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For all those who are concerned about the Ocean Policy Task Force headed by Dr. Jane Lubchenco of NOAA.......she is the ex Vice President of the ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND..............Now EDF is also pushing andfunding the sosers!!!!!!!

If you question the impact of the OPTF which has the blessing of EDF, then you may want to look closer at who is really behind sos!!!
 

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Here is another article on NOAA'splans...</DIV>
Lubchenco holds firm on May 1 'catch share' launch$10 million funding boost seen as 'buying everyone off'
By Richard Gaines
Staff Writer
The Obama administration's avowed plan to advance a fishing policy aimed at putting "a significant fraction" of the fishing captains in the northeast groundfishing fleet out of work is on track, according to testimony by captains.
"This is the face of consolidation; no one is going to make it," Gloucester Capt. Al Cattone said of the government's push through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to launch its "catch share" regulatory format here May 1.
"I got nothing; I'll be catching one third of the fish I caught previously," said Capt. Joe Orlando. "Because of the reallocation, we got screwed."
"I'm out of business," said Corrado Buccheri, who owns two boats.
"I'm in the 2 percent who are supposed to make it, and I'm not going to make it," said Richard Burgess, who owns 11 permits and four boats.
Cattone, Orlando, Buccheri and Burgess were among two dozen fishermen invited by Mayor Carolyn Kirk to a 90-minute meeting last week with NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco.
Lubchenco was here as a witness for the first of two congressional field hearings on federal fisheries law enforcement failings identified by U.S. Commerce Department Inspector General Todd Zinser.
Lubchenco expressed sympathy and suggested various form of aid.
But her comments also made clear that the transition to "catch shares," a system of negotiable allocations of the annual total amount of fish to be taken from the ocean, slated to begin May 1 in New England will proceed as planned.
On the eve of her arrival in Gloucester ? her second visit, first in public ? Lubchenco's office announced an additional $10 million in aid to "preserve fishing opportunities."
Included was $5 million in capital to start up "permit banks" in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, and to enlarge a small permit bank that had gotten $1 million in federal funding weeks earlier.
The other $5 million was to help underwrite the high operating costs of "sectors," the fishing cooperatives that will work under the new system rather than continue to work under the old system of effort controls ? days at sea and closed areas.
Together with earlier financial commitments, Eric Schwaab, the assistant administrator for NOAA fisheries, said NOAA has invested $47.2 million in the groundfish industry's transition to sectors.
But industry leaders are scoffing at the suggestion that the money would be able to reverse or slow the exodus of jobs.
"They're trying to buy everyone off," said David Goethel, a commercial fisherman from New Hampshire who serves as a member of the New England Fishery Management Council. "They're doing an end run around Magnuson (the federal law governing commercial fishing) with a very unpopular program.
The $47 million, Goethel noted, "is close to the (current) value of the fishery."
The loss of jobs traces to many sources ? primarily the small size of the catch allocation quotas for the coming year, which were made by the council last summer and fall.
Provisions in the Magnuson-Stevens Act require all overfished stocks to be rebuilt at the same time ? by 2014. Most of the New England congressional delegation has signed onto bills to provide some flexibility in Magnuson.
But at a rally in Washington, D.C., last month on behalf of the "flexibility" bills ? a demonstration that drew at least 5,000 fishing people from ports on all three coasts ? Schwaab circulated the periphery of the gathering, handing out a press release explaining why the administration opposed the bill.
In Gloucester, Lubchenco told the Times, "I don't believe that the bill is the right solution."
Many fishermen fear that the small allocation, as it drives fishermen into bankruptcy and out of business, will encourage speculators to buy into the industry when prices of permits are depressed, and enjoy windfall profits with larger allocations in coming years.
For now, according to Goethel and Vito Giacalone, policy director for the Northeast Seafood Coalition, the market in groundfish permits is frozen by uncertainty with investors present and curious, but so far not buying.
"The permit market is frozen," said Goethel. "Unless there is some Wall Street dude out there with no brains, the market is locked up tight."
Giacalone said one uncertainty is whether a true catch share system is in store for the industry.
The "catch share" term comes from the Environmental Defense Fund, and is used regularly by Lubchenco, who was vice chairwoman of the EDF board before her selection by President Obama to head NOAA. Soon after her Senate confirmation, Lubchenco challenged the New England council to complete work on its catch share system.
But Giacalone argues that the sectors are working with allocations that can be rescinded and changed, putting outside investors at risk of buying "fool's gold."
At the meeting with fishermen, Lubchenco was asked by Capt. Orlando to define a "catch share."
Her answer: A negotiable stock that fishermen can sell as they go out of business, allowing them to exit with some cash.
But her answer did not include any qualifier, or any doubt, about whether such a system is coming to New England in a little more than seven weeks.
Richard Gaines can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3464, or [email protected] </DIV>
 

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<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR vAlign=bottom><TD class=sport>

Another related post in the ESPN Salt Water Series. Incredible! This can't really be happening.. No Fishing??? WTF?



ESPN.com: Saltwater Series </TD><TD class=sport align=right>[Print without images]
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Monday, March 8, 2010
Updated: March 9, 1:59 PM ET
Culled out
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By Robert Montgomery
ESPNOutdoors.com

The Obama administration will accept no more public input for a federal strategy that could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing the nation's oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and even inland waters. <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right><TBODY><TR><TD rowSpan=2 width=5><SPACER type="block" width="5" height="1"></TD><TD width=400>
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=400>One sign at the United We Fish rally at the Capital summed up the feelings of recreational and commercial fishermen. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>This announcement comes at the time when the situation supposedly still is "fluid" and the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force still hasn't issued its final report on zoning uses of these waters. That's a disappointment, but not really a surprise for fishing industry insiders who have negotiated for months with officials at the Council on Environmental Quality and bureaucrats on the task force. These angling advocates have come to suspect that public input into the process was a charade from the beginning. "When the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) completed their successful campaign to convince the Ontario government to end one of the best scientifically managed big game hunts in North America (spring bear), the results of their agenda had severe economic impacts on small family businesses and the tourism economy of communities across northern and central Ontario," said Phil Morlock, director of environmental affairs for Shimano. "Now we see NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the administration planning the future of recreational fishing access in America based on a similar agenda of these same groups and other Big Green anti-use organizations, through an Executive Order by the President. The current U.S. direction with fishing is a direct parallel to what happened in Canada with hunting: The negative economic impacts on hard working American families and small businesses are being ignored. "In spite of what we hear daily in the press about the President's concern for jobs and the economy and contrary to what he stated in the June order creating this process, we have seen no evidence from NOAA or the task force that recreational fishing and related jobs are receiving any priority." <DIV style="WIDTH: 120px" class="mod-container mod-no-footer mod-inline content-box floatleft mod-no-header-footer"><DIV class=mod-content><H4>PHOTO GALLERY</H4><DIV align=center></DIV><DIV align=center><H5>Fisheries In Danger</H5></DIV></DIV></DIV>Consequently, unless anglers speak up and convince their Congressional representatives to stop this bureaucratic freight train, it appears that the task force will issue a final report for "marine spatial planning" by late March, with President Barack Hussein Obama then issuing an Executive Order to implement its recommendations ? whatever they may be. Led by NOAA's Jane Lubchenco, the task force has shown no overt dislike of recreational angling, but its indifference to the economic, social and biological value of the sport has been deafening. Additionally, Lubchenco and others in the administration have close ties to environmental groups who would like nothing better than to ban recreational angling. And evidence suggests that these organizations have been the engine behind the task force since before Obama issued a memo creating it last June. As ESPN previously reported, WWF, Greenpeace, Defenders of Wildlife, Pew Environment Group and others produced a document entitled "Transition Green" shortly after Obama was elected in 2008. What has happened since suggests that the task force has been in lockstep with that position paper. Then in late summer, just after he created the task force, these groups produced "Recommendations for the Adoption and Implementation of an Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes National Policy." This document makes repeated references to "overfishing," but doesn't once reference recreational angling, its importance, and its benefits, both to participants and the resource. Additionally, some of these same organizations have revealed their anti-fishing bias by playing fast and loose with "facts," in attempts to ban tackle containing lead in the United States and Canada. That same tunnel vision, in which recreational angling and commercial fishing are indiscriminately lumped together as harmful to the resource, has persisted with the task force, despite protests by the angling industry. As more evidence of collusion, the green groups began clamoring for an Executive Order to implement the task force's recommendations even before the public comment period ended in February. Fishing advocates had no idea that this was coming. Perhaps not so coincidentally, the New York Times reported on Feb. 12 that "President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities." <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right><TBODY><TR><TD rowSpan=2 width=5><SPACER type="block" width="5" height="1"></TD><TD width=226>
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=226>Click here for archive</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Morlock fears that "what we're seeing coming at us is an attempted dismantling of the science-based fish and wildlife model that has served us so well. There's no basis in science for the agendas of these groups who are trying to push the public out of being able to fish and recreate. "Conflicts (user) are overstated and problems are manufactured. It's all just an excuse to put us off the water." In the wake of the task force's framework document, the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) and its partners in the U.S. Recreational Fishing & Boating Coalition against voiced their concerns to the administration. "Some of the potential policy implications of this interim framework have the potential to be a real threat to recreational anglers who not only contribute billions of dollars to the economy and millions of dollars in tax revenues to support fisheries conservation, but who are also the backbone of the American fish and wildlife conservation ethic," said CSF President Jeff Crane. Morlock, a member of the CSF board, added, "There are over one million jobs in America supported coast to coast by recreational fishing. The task force has not included any accountability requirements in their reports for evaluating or mitigating how the new policies they are drafting will impact the fishing industry or related economies. "Given that the scope of this process appears to include a new set of policies for all coastal and inland waters of the United States, the omission of economic considerations is inexcusable." This is not the only access issue threatening the public's right to fish, but it definitely is the most serious, according to Chris Horton, national conservation director for BASS. "With what's being created, the same principles could apply inland as apply to the oceans," he said. "Under the guise of 'marine spatial planning' entire watersheds could be shut down, even 2,000 miles up a river drainage from the ocean. "Every angler needs to be aware because if it's not happening in your backyard today or tomorrow, it will be eventually. "We have one of the largest voting blocks in the country and we need to use it. We must not sit idly by."
 
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