GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

September 13, 2013

Report fuels Giacalone's fishing testimony

He had already finished preparing his testimony last week for the congressional committee on the re-authorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act when the National Research Council report on rebuilding fish stocks fell into his lap like manna from heaven.

With that, Gloucester’s Vito Giacalone went to Washington with a little more credibility in his Wednesday testimony before the House Committee on Natural Resources.

“I thought (the NRC report) was notable enough to take up a portion of my five minutes,” Giacalone said Thursday of his testimony. “Who cares what ‘Guido’ has to say? They want to know what the NRC has to say.”

Clearly, the committee wanted to hear exactly what Giacalone had to say, both as a long-time commercial fisherman and as policy director for the Gloucester-based Northeast Seafood Coalition.

But it also didn’t hurt the coalition’s cause that many of the conclusions of the recently released NRC report dovetailed nicely with what Giacalone wanted to impart to the committee members — particularly on issues related to scientific uncertainty and the need for more flexibility in managing stocks.

“The basic management strategy set forth in (Magnuson-Stevens) places demands on science that far exceed its capacity in the case of Northeast groundfish,” Giacalone testified. “In many ways, it feels like our fishery is the poster child for their findings and recommendations.”

The NRC report’s findings, which also complimented NOAA in its efforts to rebuild U.S. fish stocks, highlighted the limitations of the science used in the rebuilding and questioned the value of the 10-year timelines imposed by Magnuson-Stevens.

“A time frame-based rebuilding strategy depends on relative stability and, thus, predictability of population parameters that cannot be controlled,” Giacalone told the committee. “In our fishery, none of that stability exists.”

Giacalone and the other half-dozen scientists and researchers testifying before the committee agreed that, overall, Magnuson-Stevens has provided effective management of the nation’s fisheries. But they also agreed there are areas in which the law could be strengthened.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers