Tag Archives: us-commerce

NMFS Announces 2016-2018 Regs for Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass

nmfs_logoNOAA Fisheries NMFS announces the 2016-2018 regulations for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The summer flounder catch limit is reduced by 30 percent (from 23 million lbs to 16 million lbs) due to 4 years of below average recruitment (young fish entering the fishery). The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has requested a stock assessment update for next year. The scup catch limit is slightly reduced compared to 2015 levels, but is still well above recent catch. Read the rest here 12:45

Pacific Seafood Group sues National Marine Fisheries Service – calling fishery quota restrictions illegal

California-based groundfish catcher and processor Pacific Seafood has sued the US government seeking to overturn what they say are “illegal” regulations that threaten the company’s future. A company subsidiary, Pacific Choice Seafoods, which operates a processing plant as well as vessels that fish the Pacific Coast groundfish limited-entry trawl fishery, filed suit on Dec. 4 in a northern California federal court against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and its ultimate overseer, US commerce secretary Penny Pritzker. Read the article here 13:50

Negotiations for new US tuna deal fail

South Pacific Tuna Company executives have reported that parties failed to agree on a long-term renewal of the 1987 South Pacific Tuna Treaty, which provides US purse seine vessels access to the Western and Central Pacific Ocean fisheries. “We don’t know what the lack of a US Treaty arrangement will mean to the future of the US fleet, its processors who rely on our supply in Samoa, or the other canneries on the  Mainland, our service providers and employees. Read the rest here 15:38

Bureaucracy: New federal task force to deal with climate change’s effects on fisheries

A new federal task force will advise the U.S. Department of Commerce about fishery policies concerning climate change. The Department’s National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration is announcing in the Federal Register of Thursday, Aug. 16, 2014 that it is seeking nominations for membership in the forthcoming Climate & Marine Resources Task Force that will work with the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will appoint the members in conjunction with the committee. Read the rest here 13:28

Nonprofit Center for Sustainable Fisheries backs suit against NOAA policy

gdt iconviewer-call-to-action-e1381518852468Key quotes – charging National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s inability to utilize the best science available led to an “arrogation of power where basic principles of science and the law are ignored to further an agency agenda at the expense and livelihood of fishing communities.”NOAA failed to adhere to “basic scientific principles” and ignored congressional intent “The defendant, expecting the courts to defer to its ‘expertise,’ has become lackadaisical in its actions, management measures and standards for quality fisheries science,” “Unfortunately, the agency did not learn from the scallop and pollock examples,” Read more here 07:45

Feds enforcing Endangered Species Act keep data behind policies hidden from public

Federal agencies administering the Endangered Species Act often issue justifications for their actions that are filled with badly flawed or even fabricated data, according to a congressional report being released today. A related problem, according to the report, is that “most of the federal agencies that administer ESA are unable to make basic and legitimate data” underlying their policies and procedures available to the public, as required by law. Read [email protected]  07:32

Back in Black: Black Sea Bass Stock is Rebuilt

The wait wasn’t easy but it’s over. NOAA Fisheries has declared the southern stock of black sea bass successfully rebuiltnmfs_logo. With that, the combined commercial and recreational catch limit for this popular species has more than doubled, to 1.8 million pounds. The southern stock of black sea bass ranges from Cape Hatteras, NC to the Florida Keys. For the communities along that stretch of coast, the higher catch limit is extremely good news. [email protected]  13:47

Proposed Cuts Hurt Job Creation, Economy, and the Middle-Class – Wanna save some money? Stop wasting it on the National Ocean Policy!

The President has been clear that Republicans in Congress should work with Democrats to finish a budget that cuts wasteful spending while investing in jobs, the economy, and middle class families. Until Congress reaches a budget agreement, This bill also makes severe cuts to several areas in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [email protected]

The National Marine Fisheries Service Unacceptable Response to the New England Groundfish Disaster – Where is the Groundfish Mitigation?

From the letter; In July 2012, the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) Executive Committee met with the National Marine Fisheries Service Acting Assistant Administrator Sam Rauch, and Regional Administrator John Bullard to “brainstorm the future of groundfish in 2013 and beyond, especially mitigation alternatives for low ACLs.” Read the statement from the Associated Fisheries of Maine

The failed swiftboating of US Commerce Inspector General Todd Zinser – Former commerce agents plead guilty to fraud against inspector general’s office

Commerce Department Inspector General Todd Zinser said Tuesday that the former agents waged a smear campaign against his office while they were under investigation. “In addition to the fraud perpetrated on the U.S. taxpayers, these now former employees also retaliated by carrying out a destructive campaign of disparagement and false allegations against the Office of the Inspector General,” Zinser said in a statement. continued

US Commerce Renews Commitment to Environmental Stewardship with Awards Ceremony and New Green Store!

As part of administration-wide efforts this week to commemorate Earth Day, the U.S. Department of Commerce held an award ceremony to recognize the 22 winners and runners-up of the Department’s sixth annual Energy and Environmental Stewardship Awards yesterday. (how much did this cost) continued

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Hearing – Commerce, NOAA

Apr 12, 2013 (Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) — INTRODUCTION Chairwoman Mikulski, Vice Chairman Shelby, and distinguished Members of the Subcommittee, I am pleased to be here to discuss President Obama’s budget request for the Department of Commerce for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. continued

US Commerce shortchanges’ American Samoa of monies that fishing companies pay for polluting territorial waters

At a meeting yesterday at the Tauese Ocean Center to inform district governors, county chiefs, and village mayors about the National Sanctuary of American Samoa, Alo expressed sadness that the territory is getting just a small portion of fines and citations levied against companies that harm our ocean. Read more here

Our View: Commerce Department’s release of report would help heal relationship with fishermen SouthCoastToday

Enforcement changes were implemented after Inspector General Todd Zinser’s report on whether different regions were being punished differently under NOAA, and on whether administration of the Asset Forfeiture Fund was appropriate, but the pace of the agency’s attempt to make good on inappropriate enforcement is holding back greater progress. http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121207/OPINION/212070308/-1/NEWS01

The Obama Administration’s Commerce Department Is Obstructing Justice. Swartwood II

What are they afraid of?

The findings, by Special Master Charles B. Swartwood III regarding NOAA’s fishing enforcement tactics, were completed in early May. They are said to be detailed, numerous and explosive. But that report remains hidden from the public. Both John Bryson, who resigned after his now-infamous June hit-and-run escapades in southern California, and acting Secretary Rebecca Blank have ignored multiple calls to make the latest report public. And so NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco, whose shown nothing but contempt for Congress and any other oversight since 2009, when she took the reins of an agency that is even more dysfunctional now than it ever was then.