©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.
1906 RICHMOND HIGHWAY SUITE 106
ALEXANDRIA VIRGINIA 22965
3 October 2003
Memorandum for VADM Conrad C. Lautenbacher
Subject: Hawaii Emergency Rule Working
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
-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
--Renders mute the current cycle of adversarial litigation among
Recommended Names for the Working Group
1. Three Representatives from the Hawaii Longline Association
2. Three Representatives from the
-Manny Cruz, WESPAC Chairman and
his choice of two others
3. Three NMFS Scientist from among
the following list of Pacific NMFS Scientist
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