SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

December 20, 2012

Our view: Feds cannot allow exiting NOAA chief any transition role

There can be no celebration, only a sense of profound relief over the resignation and coming exit of Jane Lubchenco as chief administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

And that sense of relief should not allow either commercial fishermen or our federal lawmakers to relax their guards between now and the February date when Lubchenco will formally bow out of her role. Indeed, the downside of Lubchenco’s plan to leave her six-figure post is that the Department of Commerce is essentially allowing her to do so on her own terms as if she should have had any choice after her policies reduced one of America’s oldest and most noble small-business industries to an admitted state of “economic disaster” in New England during her four short years at the helm.

But while federal leaders seek a successor, it’s important that Lubchenco not have any role whatsoever in any transition process.

Throughout her term, Lubchenco has shown nothing but disdain for the fishing industry, for congressional leaders and for American taxpayers, who are still paying six-figure salaries to now-ousted NOAA law enforcement leaders who have been cited by investigators from the Inspector General’s office for carrying out excessive enforcement against fishermen and other businesses, misspending money from an asset forfeiture fund, and shredding federal documents while an investigation was under way.

True to form, Lubchenco’s resignation statement included verbage suggesting that she and her staff have ended overfishing and restored economic stability to America’s fisheries through her job-killing catch share fishery management policies and debilitating catch limits based on what we now know is the shakiest of science.

Indeed, figures from the New England Fishery Management Council show that landings across the six-state region fell by 38 percent in 2011 — after 2010, the first year of catch shares, forcing 21 of the Gloucester fleet’s then-96 comercial boats or businesses right out of the water because they could no longer land enough seafood to make ends meet.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium