Tag Archives: U.S. Commerce

U.S. EDA Invests $500,000 to Re-capitalize Commercial Fishing-Focused Revolving Loan Fund for Southern Maine

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $500,000 grant to Coastal Enterprises, Inc., of Wiscasset, Maine, to re-capitalize a commercial fisheries Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) that provides greater access to capital for Maine’s commercial fishermen and fishing-dependent businesses. Read more here  16:17

BULLARD, SHELLEY, and COD: or Fish Being and Nothingness – Featured Writer Dick Grachek

63338_485671558129923_2088140092_s dickyg“Returning Our New England Fisheries to Profitability”: “You’re doin’ a great job, Brownie” aka, Janie, Johnny, Petey.  You should be proud.  Mission Accomplished?

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

NOAA report ignores ‘disaster’

gdt iconWithout acknowledging the socio-economic disaster that has befallen the Northeast groundfishery, endangering the scale of the nation’s oldest fishery and the viability of small ports like Gloucester, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Thursday released its annual status of the stocks 2012 — proclaiming “significant continued progress to “end overfishing and rebuild fish stocks.” continued

Three years into catch shares, fishing industry faces ‘Day of Reckoning’

sct logoNEW BEDFORD — Sharp new cuts in fishing quotas mark the start today of the fourth year of fishing catch shares and sector management in the Northeast, NOAA’s prescription for rebuilding fish stocks and streamlining the fishing industry. But the fishermen who now see their quotas of some fish cut by more than 70 percent, who see their livelihood evaporating before their eyes, who are losing homes to foreclosure, insist, without contradiction, that they have done everything NOAA Fisheries has asked them to do in the past three years, and years before that. sadly, continued

“Today,NOAA has responded to a declared disaster by creating a crisis.” NOAA sticks to cuts in fish limits

gdt icon“Want to buy a boat?” said Orlando, who fishes from the 70-foot vessel Padre Pio. “I put it up for sale. I have no choice.”  “Rather than take the true advice of the New England Fisheries Management Council, the New England states and Congress and go forward with a second Interim Rule, NOAA instead to chose deliver a ‘death’ sentence to an industry, a way of life, and local economies and communities up and down the New England coast,” Ferrante wrote in an email. “I cannot say that I am surprised, but today, we dig in and fight harder.” Damned RIGHT! continued

‘Take the ‘no’ out of NOAA,’ rally speakers urge

gdt icon130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1It was Attorney General Martha Coakley, a leading advocate for the fishing industry along with Gov. Deval Patrick who put it directly to NOAA’s Gloucester-based Northeast regional administrator while addressing the roughly 300 fishermen present as well.

“I hope, Mr. Bullard,” she said, speaking beneath a big canvas tent, “that you can take the ‘no’ out of NOAA.” continued

Warren hears from local fishermen about industry ‘under attack’

Wicked Local -“They want to get rid of the little guys, the people that know how to nurture  the resource, the people who do not care about getting rich,” Welch, a Scituate  fisherman, said. “We just want to provide for our families, and we want to work,  and we want to employ people.” continued

Who Owns Fish Under Briberization?

Susanne Rust’s “Who owns the fish?” is a well written and insightful piece.  But, like all Catch Share authors, including myself, we are still learning how to really describe what is going on – having been overly influenced by the language of the wordsmiths brainwashing Congress and the public about quotas. With all good intention, here’s an expanded Opinion Piece to go with the March 12 article.,,,,,,,,,,.Catch shares are really about asymmetric market power —especially by cartelized processors with plenary power over price-setting— being brought about under government sponsorship due to accompanying asymmetric political power. Nothing makes that clearer that the rigged witness list at today’s US House Natural Resources meeting (see Richard Gaines’ Gloucester Daily Times Editorial-Witness-list-shows-Magnuson-talks-a-sham-from-start ).  John Pappalardo is a minor part of the national problem, as he was schooled by the real culprits of Alaska Ratz, some of whom are also on the rigged hearing witness list.  continued

Congressman John Tierney and eleven other NE delegates urge NOAA to continue a full subsidy of at-sea monitoring costs

manatthewheelCongressman John Tierney, six of his colleagues in the Massachusetts congressional delegation, and five more from Maine and New Hampshire have written to the acting commerce secretary, formally urging the government to find a way to continue a full subsidy of at-sea monitoring costs while the industry absorbs drastic cuts in catch limits. Read more here

Upbeat NOAA fishery report challenged

liars-all-arounds

NEW BEDFORD — To say that Richard Canastra didn’t quite believe an upbeat NOAA report on the state of the Northeast groundfish industry is to understate it.

“It’s a crock,” said Canastra, who co-owns the BASE seafood display auction. Only a few days ago he was telling regulators that this year might be the fleet’s “last hurrah.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration painted a sunny picture in a Dec. 26 report, saying that even with a smaller fleet, the catch was up, profits were up and total catch was up.

Canastra replied: “The headline looks great but when you look at it it’s just like the science. Everything NOAA does they try to cover up.”

There was also unanimous suspicion about the timing of the report, which was released the morning after Christmas, usually not a big news day. Read More

NOAA N.E. chief eyes delay on limits

The New England Fishery Management Council approved the proposal from the Gloucester-based coalition at its special meeting Wednesday in Wakefield. The move came in conjunction with a decision to defer setting catch limits for the groundfishery until the regularly scheduled January meeting – a time frae tha would benefit from a benchmark Gulf of Maine stock assessment and the vetting of it by the council’s Science and Statistical Committee. The coalition wrote last Monday to the council laying out a legal theory derived from an interpretation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act by NOAA last year that became the basis of a one-year interim emergency action on inshore cod that kept the reduction in landings to 22 percent. Read more

NOAA region chief Bullard hedges on interim limits

The coalition theory was based on an interpretation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act for building a second year of relief — “reducing” rather than “ending” overfishing — while a plan to bring the stock to maximum sustainable yield is crafted.,“I’m not going to opine on whether you can squeeze another year out of (the Magnuson regulations),” Bullard said in a Thursday interview at the Times. “We’re willing to take a look at this at the meeting.” Read More

U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee-$64 billion disaster assistance bill-includes $150 million-Northeast groundfishery and three other states

The bill’s impetus was relief for the superstorm Sandy disaster, but lawmakers have added a variety of other disaster relief measures, including farm drought relief. http://www.gloucestertimes.com/local/x1839366712/Some-Sandy-relief-for-fishermen

Delegation to Commerce: Observer Program Unfair to Alaska Fishermen MondayDecember10,2012

Small vessels in Alaska’s fishing fleet are being subjected to an expensive and poorly devised program for monitoring their take of groundfish and a delay in implementation is needed, according to a letter sent by Alaska’s Congressional delegation today to Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank of the Department of Commerce.http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=de876165-a278-40e3-9f5b-8bf72bff9c44

IG cites NOAA for lack of response – implies clearly that NOAA officials are showing insufficient interest in resolving these problems.

“We are currently reviewing NOAA’s controls and processes surrounding fisheries rulemaking as the first phase of our assessment of transparency and the rule of fishery councils in rulemaking,” the Zinser report states. “An effective regulatory environment requires a fair and transparent rulemaking process. Our review will consider the interactions among federal officials, fishing industry members, and non-government organizations in the development of fishing regulations.”

http://www.gloucestertimes.com/local/x520558903/IG-cites-NOAA-for-lack-of-response

Is IG Zinser Being “Swift Boated”? Watchdog wins reprieve for Commerce Department agents under gag agreement

A board that conducts hearings over questionable personnel practices issued a stay order against the Commerce Department’s Office of the Inspector General Thursday, temporarily lifting gag agreements aimed at preventing four senior law enforcement officers from speaking out against the agency…… The inspector general’s office released a statement Friday saying three of the agents involved in the case signed their separation agreements with representation from attorney’s “considered among the best in federal labor law,” while the fourth had at least consulted a lawyer before signing the contract………“We strongly support employees’ rights to register complaints and have not interfered with those rights,” the inspector general’s office said in its statement. “As we all know, there are two sides to every story and hopefully at some point in this process we will have the opportunity to provide the facts for the public record.”…..Zinser said of the investigation: “It’s really a situation where we’re going to cooperate with OSC and be as transparent as we can about it.”http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2012/12/03/watchdog-wins-reprieve-for-commerce-department-agents-under-gag-agreement/?print=1

FISHERMEN CRY WAR OVER FISHING REGULATIONS – MAKING WAR ON OUR FOOD SUPPLY!

Southerland, who serves on the House Natural Resources Committee’s Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Subcommittee, marina manager Pam Anderson, and Captain Bob Zales, who runs boats for recreational fishers out of Panama City, discussed difficulties with current regulations under the 2007 reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and planned regulations under President Obama’s National Oceans Policy. http://bwcentral.org/2012/10/fishermen-cry-war-over-fishing-regulations-making-war-on-our-food-supply/

Editorial: Fishery appeals ruling put onus on capping catch shares

Yet no one should believe that this ruling marks the end of the fight over catch shares, or other aspects of the gross mismanagment of New England’s and America’s fisheries by the administrator Jane Lubchenco and her National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as we know it. For in standing by Amendment 16 and catch shares, Chief Judge Sandra Lynch — who wrote the decision or the court –  cited a December 2011 announcement by the regional fishery council that it is developing rules aimed at “reduc(ing) the likelihood that groundfish permit holders will acquire or control excessive shares or fishing privileges.”http://www.gloucestertimes.com/opinion/x520555400/Editorial-Fishery-appeals-ruling-put-onus-on-capping-catch-shares

Lawyer blasts NOAA ‘failure’ on fishing – gdt

“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

http://www.gloucestertimes.com/topstories/x520553412/Lawyer-blasts-NOAA-failure-on-fishing

FLASHBACK! John Kerry – “Lubchenco is your friend,” February 2010 To leave the Fish Wars as Secretary of Defense?

Kerry released the following statement to the Times yesterday in response to a request about his position on Magnuson. “The status quo isn’t working, and I say that as someone who is passionate about the environment, but who can see plainly that people are hurting and there are legitimate issues that have to be fixed. “I’m going to be talking with fishing and environmental experts at the state and federal level to develop sustainable fisheries in New England and work with the New England delegation, as I always have, to keep federal assistance flowing into Massachusetts for our fishing families and to rebuild the fisheries.” http://www.gloucestertimes.com/local/x966804462/Kerry-to-fishermen-Lubchenco-your-friend

No offense Senator,,,,,,,,,,screw it, Senator Kerry, you thought then, as you do now, that its all about frittering out a few bucks to to the victims of President Obama’s US Commerce Department, the New England Fishing Industry. You have been ineffective Senator, and I’m done beating the drum for you. You have not delivered, Senator.

Please, John Kerry, just go away! http://bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1061174640

 

Editorial: Lack of fishing ‘disaster’ aid paints telling picture Gloucester Daily Times

That shouldn’t come as a surprise. This “disaster,” after all, is hardly due to natural causes or “dwindling stocks,” as Blank’s declaration tried to push off on fishermen, lawmakers and taxpayers. It is chiefly due to NOAA’s chief administrator Jane Lubchenco’s job-killing catch share management system, which has enabled a relatively few large-scale fishing operations to gobble up more and more shares of the allowable catch. That change alone drove more than 20 percent of Gloucester’s smaller, family-owned boats to the sidelines in catch shares’ first year, an economic disaster in its own right, and verified through NOAA’s own figures. http://www.gloucestertimes.com/opinion/x121545279/Editorial-Lack-of-fishing-disaster-aid-paints-telling-picture

Federal fisheries enforcement and the 2012 election – a purposeful cover-up? By Nils Stolpe

Here are the facts.

Federal fisheries enforcement and the 2012 election – a purposeful cover-up?  

Fact: Senator Scott Brown (Republican) and candidate Elizabeth Warren (Democrat) are in a close race for one of the two Massachusetts seats in the United States Senate.

Fact: A majority in the United States Senate, which is now in the hands of the Democratic Party, is considered by many pundits to be “up for grabs” in the rapidly approaching election, and the outcome in Massachusetts will be critical in determining which party controls the Senate – and the United States Congress – starting in 2013.

Fact: Senator Scott Brown has been an ardent supporter of the commercial fishing industry and has been particularly outspoken about an ongoing investigation of corruption at the highest levels of the enforcement branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Fact: New Englanders in general and residents of Massachusetts in particular tend to be extremely supportive of their fishing communities and of the fishing heritage that has played such a significant role in shaping the character of their coastline.

Fact: A 514 page report on the follow-up investigation by Special Master Charles Swartwood of NOAA enforcement abuses of fishermen and fishing associated businesses centered in New England and primarily in Massachusetts was completed and delivered to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce in March of 2012.

Fact: In spite of strong bipartisan Congressional prodding to make the report public, prodding in which Senator Scott Brown has assumed a leadership role, (Acting) Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank has refused to do so. To her credit Elizabeth Warren, his opponent, has been seeking the release of the report as well.

Fact: Massachusetts Senator John Kerry’s brother, Cameron Kerry, is general counsel of the Department of Commerce. READ MORE

http://bore-head007.newsvine.com/_news/2012/11/01/14859639-federal-fisheries-enforcement-and-the-2012-election-a-purposeful-cover-up-by-nils-stolpe?threadId=3602206&commentId=71603737#vine-t

The Report that has not been released, and won’t be until after the election. THE FREE PRESS

The Swartwood II Report Justice that is deserved, will continue to be denied until after the election, but why? The investigation has been completed, but not released, in spite of the demands of many elected officials from both parties. There is something about this report that is keeping (Acting) Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank from releasing the514 page report on the follow-up investigation by Special Master Charles Swartwood of NOAA enforcement abuses of fishermen and fishing associated businesses. Swartwood II was completed in March, 2012 and delivered to the Commerce Department. A spokesman for Commerce explained this is “to gather more information regarding issues identified in the second Swartwood report.” I’m curious to understand the need for Commerce to gather “more information” that won’t be added to Swartwood II.http://bore-head007.newsvine.com/_news/2012/10/31/14809392-the-report-that-has-not-been-released-and-wont-be-until-after-the-election-the-free-press

BP caps, plugs equipment believed to be source of recent sheen in Gulf near site of 2010 spill

NEW ORLEANS — BP PLC said Thursday it has capped and plugged an abandoned piece of equipment that is believed to be the source of a sheen spotted near the site of its massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Read More

My comment at the article. Thank you Nils Stolpe.

The liberal left and their Environ faction have forgotten and have chosen to overlook, the Obama Administrations complete folly and manipulation by BP in the Gulf of Mexico.
Lubchenco’s/NOAA’s role in the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2010-2015
“In her September 21, 2009 twenty-six page response to Lisa Birnbaum, Director of the Mineral Management Service on the Draft Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2010-2015. Ms. Lubchenco precedes her comments with a rundown of the federal laws that Read More.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/bp-caps-plugs-equipment-that-may-be-source-of-recent-sheen-in-gulf-near-site-of-2010-spill/2012/10/25/2cb2f250-1ec2-11e2-8817-41b9a7aaabc7_story.html

Why would US Commerce hold back Swartwood II until after the election? Are they complicit?

Why will this administration continue to obstruct justice and not release this report? It is complicit. The Obama Administrations Commerce Department has chosen to involve itself in this perverse abomination.

We are all aware of the gooey details of Administrative Law Judge Joseph Ingolia, pressing Special Master Swartwood to alter his report to cover up details that have shown theUSCG ALJ was involved in a despicable kangaroo court cash grab, all but guaranteeing that Dale Jones’ All Star cast of “Special Agents” and Chuck Juliand would build up a $100 million dollar slush fund, and rifle through half of that on cars planes, and video games, while Andy sold merchandise on E-Bay with his GI phone. Andy should be re scrutinized.

When Lubchenco requested the investigation, she had the chance to fix, but she chose not to.

“The notes and emails to Swartwood coordinating the meeting reflect the active involvement of Cam Kerry, chief counsel for the Commerce Department, and his deputy  Geovette Washington, as well as Monica  Medina, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco’s  principal deputy. Their initiative was aimed at  clearing the reputation of the Coast Guard  judges via the secret meeting.”

She chose to manipulate, and her Gulf BP oil dripping hands are all over this. Cover up. Secret meetings. Business as usual. Don’t rock the NOAA boat. Blow it out of the water. It’s beyond time for a full dismantling of this agency and Jane Lubchenco’s firing. As always,

ABOLISH CATCH SHARES NOW!

Economic relief needed for fishermen – US Senator Jeanne Shaheen

In recent years, New Hampshire fishermen have seen their incomes decline as federal regulations designed to end overfishing have limited the amount of fish they can catch. To make matters worse, these often-onerous regulations haven’t helped the cod population rebound as expected. In fact, a 2011 scientific study by the National Marine Fisheries Service found so few codfish in the Gulf of Maine that the quota for the upcoming fishing year must be set extremely low — so low that it jeopardizes the survival of New Hampshire’s fishing industry.             The Survey SUCKS!BH

http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20121021-OPINION-210210309

Get ready. More Secrets. NOAA Rule Would Restrict Access to Fisheries Data – NMFS Director Samuel Rauch declined an interview request through a spokesperson.

by Erik Stokstad on 19 October 2012,

Every year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spends about $40 million to    put independent observers on fishing vessels, where they collect data on what’s caught in U.S. waters.    The information is crucial for evaluating how well fishery management plans are working. Now NOAA wants to limit public access to these data in order to protect confidential business information. While the fishing industry welcomes the proposal, scientists and environmental groups are    anxious. “Our worry is that this will limit third-party involvement in fisheries management,” says Lee Crockett of the Pew Environment Group in Washington, D.C. Public    comments are due by 21 October.

http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/10/noaa-rule-would-restrict-access-.html?ref=hp

Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Exempted Fishery for the Cape Cod Spiny Dogfish Fishery –

SUMMARY NMFS proposes to modify the regulations implementing the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) to allow vessels to fish with gillnet and longline gear from June through December, and with handline gear from June through August, in a portion of inshore Georges Bank (GB) each year, outside of the requirements of the NE multispecies fishery. This action would allow vessels to harvest spiny dogfish and other non-groundfish species in a manner that is consistent with the bycatch reduction objectives of the FMP. DATES Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m., eastern daylight time, on November 5, 2012. http://www.nero.noaa.gov/regs/frdoc/12/12efccsdogfishpr.pdf

NERO Federal Register Actions  http://www.nero.noaa.gov/regs/

Editorial: Affront to justice on fishing report demands criminal probe Gloucester Daily Times

Congressman John Tierney is certainly right to continue to step up the push urging Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank to release the extended special investigator’s report citing 66 case studies  of likely

enforcement abuses by NOAA officials on the fishing industry, as he did in a letter last week.

Yet he, Senators Scott Brown and John Kerry and other Massachusetts federal lawmakers should be well aware by now that neither Blank, NOAA chief administrator Jane Lubchenco, or — therefore, by extension — the Obama White House gives two hoots what any lawmaker says or does regarding the second report culled and filed seven months ago now by retired judge and former Massachusetts Ethics Commission chief Charles B. Swartwood III. And it’s clear that Blank and the ever-defiant Lubchenco have no intention of releasing a report without doctoring it,,,,,,,,,,Read More http://www.gloucestertimes.com/opinion/x1684127207/Editorial-Affront-to-justice-on-fishing-report-demands-criminal-probe

Fisherynation thanks Ray Lamont, Editor, Gloucester Daily Times

Ray, thank you for keeping this obscene issue in the mainstream in the persuit of justice.

October 13, 2012

Why Did My Newspaper Do That? Keeping up pressure — and coverage — of overdue report

Why Did My Newspaper Do That? Ray LamontGloucester Daily TimesThe Gloucester Daily TimesSat Oct 13, 2012, 12:00 AM EDT

Our front page today includes a story about the latest update regarding the so-called second Swartwood report — essentially the findings of an in-depth look by a special investigator into some 66 cases of alleged abuse and excessive enforcement by NOAA policing personnel against New England and other Northeast fishermen. By my count, and according to our archives, this is the 16th news story on the report, which was completed and submitted to the Department of Commerce in March. And there have been a handful of editorials about its status as well. Yet the basic core nugget of news is the same – that Commerce officials still have not released the report, and will not provide a time frame for when they will. So is it really news? If there is, on the most basic level, no hard news to update, is it even worth updating?  Why, you might ask, would your community’s newspaper keep doing that?,,,,,,,,,,,,Read More

http://www.gloucestertimes.com/opinion/x1684126225/Why-Did-My-Newspaper-Do-That-Keeping-up-pressure-and-coverage-of-overdue-report