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Much movement in the right direction is thanks to groups like Food and Water Watch and American Farmland Trust. (in No Turkeys Here)
Mark Bittman

Press Releases: Fishing

Press Releases Found: 8
December 12, 2012

Consumer Group Urges President Obama to Select a NOAA Administrator Who Will Change Course on Catch Shares

Statement: “While National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA)’s Jane Lubchenco has just announced her resignation, the credentials her successor should possess has already been in the forefront of our minds for some time. We hope that President Obama takes this opportunity to select a new administrator who recognizes how destructive catch shares programs have been to our nation’s fishermen and that he is prepared change course in the area of fisheries management.

“As administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Lubchenco’s catch shares programs have unfairly portioned out the privilege to catch fish, threatening the livelihoods of current and future generations of independent fishermen and the communities they support. NOOA’s new administrator should acknowledge that fish are a public resource to which our nation’s fishermen should have equal access and should not support a program that puts fishermen out of work as it has in some of our most critical port cities over the last few years.

“NOAA’s controversial catch shares programs, which are responsible for thousands of fishermen being pushed out of business, have failed to directly improve the sustainability of our fisheries. Masked as a solution to the problem of overfishing various species of fish, catch shares — an allotment or quota given to a fisherman, usually leased out for profit — grant fishing privileges to private, commercial interests, therefore presenting commercial operations a competitive advantage over smaller, independent fishing operations.”

September 13, 2012

Food & Water Watch Applauds U.S. Commerce Department Decision to Provide Relief for Nation’s Fisheries

Media Statement: “Food & Water Watch applauds the U.S. Commerce Department for declaring a national disaster for New England’s fisheries. The move will allow the federal government to offer millions of dollars in relief for fishermen and their communities. While this assistance is much needed, it is not the permanent solution to the problem.

“No one could have predicted the collapse of the cod population in New England. What was predicted was the collapse of the region’s small-boat, independent fishing industry due to the catch shares management system. Catch shares, which has been promoted heavily nation-wide by the National Marine Fisheries Service, have forced smaller-scale fishermen out of business, paving the way for industrial fishing methods that can destroy sensitive ocean habitats. Without significant funds to compensate for these simultaneous disasters, catch shares combined with the cod collapse will be the end of New England’s traditional fisheries.

September 5, 2012

The Fight Over Catch Shares Goes to the First Circuit Court of Appeals

Media Statement: “On September 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging Amendment 16, which created a federal catch share program for a number of very important fish populations including cod, haddock, and pollock, caught in the waters off of the east coast of the United States. Food & Water Watch, a national consumer group that advocates for sustainable seafood, is an “amicus curiae” or “friend of the court” for this case because of its direct impact on the way the entire nation gets its seafood.

“Food & Water Watch, believes this program has spurred massive consolidation of the fishing industry, granting preference to industrial-scale fishing operations that utilize environmentally destructive fishing practices over smaller-scale operations.
In its rush to push the program, the government also violated the law by ignoring that the program could only be implemented if approved by fishermen in a referendum. It also failed to adequately analyze the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the catch share program.

February 1, 2012

New England Fisheries Can Blame Catch Shares for Revenue Consolidation and Underfunded Stock Surveys

Media Statement: Washington, D.C.—“Today, the New England Fishery Management Council takes up a nearly impossible task. Faced with a new, abysmal stock assessment for cod, the Council will be weighing their obligation to preserve fish populations for the future against their responsibilities of managing a healthy fishing industry. Unfortunately, the Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have spent the last few years painting themselves into a corner. By initiating a catch shares system in New England, the Council and NMFS have restricted their flexibility to mitigate disasters like the dramatic decline of the cod population.

“Early estimates suggest that the allotment of cod for commercial fishermen in 2012 could be 90 percent lower than the catch allowed in 2010. This is likely to result in a 25 percent decline in income for groundfishermen, with fishermen in New Hampshire and Maine hit even harder (91 percent and 54 percent, respectively). The ill-conceived catch share program has already created economic havoc by consolidating the industry. In 2010, 7.6 percent of the fleet accounted for 50 percent of all groundfish revenues. 165 crew jobs were lost in the first year of catch share implementation and 73 boats left the fishery.

January 13, 2012

Food & Water Watch Says Obama’s Plan to Slim Down Government Hurts Oceans; Warns Against Consolidation of Food Safety Regulatory Agencies

Media Statement: “We are deeply concerned about President Obama’s proposal to move the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to the Department of the Interior, the same Department that brought us BP’s Deepwater Horizon.

“While the mission of NOAA is not consistent with the mission of the Department of Commerce where it currently resides, moving it to the Department of Interior will fail to eliminate any conflicts arising from dueling mandates.

July 6, 2011
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Food & Water Watch’s 2011 Smart Seafood Guide Recommends Eating Exotic Invasive Species

Press release:New York, NY – European green crabs and blue tilapia may sound like exotic, even make-believe versions of more familiar types of seafood, but according to the consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch, they’re real, they’ve invaded U.S. waters, and cooking and eating them is a delicious way to stop their destructive onslaught – a method the group and award-winning chef Kerry Heffernan demonstrated today at New York City’s historic James Beard House.

Food & Water Watch heralded the release of their 2011 Smart Seafood Guide by hosting the exotic cooking presentation, which showed audience members how to prepare some of the guide’s new invasive species recommendations. Defined as species that have been brought into an environment to which they are not native, the fish and shellfish listed in the guide have all wreaked havoc on local ecosystems; fortunately, all are edible.

March 22, 2011

First Application For Factory Fish Farm in U.S. Waters Poised for Approval As “Fishing”

Media Statement: “The first ocean fish farming operation in U.S. federal waters is about to be approved under the guise of “fishing” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is putting ocean fish farming cages in the same category as rods and reels and fishing nets, so the agency can claim it has authority to issue a permit for this new ‘gear type’. It’s outrageous that NOAA is equating this dangerous, large-scale polluting method of farming fish with fishing.”