Fall 2003

Plundering the Pacific

Part 1: The CATS
Who Run
the Fishhouse

Imagine the CEO of Weyerhaeuser appointed to run the national forests. As part of the deal, he gets to keep his old job. Federal law wouldn't allow it, of course. It's a simple conflict of interest. But when it comes to the folks who regulate ocean fishing, conflicts of interest are not only permissible, they're a regular part of the game. Full story.

Western Pacific council pushes plan to quash historic coral reserve. Council puts corals, spiny lobster and rare monk seal at risk so a few can profit. Full story.

They took millions of lobsters, and monk seal pups starved to death. Graphic (large file).

Science Friction. Industry resists Pew Commission’s call for change. Full story.

Marine mammals killed by Pacific fisheries. Graphic (large file).

How to speak “fisheries”. Full story.



Part 2: The Rockfish Files.

Documents show the Pacific Fishery Management Council ignored scientific advice as it let the bottom dwellers crash. Full story.

These stocks are down. Hundreds of tons of imperiled rockfish are killed and wasted as bycatch each year in West Coast fisheries. Graphic (large file).

Private ownership of a public resource? The IFQ debate. Full story.


Part 3: Essential Coral Gardens

North Pacific council rejects plan to protect coral and sponge, though the plan meant
little reduction in commercial fishing. Full story.

Protecting our Undersea Yellowstones. Scientists find marine reserves build bigger fish and produce more young. Full story.

From Baja to Bering. Exploring coral and sponge secrets along the West Coast and Alaska. Graphic (large file).



Net effects: A conservation map of the North Pacific. Graphic (very large file).



Fixing our Failed Fisheries.

What you can do for the Pacific Ocean.


More information:

North Pacific Ocean Conservation Directory.











2003 Cascadia Times


This is an Oct. 3, 2003 memo from Hawai`i Longliner Association lobbyist Vice Admiral James Lyons, the former Commander in Chief of the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet.



Tel: 709.619.1400
Fax: 709.619.1408
Email: LIONllc@aol.com

3 October 2003

Memorandum for VADM Conrad C. Lautenbacher

Subject: Hawaii Emergency Rule Working Group

1. Connie as a follow-up to our telcom on Wednesday here in bullet format are the key points coming from the 1 October meeting. By the way, as I mentioned to you Congressman Abercrombie could not have been more gracious in wanting to help in any way that made sense. Suffice it to say he wants something to happen now.

-In October 1, 2003 meeting on Capitol Hill to address the critical problem of developing a regime for the management of Hawaii’s pelagic longline fishery unfortunately ended without resolution or with an agreement on how to proceed because the commitment by NMFS Associate Administrator during this meeting to create an expedited process for the development of interim regulations as well as long-term rules appears to be elusive at best.

-For this reason, I believe that the only reasonable process for a timely resolution of this issue is for you to immediately convene a meeting for the working group (i.e. HLA, WESPAC, NMFS scientists) in Hawaii within the next two weeks. The purpose of this meeting would be to cooperatively develop and publish interim rules dealing with the pelagic fishing crisis and to establish the framework for implementation of long-term regulations. I would have preferred next week, but I recognize people have to adjust their schedules.

-Because of the inability over the past two and one-half years to secure any commitment by NMFS’s Washington office to address this issue in an expeditious manner, I ask you to task NMFS’s Pacific region based scientists who know the science of this issue better than any other group in NMFS. We have come to the conclusion that those scientist most knowledgeable about the specific studies and research in the Pacific should be engaged in this decision-making process for NMFS. Obviously, those individuals are in NMFS’s Pacific regional offices.

-Further, I ask you to task a representative of the Office of Protective Resources who is Pacific based to participate in this group. In this way, all processes are fully compliant with federal law, those who know the local marine and biological science best will be in a decision-making capacity and, with the addition of an Office of Protective Resources representative, the likelihood of subsequent litigation would be minimized.

-In addition, I ask you to appoint the current acting regional director for the Pacific area, Sam Pooley, to chair this working group under your offices direction.

-We are hoping that the emergency meeting in Hawaii can arrest the threat of chaos that will emerge among fishing interests in the Pacific and minimize additional harm to the Hawaii fisheries and the sea turtle species in the region. With your assistance, we believe we can avert the threat of a fishery closure and yet another round of useless and unproductive litigation.

-Working together and expeditiously, I believe that we can develop a process that:
--Provides for the conservation and recovery of protected sea turtle species in the Pacific Ocean;
--Provides for a lawful and sustainable Hawaii pelagic longline fishery; and
--Renders mute the current cycle of adversarial litigation among involved stakeholders.

Recommended Names for the Working Group

1. Three Representatives from the Hawaii Longline Association

-Jim Cook
-Sean Martin
-Jeff Leppo

2. Three Representatives from the WESPAC Council

-Manny Cruz, WESPAC Chairman and his choice of two others

3. Three NMFS Scientist from among the following list of Pacific NMFS Scientist

-Jeff Polovina
-Pierre Kleiber
-Chris Boggs
-Dan Kobayashi
-Peter Limpus
-Milani Chaloupha
-George Balazas

4. I recommend the Chief of the NW Protective Resources, Donna Darm, act as a representative to the working group.

Connie this is much longer than I wanted to make it, but I believe it covers all the key points.

All the Best

James A. Lyons, Jr
Admiral, USN (ret)

P.S. Thanks again for your assistance