Tag Archives: Environmental Defense Fund

EDF to partner with Philippine bureau of fisheries to implement fishing reforms

In a dramatic step forward for Asia-Pacific and global ocean conservation, the Philippines has begun implementing sustainable fishing reforms with Environmental Defense Fund serving as a partner to provide critical support on science and policy. The commitment was highlighted at the Our Ocean Conference in Malta, where the Philippines announced it would establish these reforms for its major commercial fisheries by 2022.  click here to read the press release 16:58

Governor Baker: Codfather windfall should fund electronic monitoring

Baker, in a letter to federal fishing regulators late last month, sided with a dozen state lawmakers and local officials who are urging the proceeds from the forfeiture of Rafael’s fishing fleet and any financial penalties tied to his case to be used to pay for electronic catch monitoring. The money to pay for monitoring would relieve a major financial pressure on the state’s fishermen who have to pay for at-sea monitors who ensure compliance with catch-quotas designed to protect the health of groundfish stock. click here to read the story 18:25

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

Environmental groups suing Trump administration for extending red snapper season

Two environmental groups are suing the Trump administration for stretching the red snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico. The federal government said the economic benefit from allowing weekend fishing this summer by recreational anglers in federal waters outweighs the harm to the red snapper species, which is still recovering from disastrous overfishing. Gulf state officials had lobbied for and praised the change, but the lawsuit says the decision violated several laws by ignoring scientific assessments, promoting overfishing, and failing to follow required procedures. It was filed Monday for the Ocean Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund. click here to read the story 13:13

Fishermen, environmentalists continue battle over protected area off Cape Cod

Environmentalists often work with fishermen to reach a middle ground that benefits the environment and eases the regulatory burden on the industry. (baloney) The Environmental Defense Fund, for instance, has partnered with fishermen, both locally and nationally, absorbing some of the cost of new equipment to make electronic monitoring of catches at sea a feasible alternative. But there’s little consensus when it comes to the country’s newest marine park. You either agree there is an urgent need to protect the fragile ecosystems and inhabitants of the 5,000-square-mile Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, located roughly 130 miles southeast of Cape Cod, or you side with many of the region’s fishermen, who are worried this could be precedent-setting: the first in series of permanent closures in which they have little say. click here to read the story 08:08

Conflicts of Interest Plague Fishery Councils

In a tremendous display of arrogance, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council member David Walker of Alabama went on a rant at the June meeting of the Gulf Council in which he proclaimed that millionaire shareholders like himself are the only ones who contribute anything to the red snapper fishery. He was referring to the paltry 3 percent administrative fee that shareholders are required to pay to cover the expense of the catch share program that has made him rich. The fact that NOAA Fisheries acknowledges the fee doesn’t even cover the cost of the program (the shortfall is picked up by taxpayers like you and me) did not deter Walker from his outlandish claims. He went on to challenge recreational anglers to show what they contribute.,, The end result of efforts by groups like the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to privatize public marine resources was on full display at this meeting. They may not have intended it, but EDF and their allies have created an entire class of spoiled, entitled bullies, ready to intimidate anyone who threatens their domain, from Council members to Congressmen. Click here to read the story 14:35

Feds (No EDF and Pew) complain new Red Snapper season will hurt species’ recovery

The U.S. Commerce Department says recreational anglers in the Gulf of Mexico will have 39 more days to fish federal waters for red snapper,,,However, an environmental group and a charter captains’ association estimate that private anglers will take nearly triple their allocated 3.4 million-pound (1.5 million kilogram) quota of the sport and panfish under the plan, potentially canceling next year’s recreational season entirely.,,“The current system is failing private anglers and they deserve a fix,” Mike Jennings, president of the Charter Fisherman’s Association said in a prepared statement.,,, Earlier Wednesday, his group and the Environmental Defense Fund had emailed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, asking him to delay any decision until he had good scientific estimates of the likely catch. click here to read the story 16:45

A Brunswick County senator’s proposed resolution opposing catch-share fisheries management is drawing praise

In fisheries managed by catch shares, certain fishermen or companies are assigned individual limits for a given species during a season, a strategy the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says allows fishermen to make decisions based on market conditions and avoid hazardous weather conditions. Many North Carolina fishermen have expressed great concern about catch shares reaching their waters and are supporting Senate Bill 370. Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, introduced the bill, which would communicate to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, NOAA Fisheries and the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission that the Senate opposes catch share management off the N.C. coast. continue reading the story, click here 22:43

Catch share threat is back

As we enter 2017, the biggest threat to commercial and recreational fishermen in the South Atlantic is back: private ownership of the snapper-grouper fishery through a catch share program. Fishery stakeholders have year after year overwhelmingly rejected any form of catch shares. Most recently, 97 percent of the comments on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s long-range snapper-grouper management plan opposed catch shares — a plan the council promised would be “stakeholder-driven.” Yet, SAFMC Vice Chair Charlie Phillips has revealed that he, SAFMC member Chris Conklin and former SAFMC member Jack Cox, all commercial snapper-grouper fleet owners and dealers, are leading an effort to get a voluntary “pilot” catch share program in place this year using an “Exempted Fishing Permit,” which is a back door way to avoid the normal fishery regulation approval process. In a recent article in the Charleston, SC Post & Courier, Vice Chair Phillips touts that the permit would allow them to catch all year.” The article also reveals that the Seafood Harvesters of America, which has been funded with over $300,000 from the radical Environmental Defense Fund, is supporting the EFP application. The Seafood Harvesters represent some of the biggest catch share owners in the nation. Read the post here  11:06

The election has enviro groups all worked up! – Reactions to Trump victory trickle in from seafood industry

donald-trump-1Seafood companies and industry groups have begun to issue statements and responses to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. Trump has said little about the seafood industry directly, but he has expressed favor for policies that reduce environmental barriers preventing the further development American industry, which may lead to changes in the management of U.S. fisheries. Trump has also taken a strong stand against free-trade agreements, and if he acts on pledges to scuttle the Trans-Pacific Partnership framework, add tariffs on Chinese imports and renegotiate or withdraw from the North America Free Trade Agreement, it will likely have an significant effect on the global seafood trade.,, Fred Krupp, the president of nonprofit advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), posted his thoughts on the election in a blog post on EDF’s website. “The election of Donald Trump has profoundly altered the landscape in which environmentalists work. While environmental issues weren’t central to the campaign, President-elect Trump took positions during the campaign that were directly counter to ours — and contradicted by science,” Krupp wrote. “We are still assessing the challenges that lie ahead, but this much is clear: The next few years will bring some big fights and also some unpredictable fluidity.” World Wildlife Fund President and CEO Carter Roberts also issued a statement,,, Read the story here 13:53

The Race to Spread the EDF IFQ Recreational Fishery Propaganda.

robert-e-jonesjpg-0f7b26b6c7446ecaGulf fisheries were in dire condition before the Environmental Defense Fund teamed with local fishermen across the Gulf, from Florida to Texas, to help turn things around. In those days, fishermen were stuck under failing management that perpetuated overfishing and reduced the population of Gulf red snapper to just 4 percent of its historic level. Due to misguided and ineffective rules, the commercial fleet was in a derby system — a race to catch fish that was dangerous and destructive to both fish and fishermen’s businesses. The catch limits that were put in place to solve the problem were not working. Seeing their livelihoods collapsing under failing management, commercial fishermen voted twice, in supermajorities, to implement a system known as catch shares or individual fishing quotas, which went on the water in 2007. EDF is proud to have worked with our fishing partners on this system. Read the story here 10:22

Is Environmental Defense Fund Controlling Louisiana’s Department Of Wildlife And Fisheries?

By now our readers are surely familiar with the very strange behavior of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries secretary Charlie Melancon with respect to his opposition to a bill brought by most of Louisiana’s congressional delegation that would put individual Gulf states, rather than the federal government, in control of the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re not up to speed on Melancon’s antics and escalating feud with a key member of the delegation, Baton Rouge congressman Garret Graves, we offered a primer here. Most of the speculation you may have seen involves the idea that several of the larger commercial fishing concerns along the Gulf coast, who benefit from a crony-capitalist scheme wherein shares of the red snapper market have been allocated based on incumbency – the owners of those concerns have been given the moniker “Sea Lords” since the red snapper catch largely resembles a feudal system of sorts – have essentially bought Melancon and his opposition to the bill Graves is proposing is a product of that purchase. Graves’ idea to put the state in charge of the red snapper fishery would break up the current allocation scheme and put the Sea Lords out of commission in Louisiana, or at least make their incumbency a matter which would be up for grabs. Read the story here 08:10

How a ‘rogue’ environmental group transformed (HIJACKED) American fisheries

One of the nation’s largest environmental groups — bankrolled with $50 million from the heirs to the Walmart fortune — has spent millions of dollars pushing a wholesale change in how the U.S. manages its fisheries, an AL.com investigation reveals. Critics blame the Environmental Defense Fund effort for hurting fishing communities on every coast, from Kake, Alaska, and Gloucester, Mass., to Bayou La Batre, Alabama. The group has pushed a system that turns the right to catch a pound of fish into a private commodity that can be bought and sold like a share of stock on Wall Street. The government then gives these shares to individual commercial fishermen, granting them the right to catch that fish, or lease or sell the right to catch it to another fisherman. EDF gained unprecedented access to the levers of power in 2008 when President Obama appointed the vice-chair of EDF’s board – Jane Lubchenko — as the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which manages the nation’s fish stocks. Once in power, Lubchenko, a respected but little known fisheries professor in Washington State, enacted a national catch share policy that mirrored EDF’s longtime goals. Read this story. Read the story here 09:21

New England: Fishing advocates praise allocation of funds for electronic monitoring

camera_view_of_skate_catchAdvocates for electronic monitoring technology in the commercial fishing industry are pleased that the Senate Appropriations Committee has secured federal resources to help defray costs associated with regulating catch sizes.On Thursday, U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D- NH) announced that $3 million has been set aside for the development and installation of this technology. Fishermen hope it will replace the current model of in-person monitoring, which costs them approximately $700 per day every time they bring a person out.Josh Wiersma of the Environmental Defense Fund said appropriating the money is a step in the right direction. Read the rest here 07:20

Thursday: Challenges facing New England’s commercial fishing industry topic of public forum at RI College

A panel of government regulators, scientists, environmental advocates and fishermen will try to answer questions about the future of one of New England’s most iconic and important industries at a forum this Thursday. The event, which is free and open to the public, runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sapinsley Hall in the Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts at Rhode Island College. The panel will include: John Bullard, regional administrator with NOAA’s Northeast Regional Office; Graham Forrester, professor in the Department of Natural Resources Science at the University of Rhode Island; Erica Fuller, senior associate attorney with Earth Justice; Matt Tinning, senior director, U.S. Oceans Program, Environmental Defense Fund; David Goethel, captain and owner of the Ellen Diane; Mark Phillips, captain and owner of FV Illusion; and Daniel Georgianna, Chancellor professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Read the rest here 12:40

Environmental Defense Fund — Monitoring isn’t the fisherman’s enemy

The port of New Bedford has been rocked by allegations of widespread and longstanding corruption by one of the industry’s biggest players. It is understandable that shocked fishermen, regulators, and community leaders are casting around for causes and solutions. Some have contorted the facts to fit their arguments against sector management. The truth, however, is that this alleged criminal misconduct started decades before the transition to sectors, and exploited a far older management flaw: the lack of sufficient monitoring in the fishery. It is a key reason why the fishery continues to be in crisis and in the headlines; and in the wake of this latest scandal it must be urgently addressed. Read the rest here 09:49

Environmental Defense Fund – New Bedford fish fraud case underscores need for greater NOAA monitoring

jwiersmaFrom the article: The Environmental Defense Fund in a statement on Friday said the arrest points to the need for greater monitoring by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees fishing within 200 nautical miles of the U.S. through the National Marine Fisheries Service. “This arrest and these allegations make it clear that NOAA must start an effective fishery monitoring system, not continue the underfunded program it has had in place for years,” said Joshua Wiersma, northeast fisheries manager for the Environmental Defense Fund.  Read the rest here Who is Joshua Wiersma? Read about him here  15:38

Environmentalists are upset over NEFMC Georges Bank vote

stupid-mainPeter 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

Putting lipstick on the ENGO Pig – Oregon fishermen and ENGOs in collaboration

During a recent lunch at Sharkbite’s Seafood Cafe in Coos Bay, area fishermen broke bread with an unlikely lunch mate — an attorney from the environmental advocacy group the Natural Resources Defense Council. The purpose of the meeting? For the group to open up communication and find common ground about how fish resource habitats are currently being managed. It’s a discussion that has taken place after years of fishermen and conservation organizations butting heads. Read the rest here 10:46

Diversion! EDF and “Partners” Pay For Full Page Add to Squash Fishing Communities in Louisiana

save louisiana coalitionAndy Nyman, a wetland scientist at LSU, said scientists discussed the need to counter (what they call) misinformation being spread about future sediment diversions. When nonprofit coastal groups offered to pay for the advertising space, Nyman and Mike Carloss, a retired official with the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, started working on a draft. The advertisement was paid for by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition which is made up of the Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. Read the rest here 08:46

Environmental Defense Fund — Fishery vote should protect more habitat

This Thursday, the New England Fishery Management Council will finally vote on the wolf-in-sheeps-clothing-scaled500-e1371562470325, the culmination of a multi-year process of creating, eliminating and modifying fishery closed areas in New England’s waters. As is often the case in New England fisheries, this decision has become highly contentious. Many fishermen oppose what they see as added restrictions on their ability to fish. For its part, the council seems intent on retaining the smallest amount of closed area it can get away with,,, Read the rest here 08:27

Voluntary plan to reduce fertilizers not enough to shrink Gulf’s ‘Dead Zone’, new study says

Major voluntary strategies used on Midwest farmland to curb fertilizers that feed the annual low oxygen “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico don’t remove enough nutrients to succeed, according to a new, peer reviewed scientific study.  The study, conducted by a team of scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Defense Fund,,. Read the rest here 21:39

Matthew P. Mullin, Environmental Defense Fund – We need cameras monitoring every fishing vessel

THOMAS FARRAGHER is absolutely right: If politicians, ranging from the governor to the attorney general to our congressional delegation, really want to help the fishing industry and save the fish, they need to listen to fishermen like Frank Mirarchi (An expert to reel in,” Metro, Jan. 17). Mirarchi and fishermen like him have seen the benefit of  on commercial vessels in New England for years. We need to see what is happening at sea — what is being caught and where, and what is being thrown overboard.  Read the rest here 08:55

Catch Shares: Investment Firms are taking over the Fishing Rights

10172769-largedinkWhat does it take to buy a share of the American ocean? Policymakers assured the nation that fishing rights would never migrate out of U.S. control through catch shares or end up as properties of investment firms. Environmental groups have similarly touted catch shares as a tool for communities and fishermen and overlooked the role investors can and do play. As the Snow’s deal now makes clear, those pacifications are baloney. Read the rest here 22:29

Recreational Fishing Alliance supports “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act.”

“Groups like Environmental Defense Fund, Pew Environment Group, Oceana and Ocean Conservancy hate this bill because it would allow America’s fishermen to continue fishing as stocks rebound, but that’s precisely what the Magnuson Stevens Act was originally designed to do,” Donofrio said. “Having healthy fish stocks without being allowed sustainable access does not make for a successful law.” Read more here 16:34

Fish and Ocean Grabbing: The Case of Commercial Fisheries

10172769-largeOn April 8, 2009, a story in the New York Times quoted the administrator of NOAA (the federal agency in charge of managing OUR oceans) as saying that was “taking preliminary steps toward privatizing fisheries” (in New England). We submit that if the director of the Forest Service or the National Park Service, or the Bureau of Land Management was quoted as saying those agencies were taking preliminary steps towards privatizing public forests, national parks, or public rangelands, that there would be an immediate outcry from “the left.” And yet, there was no outcry whatsoever. Read more here 16:38:46

SAFMC halts MPA effort, includes catch shares in top ten list

council_fishing_headerThe SAFMC has been pushed hard for over two years by radical environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, and Pew to approve the proposed MPAs even though the SAFMC’s own scientific advisors have said there is no scientific justification. It is of great concern that at last week’s SAFMC meeting, when council members submitted their top three issues/solutions as part of the snapper-grouper fishery “visioning” process, catch shares made it into the top ten issues for consideration. Read more here 14:04

Fish and Ocean Grabbing: The Case of Commercial Fisheries – prepared by Seth Macinko and Brett Tolley

On April 8, 2009, a story in the New York Times quoted the administrator of NOAA (the federal agency in charge of managing OUR oceans) as saying that NOAA was “taking preliminary steps toward privatizing fisheries” (in New England). We submit that if the director of the Forest Service or the National Park Service  or the Bureau of Land Management was quoted as saying those agencies were taking preliminary steps towards privatizing public forests, national parks, or public rangelands, that there would be an immediate outcry from “the left.” Read more here 17:04

Why are so many white men trying to save the planet without the rest of us?

superecomanJust the other day, the National Wildlife Federation announced its new president – a white male “whiz kid”. Last month, the Climate Reality Project, founded by Al Gore, replaced its female chief executive with a white man. Last November, the National Parks and Conservation Association replaced its veteran leader with another white male. The Union of Concerned Scientists is due to announce its new leader as early as next week. Spoiler alert: it’s not going to be a woman. Read more here  10:53

LETTER: Snapper Plentiful – Bob Zales

As the world knows by now, thanks to the Environmental Defense Fund and 20 commercial fishermen (that includes at least 5 charter boat owners who own red snapper IFQs) the current projected recreational red snapper season will be a maximum 11 days. newsherald.com  Read more here  15:11