June 20, 2012 -- A high-profile federal fishing advisory board, including major industry
figures from Gloucester, New Bedford and Cape Cod and aimed at providing
a research and policy counterweight to the federal fisheries regulatory
system, has been organized by Congressman William Keating.
Brian Rothschild, the chief marine scientist at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, will be chairman.
"Fisheries management is stagnant," Rothschild said in
remarks at the introduction of the board last week in Plymouth. "Many
suggestions and requests have been made to move management forward, yet
these suggestions and requests are not addressed.
"The main purpose of the Federal Fishing Management
Advisory Board is to change this situation," said Rothschild, who is
closely allied with Congressman Barney Frank, a longtime leading
fisheries advocate who represents the port of New Bedford.
Among the top problems slated for analysis and critique
are stock assessments. These efforts became hyper-controversial when a
2011 assessment of Gulf of Maine cod, which found the stock was not
recovering quickly and was being overfished, seemingly contradicted a
2008 assessment that drew a rosy picture of efforts to restore the
iconic resource to sustainability. The 2011 assessment has led to a 22
percent cut in the inshore cod allocation for the 2012 fishing year, but
more dramatic and draconian impacts are expected in the next cycle,
which begins May 1, 2013. Another assessment is planned for later this
Gloucester members of the board are Vito Giacalone, a
fisherman and policy director of the Northeast Seafood Coalition, and
Jackie Odell, the coalition's executive director. Giacalone is also
president of the Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund, which
was established as a permit bank endowed with $10 million in mitigation
for the two liquefied natural gas terminals just off the coast.
Read the full story at the Gloucester Times