Captain Len Belcaro's, President/senior editor, Big Game Fishing Journal, editorial, "MRAG AMERICAS, the finest science money can buy," is, once again, a must read for anyone interested in securing a future for the American fisherman.
Marine Resources Assessment Group (MRAG) occupies an office located in St. Petersburg, Florida. MRAG received $500,000 from Pew. In the past, MRAG's non-government environmental clients have received $99,440,000 from environmental coffers.
MRAG Americas wrote the catch share manual for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and NOAA's Administrator, Jane Lubchenco.
MRAG is preparing, for NOAA, an evaluation on how well catch shares is working in the New England ground & Pacific trawl fleets, and how well they will be working three to five years in the future. Captain Belcaro continues, " I'm **** sure I really know the outcome and recommendations of this MRAG report. It will supply EDF and NOAA the ammunition they need,'the finest science money can buy,' to continue their catch shares SCAM on the American fishing public. Cap. Len Belcaro
We, in the Gulf of Mexico, are also being targeted for catch shares. Holly Binns, a project director for the Pew Environment Group, issued the following statement today in response to U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson’s approval of new catch limits on some species in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council gave initial approval to the plans in August.“These plans are a proactive approach and are significant for fish in the Gulf of Mexico. About two dozen species, from black grouper to gray snapper (mangrove snapper), are now protected under catch limits designed to prevent overfishin."
The catch shares SCAM on the American fishing public is very well financed and stretches from one end of the country to the other. If fishing as we know it is to continue, we, the fishing public, must, come November, voice our demands, we must use our power, our VOTE wisely. Bob Harbison
"In 2004 the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Marisla Foundation created a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve ocean ecosystems by providing funds to implement California's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) through the MLPA Initiative. Using these funds, Resources Legacy Fund Foundation (RLFF) designed the Marine Protected Areas program to assist in the implementation of the MLPA and the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs) by the State of California.
"...This New Year will usher in what southern California saltwater anglers have long dreaded: 37 new or modified Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) affecting approximately 354 square miles of prime recreational fishing waters from Point Conception to the Mexican border, delineated in the controversial Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) implementation process.
While most California anglers — including yours truly — have decried the recreational fishing closures, it is the mindset behind the whole MLPA implementation that truly bodes ill for recreational fishermen.
Because the state of California is on the financial ropes, it’s MLPA implementation process has been privately funded and administered by the Resource Legacy Fund Foundation (resourcelegacyfund.org). The RLFF receives funds from the likes of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which over the past 10 years have donated $81.5 million and $11.5 million, respectively, to the RLFF.
To me, the whole idea of private financing and administration of a public process is fundamentally inappropriate and rife with the potential for tipping the outcome in favor of those who are paying the freight. ...Appeasing its donors, the RLFF manipulated the process behind closed doors with hand picked appointees to the Blue Ribbon Task Forces (BRTF) and Science Advisory Teams. I believe the outcomes in each region were pre-determined to suit the RLFF’s biased point of view.
Why did the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force hold illegal secret meetings, including those held in April 2007 and on November 3, 2008, December 10, 2008, February 25, 2009, October 20, 21 and 22, 2009, as revealed in a 25 page document presented to the California Fish and Game Commission on February 2?"
Do they think that because this initiative affecting our Public Trust Resource is privately funded, that they are not subject to the Open Meetings laws? Reminds me of the so-called Sector Separation Workshop where EDF's Whitney Tome tried to do the same thing.
Now we have an "anonomous" donor subsidizing a government program (Catch Shares) here in the Gulf. Why does this entity feel the need to be "anonomous"? Screen name and other pro-catch share minions repeatedly refuse to answer this question.
MRAG's President is the former NOAA Regional Administrator in the NE - Roy Crabtree's counterpart up there. He is now receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from the ENGOs to push Catch Shares. Anyone else smell a rat? A very fat, rich rat, but a rat nonetheless.
Now we have the SAME private foundation (Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation) that funded the creation of MLPAs off of Califonia now paying for a review of the effects of Catch Shares?
Why do we need a private ENGO foundation funding this review? Isn't that a government function? It's laughable for anyone to believe that this review will actually have any semblance of objectivity when the entity doing the review and the entity paying for the review have a financial stake in the success of Catch Shares. MRAG is the entity after all, who wrote the Catch Shares Manual for Environmental Defense Fund for Christ's sake. (I feel compelled to mention Christ when these people are in bed with the Devil).
NOAA Fisheries has abdicated its responsibility to the People to manage our fisheries by sourcing it out to the highest bidder. They have sold their souls to the Devil, and with it, sold us recreational fishermen down the river. Shameful.
Capt. Thomas J. Hilton
Hen House......You know what the outcome is going to be before it ever happens!