USA: public private partnership in subsidies for the fishing sector

The new head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Jane Lubchenco recently announced funding to implement fisheries management based on fishermen's "catch shares" (read individual fishing quotas).

Ms Lubchenco announced an initial USD 16 million in financial assistance to mitigate economic impacts linked to the introduction of the new management system.

More recently, during a speech at the Fisheries Councils Coordination Committee Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts on Tuesday, May 19, 2009, Ms Lubchenco said:

“In addition to that we are also working with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to provide additional resources to Councils to help break through any financial bottlenecks you experience in moving catch shares forward”

According to press articles these resources will amount to an additional USD 21 million, on top of the already pledged USD million.

The interesting thing about the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is that it is a body created by the U.S. Congress that, besides being publicly funded, also receives funds from non-government sources. The aforementioned mentioned press articles mention companies such as Bechtel, Dupont, Bank of America, BP, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil, Shell and Marathon Oil.

So, all together a very innovative way in providing funds to the fishing industry. Nevertheless, even if part of the money does not come from government it remains a subsidy as the body providing the monies is under government control.

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