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
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
millions of lobsters, and monk seal pups starved to
death. Graphic (large file).
Friction. Industry resists Pew Commission’s
call for change. Full
mammals killed by Pacific fisheries. Graphic
to speak “fisheries”.
2: The Rockfish Files.
show the Pacific Fishery Management Council ignored
scientific advice as it let the bottom dwellers crash.
stocks are down. Hundreds of tons of imperiled
rockfish are killed and wasted as bycatch each year
in West Coast fisheries. Graphic
ownership of a public resource? The IFQ debate. Full
3: Essential Coral Gardens
Pacific council rejects plan to protect coral and sponge,
though the plan meant
little reduction in commercial fishing. Full
our Undersea Yellowstones. Scientists find
marine reserves build bigger fish and produce more young.
Baja to Bering. Exploring coral and sponge
secrets along the West Coast and Alaska. Graphic
effects: A conservation map of the North Pacific. Graphic
(very large file).
our Failed Fisheries.
you can do for the Pacific Ocean.
Pacific Ocean Conservation Directory.
A follow up article from Dec. 31, 2003, in the Honolulu
©2003 Cascadia Times
Plundering the Pacific
Industry resists Pew Commission’s call for change
Last June, the Pew Oceans Commission released
a major report calling for reform of the way fisheries are governed.
The prestigious Oceans Commission, made up of environmental, industry,
and government representatives called for a new National Oceans
Policy and regional ocean ecosystem councils staffed with non-partisan
scientists. It would not eliminate federal fishery councils, but
would strip them of any responsibility for balancing conservation
and economics. Some conservationists would go further than the Oceans
Commission and toss the entire fisheries council system overboard,
and move NOAA Fisheries out of the Department of Commerce.
Cascadia Times Fall 2003 issue, "Plundering the
Pacific," investigates the decline of the North Pacfic
Ocean and its wildlife in the wake of decades of industrial
The 24-page print edition contains numerous graphics and full-color
photographs that richly illustrate this report. Please support
Cascadia Times with your subscription
or by making a donation.
are available for $5 each. For reprint information, please
contact us at email@example.com.
The report, “America's Living Oceans: Charting a Course for
Sea Change,” presented incontrovertible evidence that of 304
managed stocks that have been fully assessed, just under a third
are either overfished, experiencing overfishing, or both.
The commission found that after fishers decimate a prized species,
they move on to related, but perhaps less valuable, species. When
these less valuable species then decline, fishermen move to yet
another species and so on. This is a widespread problem occurring
among rockfish on the Pacific coast, and contributing to severe
declines in crustacean fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska.
The Oceans Commission was not the only source this year of troubling
news about the oceans. Last May, the journal Nature revealed that
just 10 percent of all large fish - including tuna, swordfish, marlin
and the large groundfish such as cod, halibut, skates and flounder
— remain alive in the sea. Most strikingly, the study showed
that industrial fisheries take only ten to fifteen years to grind
any new fish community they encounter to one tenth of what it was
The Ocean Commission's findings and recommendations have drawn
loud criticism from the fishing industry, which claims it is already
making changes. “Pew is attempting to manufacture a crisis
to justify its call for a top-down federal bureaucracy and more
opportunities for lawsuits,” said Rod Moore, executive director
of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, a lobbying group
based in Portland. “We have local people responding to problems
right now; creating a new Washington, D.C.-based agency and relegating
the public to an advisory role will undercut local and regional
initiatives that are succeeding. Instead of more lawsuits, let's
invest in more science so we can make the right decision.”
The National Fisheries Institute, the nation's largest non-profit
seafood trade association, said the current system of fisheries
councils is, while not perfect, “working remarkably well.”
The group called the Ocean Commission's idea of a National Oceans
Commission as “an unnecessary financial and bureaucratic burden
to the management of our oceans.”
The Oceans Commission was the first comprehensive examination of
US Ocean Policy in 30 years. It defined the problems facing the
oceans, but also provided a road map for policymakers to restore
America's oceans and fisheries. The report notes that rebuilding
US fisheries has the potential to “restore and create tens
of thousands of family wage jobs and add at least 1.3 billion dollars
to the U.S. economy.” It cites seven main areas to rebuild
1. Redefine the Principal Objective of American Marine Fishery
Policy to Protect, Maintain and Restore Marine Ecosystems.
2. Separate Conservation and Allocation Decisions.
3. Implement Ecosystem-Based Planning and Marine Zoning.
4. Regulate the Use of Fishing Gear that is Destructive to Marine
5. Require Bycatch Monitoring and Management Plans as a Condition
6. Require Comprehensive Access and Allocation Planning as a Condition
7. Establish a Permanent Fishery Conservation and Management Trust
For a copy of the report, go to www.pewoceans.org.