After executing a strategic campaign to have America's wild fish stocks essentially privatized under catch shares, the Environmental Defense Fund president's decision to reject a Senate subcommittee invitation to discuss the topic at a hearing in Boston next Monday has infuriated the mayors of New England's leading fishing ports.
Mayor Scott Lang of New Bedford, backed by Mayor Carolyn Kirk of Gloucester, urged the U.S. Senate Tuesday to subpoena EDF President Fred Krupp to compel him to testify under oath about the influence of his organization on federal fisheries policy.
"It's time to bring the people in under subpoena to get the facts on what was done behind the curtain," Lang said in a telephone interview.
"I concur with Mayor Lang on taking the step to subpoena (Krupp)," Kirk added in an email to the Times. "We need full transparency as to the depth and breadth of EDF's influence on national policy."
New Bedford is the nation's leading port in value of landings; Gloucester, the nation's first fishing port, ranks 10th in landings value.
But Gloucester has been the epicenter of law enforcement abuse, according to the findings of Inspector General Todd Zinser, and the resistance to it.
Both ports have grated at what is perceived as the forced feeding of the catch share fishery management system to an unwilling groundfishing industry by the alliance of EDF and the federal government during the Obama administration, the use of dubious science to exaggerate the weakness of fish stocks, and the overselling of catch shares as a panacea — all to manipulate the regional governing system before and after the ascent of former EDF board officer Jane Lubchenco to the top national fisheries policy position in 2009.