New Bedford Mayor to Bring His Council to Confront New England Fisheries Council
NEW BEDFORD, Mass., Jan. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang is bringing his Oceans and Fisheries Council to this week’s meeting of the New England Fisheries Management Council. New Bedford is the Nation’s top fishing port. The Mayor aims to focus the attention of Management Council members on the technical details of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s request to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke for an emergency increase in groundfish allocation levels, and for economic aid. The Governor’s report had demonstrated that the harsh regulations being enforced by NOAA could be loosened without harming fish stocks.
Secretary Locke refused the Governor’s request earlier this month. An estimated 1200 jobs have been lost in Massachusetts as a result of these regulations. Tomorrow, President Obama will make jobs the focus of his State of the Union address.
The meeting, which will be held at the same hotel as the New England Council meeting, will showcase additional work that has been done in analyzing the Federal Government’s raw data since Mayor Lang held a widely-attended Fisheries Summit in New Bedford last January. The Mayor’s Council is chaired by Brian Rothschild, Dean Emeritus of the UMass School for Marine Science and Technology.
At the last meeting of Mayor Lang’s Council, Steve Cadrin, a scientist from the UMass School for Marine Science and Dan Georgianna, the economics department chair from UMass Dartmouth gave presentations pointing out errors and flaws they found in the response to the Governor’s request from Secretary Locke, and also in an additional letter sent to the Governor by NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Eric Schwaab.
Congressman Barney Frank apologized for what he described as the deceptive actions of the Obama Administration, and speaking of the state’s efforts on behalf of fishermen, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environment Rick Sullivan said, “Some fights are worth fighting.”
The presentations and speeches from Mayor Lang’s January 13 meeting can be viewed here:
“The Council needs to include input from industry, and they need to consider scientific and economic data from places other than NOAA,” said Mayor Lang. We believe the School for Marine Science and Technology at UMass Dartmouth has a track record for producing better scientific and economic analyses than NOAA Fisheries, and we are bringing that data to the Council.”
Members of the New England Fisheries Management Council have been invited to the Mayor’s Council meeting, and Mayor Lang is hopeful that they will attend.
“Late last year, I asked the Commerce Department Inspector General to keep an eye on rule making,” said Mayor Lang. “I did that because for too long, self-interest, environmental extremism, and undue influence from special interests have shaped Council decisions that are harming fishermen in Massachusetts’ largest ports.”
Transportation will be available from New Bedford. A bus will depart from New Bedford Harbor Development Commission (the Wharfinger Building, 52 Fishermen’s Wharf) at 3:00pm on Tuesday.
This meeting is open to the public and to the media.
When: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 6:00pm Where: Sheraton Harborside Hotel 250 Market Street Portsmouth, NH
SOURCE New Bedford Harbor Development Commission