Tuesday, July 13, 2010


It has been discovered that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been using funds, which were collected by fining fisherman, to buy expensive cars, lavish boats, and special trips. Senator Chuck Schumer revealed this in a recent NPR Article.

To me, this news comes as quite a surprise. NOAA continues to fine fisherman (and use the money to fund their interests and excursions) while these hard working people continue to toil to provide seafood to the general consumer. Now some would argue against fisherman for over-fishing our waters. Sometimes, illegal fishing methods are used and for these infractions, fines are warranted.

Consider the situation in the Gulf of Mexico. An increasing number of fishing vessels are now required to stop fishing and help with the oil spill clean up. This puts additional pressure on fisherfolk in other areas of the world to produce the requisite amount of fish based on the laws of supply and demand. It is time for NOAA to take a break from over-fining fishermen and start to think globally about the predicament that U.S. fishermen are in at this time. To quote a local legislator in the article, it would be like policemen paying their mortgage using the fines that they collected from speeding tickets. NO-AAA!

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