Fishing Industry, Citizens Tell NMFS to Throw Back Proposal, Try Again

The Pew Environment Group on Tuesday said it had joined 80 congressional leaders, hundreds of scientists and environmental and fishing organizations, and nearly 200,000 members of the general public in urging the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to rewrite its proposed fisheries rule that would undercut the nation's bedrock environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

NMFS published its proposed rule on May 14, 2008, in the Federal Register. The 90-day public comment period closed yesterday. Pew said the many public comments the administration received supported the need for a strong NEPA rule to protect America's marine fisheries.

"Our oceans are under assault from global warming, pollution and industrial-scale fishing, yet NMFS has proposed weakening the one law that protects entire ecosystems," said Lee Crockett, director of federal fisheries policy for the Pew Environment Group. "This NEPA proposal isn't just bad for our oceans, it's also bad for the fishermen who depend on them for their livelihood."

According to Pew, NMFS's proposal, as written, vests too much authority in the fishery management councils while limiting the public's ability to participate in the environmental review process. It also provides too little guidance on how NEPA can be used to evaluate and minimize fishing's impacts on marine ecosystems. Pew cited a landmark study published in the journal Science on Nov. 3, 2006, by an international group of ecologists and economists, concluding that if we do not protect our ocean ecosystems, commercial fishing will not survive past the middle of this century.

Eighty members of Congress, including five House committee chairs, signed letters to NMFS calling on the administration to craft a proposal that protects, rather than threatens ocean ecosystems. In addition, 79 leading scientists and 160 environmental organizations and commercial and recreational fishing associations signed a similar letter, also urging NMFS to protect the nation's ocean environment. To read the letters, go to www.endoverfishing.org.

"NEPA has played an important role in protecting critical habitats for ocean fish," Crockett said. "To cripple the use of this fundamental law would be a huge step backward for ocean conservation and U.S. fishermen. If NEPA is undermined, fishermen will suffer yet another blow to their ability to make a living."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Easy to Use Safety Inspection App

    Conduct inspections on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Complete safety audits at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Analyze Incident Data and Maintain OSHA Compliance

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus