, Gloucester, MA

Breaking News

Fishing Industry Stories

October 22, 2013

NOAA eyes needs in wake of shutdown

The approximately 150 Gloucester-based NOAA employees furloughed during the federal government’s partial shutdown are back at work, and administrators now are determining how best to resume operations halted by the government’s work-stoppage that ended last Wednesday.

NOAA spokeswoman Maggie Mooney-Seus said regional administrator John K. Bullard has appointed an internal task force and charged it with reviewing all work that was in progress at the time of the Oct. 1 shutdown, then figuring out a way to make up for the lost time.

“We lost some time, and now we have to prioritize what work has to be done,” Mooney-Seus said Monday. “We’re in the process of doing that, and we’ll have more information once this group is finished going through the stuff they’re working on.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offices at the Blackburn Industrial Park never came to a complete standstill during the almost three weeks of inaction by much of the federal government.

The Northeast Regional office here, which usually has a staff of about 200, continued its regulatory work with a skeleton workforce of about 45 law enforcement officials, seafood inspectors and general fishery staff.

“Our office of law enforcement was still on duty, and we still had observers being assigned to boats,” Mooney-Seus said. “The fishermen were still doing their log books. So, stuff was still going on.”

The shutdown did, however, create a hardship for NOAA Fisheries-affiliated partners, such as the New England Fisheries Management Council, because of the lack of availability of NOAA staff.

“Our work affects other agencies, as well, like the councils,” Mooney-Seus said. “I know they had committee meetings they weren’t able to have because they didn’t have NOAA staff at them. So, we will be talking to the councils and other federal agencies, as well as the fishing industry, to make sure people know exactly how this furlough affected everybody.”

Sean Horgan may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3464, or Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Fishing Industry Stories

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction