. But according to several environmental groups, including the Conservation Law Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, the National Geographic Society, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, such long-standing and effective protections are suddenly insufficient. Read the rest here 09:17
Pew Enviro Groups eye Marine National Monuments protections for Cashes Ledge, canyons, seamounts off Cape Cod
Enviro groups this week plan to call for sprawling areas in the Gulf of Maine and off Cape Cod and Rhode Island to be declared the first “marine national monument” on the eastern seaboard. A January 2009 presidential proclamation established three Pacific Marine National Monuments. Now the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and partners like the National Geographic Society, Pew Charitable Trusts and the Natural Resources Defense Council are seeking protections for the Closed Area in the Gulf of Maine and the New England Canyons and Seamounts off the Cape – areas CLF describes as “deep sea treasures.” Read the rest here 16:17
Peter Shelley, senior attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation, charged that the council ignored years of scientific data and analysis and “caved to industry pressures” regarding Georges Bank. (The council did approve four other areas of habitat protection.) “The council hammered the final nail into the coffin of what could have been a landmark victory for ocean habitats protection in New England,” Shelley wrote on his organization’s web site. Dr. Sarah Smith, a member of the Fisheries Solutions Center at the Environmental Defense Fund, wrote The Standard-Times in an e-mail, “We are disappointed that the council,,, Read the rest here 09:14
Environmental groups quickly criticized the move as jeopardizing the health of the ocean in favor of economic interests, while advocates for fishermen said the changes will allow for better management of resources. Peter Shelley, interim president of the Conservation Law Foundation, said the reconfiguration diminishes protected habitat when New England’s cod stock is in historically bad shape.“Instead of exercising conservation stewardship, the council wrote off the future of critical fish habitat areas that needed additional, not fewer, protections,” Read the rest here 09:38
In politics, repeating an argument so frequently and with such authority as to allow it to become accepted as fact is a familiar tactic. But the fact in this case is that the 10-year rebuilding benchmark so jealously protected by advocates such as Pew Charitable Trust, the Conservation Law Foundation and even the president’s policy advisers is the genuinely arbitrary figure, with no basis in data. The fact is that data collected under the proposals in HR 1335 and the amendment would bring it in from more sources and would necessarily provide better assessments for administrators. Read the rest here 08:51
Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk is urging the New England Fisheries Management Council to keep in mind the perilous plight of the Gloucester and Northeast groundfishing fleet as it maps out habitat protection areas as part of a major NOAA ocean zoning project. New Bedford Mayor John Mitchell expressed concerns similar to Kirk’s. Yet, in the course of its hearings, the council has also been receiving comments from groups such as the ,,, Read the rest here 09:11
The most compelling one, Barnum said, is nitrogen discharge, either from wastewater plants or from nonpoint pollution such as runoff from fertilizers. He said nitrogen has killed most of the eelgrass in Great Bay and Little Bay. “It’s just a vital component,” Barnum said of eelgrass. “If we didn’t have the eelgrass, we’d be looking at a mud flat, pure and simple.” Read the rest here 08:23
This prospect — even if the most sensitive areas remain protected — has infuriated environmental advocates, who worry about harming the ledge’s unique biodiversity and further damaging already dramatically reduced cod populations. Vito Giacalone says fishermen are “just looking for some common sense.” Read more here 11:54
Sometimes it is hard to understand why agencies do the things they do. Are they just marching to an inaudible tune that somehow makes sense of the sum of their actions? Peter Shelley whines about the CLFs on again, off again partner, NOAA. Kinda like the old Hells Angel tag. When we do good, no one remembers, but when we do bad, no one forgets. More sniveling here 18:18
If you’ve been following the (mis)management of river herring over the last few years, you may not even be surprised at the latest shenanigans of the NOAA fisheries officials: a delay tactic in the form of a “working group.” Read more here 10:57
There was mixed reaction today from environmental advocates following a couple of recent decisions by a federal judge regarding New England’s groundfishing industry. Listen, and Read more here 18:17
Then, there’s this obligatory piece from CLF Shyster Peter Shelley, Court Issues Decisions on NOAA’s Fishing Rules here
In fact, we probably won’t survive at all…if we don’t fight.
Are we willing to give over our fisheries to the barnstorming energy industrialists looking for a new pair of financial roller skates? Are we willing to let them turn our fishing grounds into oilfields and windfarms, where for “security reasons” they’ll install multi-mile buffer zones preventing any and all craft from entering—except the “officially authorized” of course? Are we willing to let a bunch of Conservation Law Foundation lawyers take over our fisheries management and influence public opinion and cowed officials to regulate fishing into oblivion? These are groups of lawyers that are operating under the false neutral flag of environmental non-governmental organizations, but in reality are working directly or indirectly for mega-industry agenda driven entities such as the Pew oil company money spawned Environmental Defense Fund. These CLF and Natural Resource Defense League lawyers, for instance, are getting rich collecting fees from both ends: from the government when it’s an EPA issue and then of course from whatever beneficent mega-corporation funded eco-group they happen to be representing at the time. They move the scams from one “endangered marine species” to another. Read more here 15:49
“We need to start reaping the benefits of offshore wind, both the economic benefits and renewable benefits,” said Sean Mahoney, executive vice president of the Conservation Law Foundation, who criticized the administration for scuttling Statoil’s project last year. (what benefit is that?!! Irreplaceable ocean bottom that you morons want to remove from Monhegans lobstermen?) Read [email protected]” 12:07
MSA Reauth Road Show: Fisheries Survival Fund responds to Conservation Law Foundation attack on scallop industry testimony
FSF did not say management has failed but rather changes are needed to provide flexibility and consistency to meet market demands. Industry has proven its stewardship of the resource. Maintaining all closures allows the scallops to age and die, providing no benefit to communities. Allowing access into some closed areas will introduce more areas into the rotational system allowing a more consistent scallop catch without threatening the sustainability of the scallop fishery. more here 23:15
Good morning, Senator Begich, Senator Warren, Senator Markey, Congressman Tierney, Congressman Keating, and other members of the panel. My name is Peter Shelley. I am Senior Counsel with New England’s Conservation Law Foundation. Yes you are! [email protected] 20:31
In effect, CLF narrows the terms of acceptable debate by treating its own position on the Amendment — dealing with the management of closed areas in Georges Bank — as the only acceptable choice. But in fact, there are many scientifically acceptable outcomes of the Omnibus Amendment process that CLF does not mention in its report. [email protected] 17:20
Known locally as a founding volunteer for an oyster recycling project for improving water quality in Great Bay — and as president of the state chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association — Jeff Barnum has been named Great Bay – Piscataqua waterkeeper. Just a few days on the job working for the Conservation Law Foundation, an environmental advocacy group, and Barnum is already taking aim at Portsmouth for its “incessant pleas for delay” with regard to upgrading its circa 1964 sewage treatment plant on Peirce Island. [email protected] 15:03
BOSTON — After months of inaction on two lawsuits brought by environmental groups against the Environmental Protection Agency over Cape Cod’s plans, a federal judge hinted Tuesday at the possible outcomes of the cases. [email protected] 10:09
“We recognize it’s probably not going to make anyone happy,” Bullard said. But, [email protected]
savingseafood.org: Inaccuracies Abound in Joint Press Release from the Conservation Law Foundation & Earthjustice
The press release misstates important facts about groundfish, starting with a quote from CLF’s Senior Counsel, Peter Shelley: “cod are in the worst condition ever in the history of New England fishing and probably getting worse.” But, while both Georges Bank and Gulf of Maine cod stocks are certainly in the middle of a rebuilding process, neither faces historic low’s. [email protected]
Counsel touts fishery suits as ‘education’ By Richard Gaines – (Peter Shelley said the action was not “hypocritical at all.”)
In drawing a distinction between a federal lawsuit filed by Attorney General Martha Coakley to halt NOAA’s draconian groundfish catch limits and federal lawsuits like one he filed against NOAA a day later for his Conservation Law Foundation, CLF’s senior counsel Peter Shelley said the action was not “hypocritical at all.” continued @ Gloucester Daily Times
CLF sues NOAA to block openings – “It’s not hypocritical at all,” says Peter Shelley who criticized Coakley for interfering with the federal regulatory process.
The day after Peter Shelley, senior counsel for Conservation Law Foundation, derided Attorney General Martha Coakley’s federal lawsuit to block NOAA’s tight new groundfish catch limits as political “soapbox” posturing, CLF and a litigation partner filed two lawsuits of their own against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. continued
Conservation Law Foundation has been suing NOAA since 1991. In 2001 during a speech to an audience in Phoenix concerning the cost/benefit of litigation in fishery management, entitled Ten Years ‘After The Fall’: Litigation and Groundfish Recovery in New England, Peter Shelley, senior attorney at CLF and a Pew Marine Fellow, refers to the National Marine Fisheries Service as “… A kind of bumbling adolescent” and CLF, the adult, had to step in with a lawsuit to straighten out and save the fishing industry and the agency from its adolescent ineptitudes. This paternalistic role became the paradigm for the Conservation Law Foundation’s behavior toward the Fishing industry and The National Marine Fisheries Service, which is evident in CLF’s current legal machinations.
But it wasn’t just about groundfish it was more about CLF gaining a seat at the bargaining table in terms of fishery management, it was also about, in Shelley’s words “…our suit was the first suit that tried to look at the Magnuson-Stevens Act itself and determine which statutory requirements in the Act actually had teeth.” continued
Conservation Law Foundation and Earthjustice file lawsuits in federal district court challenging NMFS
Suits challenge plans to open no-fishing zones and to boost catch limits. Attorneys from Conservation Law Foundation and Earthjustice filed a pair of lawsuits today in the federal district court challenging recent decisions by the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding New England groundfish. continued
“The Attorney General is wrong on the law and she is wrong on the facts.” – Peter Shelley, Conservation Law Foundation
“The Attorney General is wrong on the law and she is wrong on the facts,” said Peter Shelley, senior counsel with CLF, who has been actively engaged in fisheries management for more than 20 years. “Political interference like this action by Attorney General Coakley has been a leading cause of the destruction of these fisheries over the past twenty years, harassing fishery managers to ignore the best science available.” continued , believe it or not.
This Sturgeon debacle should serve as a pretty clear indication of how our fisheries “management” system works, or more to the point, how it doesn’t work.
How, by any stretch of regulation protocol, methodology, or just plain ol’ administrative integrity, can NOAA declare a species to be endangered without an assessment? Perhaps NOAA’s luminous legal department, Lois Schiffer, could give us the “legal” justification,,,continued
In her resignation email Lubchenco made the gravity-defying claim that she had made “notable progress” in “ending overfishing, rebuilding depleted stocks, and returning fishing to profitability”; but soon after, John Bullard “In an interview at the Times, Bullard said the telling figure was that the fleet caught only 54 percent of the allowed catch in 2012, and reasoned from that statistic that there is a dearth of inshore cod, a situation that warrants serious action to reverse.” Richard Gaines March 8, 2013 Gloucester Daily Times, “NOAA head explains stock stand”
Peter Shelley of Conservation Law Foundation explains the Cod Dilemma in a wormy little video he so humorously named “For Cod’s Sake”…..continued
The Warped Musing’s of a Climate Change Opportunist / Ocean Industrialization Habitat Destruction Hypocrite
The hypocrisy! – capecodtoday – Conservation Law Foundation Op Ed is a strong rebuttal to NOAA’s new limits The catch limits on the most endangered stocks will still allow excessive mortality levels, putting the future of the fishery at risk. continued
Must be tough for these guy’s when their progressive champions are on the “wrong” side! CLF: New rules could allow ‘full collapse’ of cod stocks
CLF and CLF Ventures: or we get rich by litigating the hostile takeover and trading away of public resources for corporate exploitation while claiming to save the planet. Dick Grachek
The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and their “strategy-consulting arm” CLF Ventures apparently have become fisheries Policy Makers, Litigators, Fishing Quota Fund Administrators, and the authors of a “suite” of fishery conservation goals and the “metrics of success” of this suite of goals.
CLF and CLF Ventures engineered this catch share privatization scam right from the beginning—with the help of some Cape Cod “fishermen”. The Cape Cod Trust program was set up as a “success story”, a prototype for the implementation of the Amendment 16 catch shares program, the market-based atrocity that we have today. CLF Ventures (most deservedly) collects fees along the line “…as the strategy-consulting arm of the Conservation Law Foundation.”
It’s the “doing good while doing well” credo of “Free-Market Environmentalism, the Enviro- Capitalists” or translated: We get rich by stealing and trading public resources while claiming to save the planet. continue reading!
The Conservation Law Foundation’s Sean Cosgrove responds to our analysis of their criticism of NEFMC Council Member Laura Ramsden and their arguments on proposed changes to closed areas. 13 March 2013 “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair continue
Note Saving Seafood has been more than generous providing space for the ENGO agenda. They have always been accurate in their analysis, unlike the pampered poodles of the ENGO crowd. Sean Cosgrove should be absolutely ashamed of himself for quoting Upton Sinclair, especially if he understands the quote, and avoids looking in the mirror!
Saving Seafood Analysis – Conservation Law Foundation Misleads Public on Habitat Closed Area Changes
WASHINGTON (Saving Seafood) March 13, 2013 – In the article, “Destructive Trawling and the Myth of ‘Farming the Sea’,” Conservation Law Foundation’s (CLF) Sean Cosgrove argues against the New English Fishery Management Council’s (NEFMC) recent recommendation to open certain areas previously closed to fishing, claiming that trawling, in every instance, is detrimental to ocean habitats. But Mr. Cosgrove cites incomplete and unrelated evidence in order to argue that marine scientists “unanimously” agree with his allegations. In reality, Mr. Cosgrove’s claims are contradicted by numerous peer-revised studies focused specifically on New England’s marine ecosystems. Continued
Maine Voices: Plight of cod fishery should serve as wake-up call for policymakers By Peter Shelley, CLF
By Peter Shelley, senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation — Before New England’s most important fishery collapses completely and takes our codfish with it, solutions must start with the facts at hand: Many of New England’s groundfish, particularly Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank cod, are at historically low levels and may be in complete collapse. Read more
Not so fast, Councilor
Cod, NOAA, and Existence
Fishermen’s troubles are a direct result of mismanagement: inadequate science, unreasonable Maximum Sustainable Yield-crisis centric regulations, NOAA’s single species approach to a complex multi-species fishery, and then, of course, our beloved “returning profitability to fishermen” catch shares, a disastrous campaign to privatize and turn the fish resource into a Wall Street commodity at the expense and demise of working fishermen. Additionally, NOAA has traditionally ignored environmental factors, such as climate change, predation, and natural cycles, focusing solely on managing the fishermen, not the fish in their environment. If this cod stock is indeed “collapsing”, it is certainly not due to “over harvesting”—the groundfish managers’ Total Allowable Catch has been under-harvested for years, sometimes by 75%, but consistently underfished by at least 50%. http://fisherynation.com/dick-gracek
The senior counsel for the Conservation Law Foundation may be arguing for all the wrong reasons, but he makes a valid point: Read more here
While fishing industry group and federal lawmakers have sought to ease dire new catch limits seen as threatening Gloucester’s and New England’s groundfishery, a leader of at least one prominent environmental group says the limit cuts of up to 77 percent “did not go far enough. ”In his report, Shelley wrote that “recent assessments showed stocks at the lowest levels and declining rapidly. The fish just aren’t there anymore.” Read more here
The New England Fishery Management Council has voted to recommend giving commercial groundfishermen access to parts of five areas that have been closed to them for many years. The request to open closed areas to commercial fishing came days before the NOAA Science Center issued a report on the 2011 fishing year that contained the revelation that only 41 percent of allocated fish were landed in 2011. Read More
I have never seen former New Bedford Mayor John Bullard look so downcast as he did last Thursday at the special meeting of the New England Fisheries Management council in Wakefield. Bullard, who now heads NOAA fisheries in the Northeast, was trying to break the news gently that what the council is about to do with quota allocations wasn’t going to be easy. Someone in the room full of 150 people, mostly fishermen and their families, had asked him to “do the right thing” when it comes to issuing allocations. “Doing the right thing is going to be very, very hard,” Bullard said repeatedly speaking slowly in a low voice. He didn’t get specific, but everyone in the room knew what he meant: This wasn’t going to be pretty. Peter Shelley, senior attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation, made it clear what he and other environmentalist groups were expecting from the council: “You all swore an oath to uphold the Magnuson-Stevens Act,” he reminded them darkly before sitting back down to a chorus of boos and hisses. Shelley apparently didn’t have it in him to acknowledge what the fishermen were telling the council: After following the council’s draconian rules for years in order to rebuild the fishery, they were being repaid by being forced out of business.
Year after year, fishermen are asked to follow rules that boggle the mind and empty the treasury. Any reporter covering fisheries management will tell you it is one of the most impenetrable briar patches of science, politics and bureaucracy that can be imagined. Read More
“This Thanksgiving, I want to give an overdue thanks to the region’s remaining fishermen who brave the elements and bring my family fish and seafood products to eat,” Shelley wrote. “All of us have failed to provide you with a rational, predictable and equitable business environment in which to nourish your hopes of being part of the American dream.“The system has failed you and will continue to fail you as long as it continues to give each of you what you individually demand.”Shelley’s harsh judgment comes as a time when NOAA, led by Jane Lubchenco, is under fire from industry groups and congressional figures from both parties for its policies.
What a phoney bastard. BH