While fishermen in Gloucester and around New England have reason to hail the re-election of Congressman John Tierney — who steps up to be a House leader in the fight for fishery justice now that congressional colleague Barney Frank has stepped aside — many within the industry are understandably antsy about the U.S. Senate victory by Elizabeth Warren.
That’s because, in his two-plus years in the seat, Scott Brown has pushed as hard for Massachusetts fishermen as anyone in either chamber, calling for the ouster of job-killing NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco, and filing his so-called FISH Act, which remains in play and would force NOAA and Commerce officials to consider economic impact and be accountable for fleet job losses stemming from regulatory or enforcement actions.
Fishermen, however, should take heart in the fact that Warren has been – and is being — advised on fishery issues by state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, whose persistence on behalf of the industry led to federal lawmakers’ and the Inspector General’s office involvement in the first place. And they should keep in mind that, as Warren seeks to deliver on her promise of fighting for working families, fighting corporatization, and for crossing political lines to fight injustice, their case against NOAA’s excessive federal regulation and bullying enforcement tactics should be exhibit and priority No. 1.
Let’s hope she recognizes that, too.