EDF & Catch Shares

harbisonharbison Posts: 2,454 Captain
This directly pertains to us also:

Per Len Belcaro, Big Game Fishing Journal:
As printed in the Gloucester Times 6/14/2011
(Pay close attention to this part:
"With catch shares perceived as imposed - and the government as EDF's enabler
or minimally its partner - the rollout by Lubchenco has sparked spontaneous
national resistance from the industry's mainstream especially along the
Atlantic and Gulf coasts")
By Richard Gaines
Staff Writer

After executing a strategic campaign to have America's wild fish stocks
essentially privatized under catch shares, the Environmental Defense Fund
president's decision to reject a Senate subcommittee invitation to discuss
the topic at a hearing in Boston next Monday has infuriated the mayors of
New England's leading fishing ports.

Mayor Scott Lang of New Bedford, backed by Mayor Carolyn Kirk of Gloucester,
urged the U.S. Senate Tuesday to subpoena EDF President Fred Krupp to compel
him to testify under oath about the influence of his organization on federal
fisheries policy.

"It's time to bring the people in under subpoena to get the facts on what
was done behind the curtain," Lang said in a telephone interview.

"I concur with Mayor Lang on taking the step to subpoena (Krupp)," Kirk
added in an email to the Times. "We need full transparency as to the depth
and breadth of EDF's influence on national policy."

New Bedford is the nation's leading port in value of landings; Gloucester,
the nation's first fishing port, ranks 10th in landings value.

But Gloucester has been the epicenter of law enforcement abuse, according to
the findings of Inspector General Todd Zinser, and the resistance to it.

EDF-federal alliance

Both ports have grated at what is perceived as the forced feeding of the
catch share fishery management system to an unwilling groundfishing industry
by the alliance of EDF and the federal government during the Obama
administration, the use of dubious science to exaggerate the weakness of
fish stocks, and the overselling of catch shares as a panacea - all to
manipulate the regional governing system before and after the ascent of
former EDF board officer Jane Lubchenco to the top national fisheries policy
position in 2009.

A high profile academic marine research scientist/political activist,
Lubchenco had been promoting catch shares and marine protected areas as vice
chairwoman of EDF before being named by President Obama to head the National
Oceanic and Admospheric Administration.

Lang and Kirk, meanwhile, were reacting to Tuesday's Times' report that EDF
President Fred Krupp has declined a request to testify - or name a
substitute witness - to join the Inspector General Zinser, Eric Schwaab,
administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, and a cohort of
fishing industry representatives at what will be the first congressional
hearing on the fishing crisis that has convulsed the industry and the
political system since a cabinet level apology in Gloucester last month for
a decade of debilitating fines and disrespectful actions.

Lubchenco no-show

Krupp's refusal to honor the request of the Senate subcommittee comes on the
heels of Lubchenco's decision to not testify, deferring instead to Schwaab.

But without Lubchenco and Krupp - or a representative of EDF - the
subcommittee chaired by Sen. Thomas R. Carper, a Deleware Democrat, with
Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, the ranking Republican, loses what could
have been an opportunity to assess the influences behind the Obama
administration's national catch share policy rollout.

Under Lubchenco and her EDF pedigree, federal fisheries policy has become
nearly indistinguishable from EDF dogma in the eyes of much of the industry,
both recreational and commercial, fishermen and industry backers say.

With catch shares perceived as imposed - and the government as EDF's enabler
or minimally its partner - the rollout by Lubchenco has sparked spontaneous
national resistance from the industry's mainstream especially along the
Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and has divided the West Coast and Alaskan fishing
communities in bitter factions.

In touting catch shares both at EDF and NOAA, Lubchenco has relied on
research by scientific teams largely financed by the same wealthy
foundations - notably the Walton Foundation (founded with Wal-Mart money) -
that gave EDF more than $30 million to advance the project.

'Compelling' evidence?

Both NOAA budgets filed by the Lubchenco administration at NOAA justified
catch share implementation budgets of up to $54 million by claiming
"scientific evidence is compelling that catch shares can also restore the
health of ecosystems and put fisheries on the path to profitability and

The sole reference, however, was a non-peer reviewed policy paper by EDF,
which repeated the organization's mantra that overfishing was threatening a
global oceanic dystopia.

That claim relies on a scientific paper from 2003 by R.A. Myers and B. Worm,
also financed by the Walton Foundation, and co-written by Lubchenco along
with a more than dozen like minded scientists.

But the evidence had been debunked in the influential cautionary article,
"Faith-based Fisheries," by Ray Hilborn of the University of Washington.
Hilborn warned that anti-fishing zealotry combined with circulation-seeking
publications were putting into print junk that was being passed as bonafide
science-gospel, to advance the ultra-greens' agenda.

EDF did not help its reputation in 2009 when it used its website to distort
the findings in a paper by EcoTrust, which warned about the social and
economic impacts of catch shares - blogging that the criticism was an
endorsement - and was called out by the West Coast non-government

Windfall profits

While Lubchenco was pressing the New England council to tie up years of
research and development to launch the system into groundfishery, David
Festa, a longtime colleague of Lubchenco's at EDF, was advising ethical
investors at the Milken Institute in Los Angeles that catch shares would
provide windfall profits - 400 percent on up - if purchased while the market
was still forming.

In 2005, EDF wrote a strategic plan for gaining control over policy to
privatize fisheries.

The campaign was to be financed by foundation grants and featured
"leveraging the value of our seat ...to work the regulatory process from the
inside" while Festa "who served as policy director for two secretaries of
commerce in the Clinton administration "built top down support." The paper
was leaked to the Times in 2009.

At about the same time of the Milken conference, however, Julia Olson of
NOAA's Science Center in Woods Hole published a paper that found dire social
ills emanating from fleet consoldation.

Earlier this year, Olson published a peer-reviewed article on the same
subject, with the same conclusions - that fleet consolidation, as a
byproduct of catch shares, has weakened blobal waterfront economies,
communities and coastal cultures.

As a $200 million global organization, EDF has defined itself as a partner
of influence to big business and investors, and operates with governence by
a board that crosses many fields of global power and influence - including
Sam Rawlings Walton, actress Joanne Woodward, former Time-Life President
N.J. Nicholas Jr., financier Stanley Druckenmiller and Roger Enrico, the
former Pepsico CEO.

Outside EDF, most major conservation organizations that have researched
catch shares have concluded that the regimen, which converts the traditional
common wild resources into tradeable equity shares, functions not as a
conservation tool but in the economic domain - consolidating capacity and
encouraging fishing businesses of a larger scale, while forcing out the
smaller, indepencdent competition.

The consumer group Food and Water Watch has called a news conference for
Thursday in New Bedford to urge Congress to extend its fiscal year bar
against new catch share programs, approved on a 251-151 House roll call last
winter, into the forseeable future.


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