USA: NOAA asking USD 54 million for the implementation of "catch shares"

I copy here under an extract from the written statement of JANE LUBCHENCO, Ph.D. Undersecretary for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator when presenting the NOAA 2011 budget request before the US Senate Committee on Commerce at a hearing on 3 March 2010.

"NOAA recently released a draft catch share policy to encourage the consideration and adoption of catch shares wherever appropriate in fishery management and ecosystem plans and amendments, and will support the design, implementation, and monitoring of catch share programs. Catch share programs give fishermen a stake in the benefits of well-managed fisheries, and therefore greater incentive to ensure effective management. To support NOAA’s policy, this budget includes an increase of $36.6 million, for a total request of $54 million, to establish a National Catch Share Program. This program will provide a national framework to develop, manage, and improve catch share programs in fisheries across the Nation. This increase will also continue the transition of the Northeast ground fish (multispecies) fishery to sector management as well as support new voluntary catch share programs in the Mid-Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Coast regions."

Here is the link to Ms Lubchenco full statement:

CANADA: throne speech mentions fisheries management as outdated (sic) and promises change

On 3 March 2010 er Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, delivered the Government's Speech from the Throne.

Here is what she said on fisheries:

It (Canada's governement) will introduce new legislation to reform Canada’s outdated system of fisheries management.

Does this mean that fisheries subsidies will be prohibited in Canada? Or that Individual Fishing Quotas will be introduced with the help of subsidies, as it is the case now in the US?

Watch this spot.

Here is the link to the speech:


WTO: reporting on informal negotiating meeting on fisheries subsidies (5)

Trawling is a typical way of catching fish. It is also something you can do, with modern technology, to catch news on items that are of interest for individuals. And the interesting thing about trawling for news is that your “gear” can be very selective, taking very little “by-catch”.

Lastly I have been trawling for reports on informal meetings of the WTO negotiating group dealing with fisheries subsidies. The result was rather disappointing: only “by-catch”.

Apparently the above mentioned negotiating group, also called the “Rules” group, met at the beginning of March 2010. According to the “Business Standard”, an Indian newspaper, the group discussed the (thorny) issue of the “zeroing” methodology (used by the US) in anti-dumping.

As it is the case with other negotiating subjects groups of countries are formed to push (or counter) standpoints and proposals. In this case, i.e. negotiations on WTO rules on antidumping, a coalition has been formed that calling itself the “Friends of Anti-dumping” (or FANs). The members of the FANs are: Japan, Korea, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Israel, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Taipei, Thailand and Turkey.

These countries are seeking to tighten the rules of anti-dumping by, among other things, prohibiting the use of zeroing.

It is interesting to see how alliances can differ depending on the issue. In the anti-dumping negotiations one finds countries that are siding “against” the US (e.g. Chile, Thailand, Mexico, Colombia and Norway) while in they are supporting the US positions in the fisheries subsidies negotiations, especially in calling a broad ban on most subsidies to fisheries. 

I will close this post by referring to another article, this time from the “Third World Network”, in which it is mentioned that he “Rules” group also met during the first week of February 2010, though no word about fisheries subsidies’ negotiations.

Here are the links to the above mentioned articles:


US: NOAA grants additional USD 10 million to New England fishermen

You may remember that on 11 July 2009 I commented on the announcement by Recently, two U.S. Senators, Olympia Snowe (Republican, Maine) and Jack Reed (Democratic, Rhode Island) on the fact that the federal government (NOAA) distributed USD 10 million in 2009 for various New England fisheries programs, including “aid for fishermen affected by regulations”.

This year another USD 10 million Is to be allocated to New England fishermen. I copy hereunder Senator’s Collins (Republican, Maine) on the subsidy allocation:

March 1, 2010
U.S. Senator Susan Collins today announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) will provide $10 million in additional funding to support New England's groundfish industry. The Maine Department of Marine Resources will receive $2 million to set up a permit bank for fishing permits, through which fishing opportunity will be preserved for small and remote communities in Maine.
"This funding is critical to sustaining Maine's fishing industry and our fishing communities," said Senator Collins. "As fishermen and their families struggle with strict regulations and other burdensome costs in this difficult economy, this assistance is welcome news."
In total, NOAA plans to spend $10 million to assist New England's fishing industry as follows:
• $5,000,000 to support permit banking programs. Permit banks are collections of fishing permits purchased and held by an organization to provide access rights such as days-at-sea and annual catch shares for qualifying fishing vessels.
• $546,000 in direct aid for fishing sector managers and vessel operators
• $4,000,000 for dockside and at-sea monitoring, which will create jobs for monitors and observers in local communities.
• $485,000 for NOAA's Fisheries Service for infrastructure and programmatic support.

The above announcement can be found here:


For those interested in the NOAA press realase: