The Status of U.S. Fish Stocks

In spite of the doom and gloom prognostications of the fisheries crisis industry, the only crisis our fishermen are facing is that brought about by overzealous fishing restrictions. This was demonstrated compellingly by Maine Senator Olympia Snowe at a Senate hearing on the implementation of the Magnuson Act when, holding one of the last cans of sardines canned in the last sardine cannery in the United States, she pointed out that the cannery closed down because it was facing a 40% reduction in the herring Total Allowable Catch (TAC) not because of any pronlems with the resource but simply because NMFS didn't know enough about the htock and was managing "precautionarily" (for more on the Precautionary Principle, click here).

The bottom line is that the fish stocks in the United States' federally managed waters are in better shape than they've been in for several generations. No one has said this better than Dr. Steve Murawski, retired head scientist at NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (link).

So why are the ENGOs so intent on perpetuating the fantasy that our fisheries are in trouble and that we need a "revolution" in how they are being managed (link), particularly a revolution that entails adopting a for the most part untried fisheries management technique? Take a look at the grant dollars that are neing rained on these ENGOs by a small handful of mega-foundations and you'll get an idea. The biggest question remains "why ar the foundations doing it?"