Pew Oceans CommissionIn the words of its chairman, Leon Panetta, the Pew Oceans Commission was “conducting the first review of polices and laws needed to sustain and restore living marine resources in over 30 years. The Commission includes leaders from the worlds of science, fishing, conservation, business, and politics.” In spite of this lofty-sounding interpretation by Mr. Panetta, the Commission was nothing more than yet another exercise in bureaucratic and scientific sleight-of-hand, attempting to turn the views of a narrow and nonrepresentative ENGOs and their "captive" scientists into national oceans policy. Heavily Funded by Pew (link), among the seventeen Commission members were a Trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a fisherman who was - and still is - the president of a fishing organization heavily funded by Pew (link), another fisherman - a lobsterman - with a very limited view of any ocean fisheries other than his own, the vice-chair of the Packard Foundation (link), a Pew Marine Conservation Fellow (link) and the founder and president of the Natural Resources Defense Council (link).
In what has become a pattern with such foundation-funded efforts, the deliberations and the recommendations of the Pew Commission were heavily skewed and in all liklihood predetermined by the backgrounds of the members as well as the information that they were provided with. In The Pew Commission – a basis for national ocean policy? (link) I used one of the Commission reports, Ecological Effects of Fishing as an example of how this was, and still is, being carried out; presenting the views of carefully selected scientists from inside the foundation funding family as if they represented the consensus of the international scientific community (for more on this see "Faith-based Fisheries" by University of Washington professor Ray Hilborn here) and drawing sweeping conclusions from scant and often far from compelling "scientific" evidence.
Thanks to even more foundation funding, the Pew Oceans Commission, in company with the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, are continuing their efforts at greenwashing through the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative.