GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

November 22, 2011

Company tied to NOAA chief to evaluate policy

A $5 billion foundation that has spent tens of millions of dollars promoting the catch share commodification of New England's and other U.S. fisheries has chosen a firm with close ties to NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco to evaluate the nation's newest catch share programs.

The commission is to study the effect of the privatization of the New England groundfishery and the Pacific trawl fishery.

In choosing MRAG Americas Inc. to study both the New England program that began in 2010 and the Pacific trawl program that began this year, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation selected a firm headed by Andrew Rosenberg, a Gloucester resident.

A former NOAA Northeast regional administrator out of Gloucester, Rosenberg got his master's degree at Oregon State University while Lubchenco was a faculty luminary and he lists Lubchenco as a reference on his portfolio.

Fishing interests denounced the selection of MRAG Americas as incapable of producing disinterested research on the catch share programs, both of which are hotly disputed and divisive.

But Bob Trumble, MRAG Americas' vice president, said the company had established a record of "objective and scientifically based work."

He said Rosenberg was overseas and unreachable.

Jim Hutchinson, managing director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, described the Moore Foundation's choice of MRAG Americas to study catch shares as "Astro-Turfing at its best — the D.C. double dip where a firm with direct ties to a government agency is paid to do a study, which promotes a movement that creates more work and increases the firm's net income."

"What good would (the study) be? It's biased," said Tina Jackson, president of the American Alliance of Fishermen and Their Communities. She has been engaged in a bitter struggle with catch share advocates that has recently produced a schism within the New England and national fishing communities.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest