GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

March 16, 2013

Letter: Corporatism the real threat to fisheries

To the editor:

The recent Daily Times story (Monday, March 11) that put faces and real people’s stories out there for all of us to see in regards to the havoc the fishing regulations are wreaking on the lives of America’s family fishermen was truly powerful and well done.

What is troubling to me is that some in the Daily Times’ online, anonymous, right wing, echo chamber have, as they are wont to do, tried to blame this gross injustice on people with whom they disagree politically — specifically liberals.

The injustice that has been done to America’s fishermen has little to do with liberalism or conservatism. It has everything to do with corporatism and the influence corporate interests wield over elected officials of both parties.

Now, before the Daily Times’ Richard Gaines pulled back the curtain and exposed the injustices being done, I, foolishly, bought much of the malarkey of groups like the Environmental Defense Fund. After all, as someone who cares deeply about the environment, the group’s name sounded legitimate and honorable enough.

I was fooled by it until Rich Gaines’ reporting prompted me to do some research of my own.

Jane Lubchenco, the recently departed head of NOAA, had a long standing relationship with the EDF whose board is dominated by some of the wealthiest and most powerful corporate interests in the world, including Wal-Mart. Those corporations, to cover their bases and protect their interests, donate to candidates of both parties. Anyone who thinks otherwise is terribly naive.

I wised up to what a sham the EDF really is a year ago last fall when it honored former Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres at a gala, star-studded, event in New York City. Figueres was hailed as a champion of environmental protection and an expert on sustainability. But no one bothered to mention Figueres spent years in self imposed exile in Europe rather than face charges in Costa Rica that he accepted a million dollar bribe from a Spanish telecommunications company called Alcatel that was trying to get in on Costa Rica’s privatization of its own telecommunications industry.

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