, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

November 16, 2011

Governor calls for 'disaster' fishing aid

Citing new scientific studies showing that "catch shares have had a devastating impact on the commonwealth's groundfish fishery," Gov. Deval Patrick on Tuesday asked for a federal disaster declaration and $21 million in assistance.

"Federal regulations and management policies have caused a significant consolidation of the groundfish fleet, loss of jobs and reduced revenues — all of which have combined to create a fisheries resource disaster," the governor wrote.

The request, echoing one made a year ago that was rejected by previous Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, went to John E. Bryson, the new secretary, along with two scientific studies, as well as a reference to one from the NOAA Science Center that came out in October. Locke is now ambassador to China.

The governor's request and synthesis of the studies came wrapped with a reminder by U.S. Sen. John Kerry of a pledge he obtained from NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco in October for an expedited review.

In a prepared statement released by the governor's office, Kerry said he believes the new research makes the case "incontrovertible" for the disaster declaration.

In an appearance at a State House hearing of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee organized by Kerry last month, Lubchenco said she would put then-pending request of the governor through a quick study.

But the premise of the request — that the catch share approach she promoted while an officer at Environmental Defense Fund and made into the Obama administration's defining fisheries policy had ravaged the nation's first fishery — holds political dynamite.

EDF and its allies are engaged in a fierce struggle to protect the catch share approach against a bi-partisan coalition in Congress.

Earlier this year, opponents led by Congressman Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican, put a soft bar on new programs for fiscal 2011 when no new rollouts were scheduled.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando