, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

August 10, 2011

Scientist calls to end rule of NOAA

Influential marine scientist Brian Rothschild has charged NOAA with adopting an "unnecessarily hard-line," wrong, wasteful and job-destroying interpretation of Congress' intent for managing America's fisheries.

Finding no accountability, "no master plan" or will to align policy more closely with what was intended and no hope for redress from the judiciary, Rothschild — who is based at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and is one of New England's most respected fishing advocates — proposed that Congress create an ad hoc commission to restructure fisheries management in the Northeast.

Rothschild issued his blunt judgments about the performance of the government and the courts in the aftermath of a June ruling by a federal judge in Boston that upheld the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's catch share policy management system, which data shows is bringing about a consolidation of the industry and forcing out small, independent boats and businesses.

Rothschild's full commentary is reprinted in full on Page 8 of today's Times; it was also published in the Wednesday Standard-Times of New Bedford, which is adjacent to Rothschild's Dartmouth base.

A venerable waterman, scientist and linchpin between the Massachusetts fishing industry, academia and the political system, Rothschild's words are read carefully across the country.

Rothschild, who turns 77 Sunday, was NOAA's senior scientist during the 1970s, when the Magnuson-Stevens Act was rolled out. He was also the much-preferred choice of the industry and many members of Congress to head the National Marine Fisheries Service, but Jane Lubchenco, President Obama's choice to lead NOAA in 2009, instead went for Maryland state wildlife official Eric Schwaab, never explaining her strange choice.

In his op-ed column, Rothschild absolved Judge Rya Zobel of much responsibility for affirming the government's groundfishery policies, writing that she was "working within the bounds of standards established in administrative law."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes Lunch Bus Delivers Meals to Kids Out of School Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners Rockets Fired From Gaza, in Breach of Ceasefire Raw: Japanese Military Live Fire Exercise Police, Protesters Clash in Ferguson Independent Autopsy Reveals Michael Brown Wounds Nashville Embraces Motley Crue Obama: 'Time to Listen, Not Just Shout' Lawyer: Gov. Perry Indictment a 'Nasty Attack' Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Crosses Into Ukraine Iowa Man Builds Statue of a Golfer Out of Balls Assange Gets Cryptic About Leaving Embassy in UK Raw: Building Collapse in South Africa, 9 Dead Raw: Pope Francis Meets 'Comfort Women'