“As Americans, we should be frightened — deeply afraid for the future of the nation. When good men and women can’t speak the truth, when facts are inconvenient, when integrity and character no longer matter, when presidential ego and self-preservation are more important than national security — then there is nothing left to stop the triumph of evil.”
In his article, AT THE ASMFC: THE COMPELLING FORCE OF LAW, Charles Witek points out the dichotomy at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission when it comes to enforcing fishing management regulations.
The good news is that ASMFC can, with the help of NOAA, force the states to adhere to the regulations. In this case menhaden in the Commonwealth of Virginia. On the other hand, with striped bass, when it comes to enforcing their own rules they come up short. Very short.
“The irony of the situation is that, while the ASMFC can use such legal consequences to compel the states to comply with its management plans, if the ASMFC itself fails to comply with the explicit terms of one of its own management plans, it faces no consequences at all.”
Worse, as Witek points out, is there is no way for the public to compel the ASMFC to act.
“And if the public can’t even compel the ASMFC to do what it had already said it would do to protect the health of fish stocks, it certainly lacks the power to force the ASMFC to do what the public expects of it: rebuild overfished stocks and then maintain those stocks at healthy levels, something that, in the 77-year history of the organization, it has not ever done—even once.”
I agree with Witek, its time we revised the legislation that controls ASMFC to make sure they are doing their job. I suspect in the near future there will be an effort started, asking Congress to amend the law so if ASMFC fails to do its job the public can go to the court and seek compliance, “judicial intervention” as Witek notes.
EPA is wrong, so very wrong.
You can bet on gravity every time. Whatever is in our headwaters will ultimately end up in our own backyards. Headwaters and wetlands are some of the most important components to our network of streams and rivers. They’re like the capillaries in our bodies. If they’re unhealthy, so is everything else. Americans should not, and will not, allow our water to be jeopardized in this way.” -Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited
This is a final rule, so options to fight it are pretty limited. I expect we will see this headed to the courts.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Chris Moore pens a compelling Op/Ed about the menhaden fishery and what Virginia’s General Assembly should do.
One thing is very clear now that the federal government has backed up the ASMFC and found that Omega Protein put Virginia out of compliance. We need to take politics out of menhaden. This legislative session, Virginia must do the right thing for the environment and let the VMRC manage the largest fishery in the state, just as they do with all the others.”
There is really no excuse for this stuff to wind up in our oceans. If you are going to use single use plastic items, at least take the time to dispose of them responsibly.
…the primary responsibility for managing striped bass and bluefish belong to two different fishery management bodies, that operate under different laws, take different approaches to fishery management, and have very different records of success.”