Monday, September 26, 2005

Conservation groups differ on Fisheries Act


It just struck me as funny that two conservation minded groups with similar sounding names see Gary Stevens looks over the stern of the "Fleet" at his 122 ton herring set. the reauthorization of M-SFCMA differently. This article summarizes the differences in a nutshell. A nutshell is about all the time anyone has anymore for a particular subject. Unless you're a major fishing company, and then you're right in there trying to get your own wording inserted.

A major disagreement seems to be over the change from "overfished" to "depleted" as the new term to describe a fish stock in the new version of the law. Granted, depletion comes from mostly overfishing. But as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says, why quibble over semantics when the resulting response from government will be the same.

The Alaskan conservation group is made up of fishing companies and others that have a strong interest in seeing the stocks not collapse for purposes of future revenue for themselves. East coast and other conservation groups want to see stocks not collapse for other reasons, which may include Eastern religious practices for all anyone knows. There's no requirement that you give your philosophy on our stewardship of God's creation in commentary in the Reauthorization process.

Therin lies the rub. Our motivations are all over the board. When we stick our heads up to make a comment for the world to see it's open season on figuring what someone's motivations are. At least in free enterprise you know where people are coming from. But we try to have this Reauthorization process be as democratic as possible so these things are rendered moot and just numbers of votes and quality of comments count.

You could assign a point system to motivation behind position statements depending on some criteria of altruistic principles such as Christian stewardship, or mother earth, or reincarnation. But I'd be willing to bet the businesses that are in the conservation alliance in Alaska are the MOST motivated to see stocks thrive. I'd be willing to bet they would all pile on a factory trawler and drive it around to the East Coast and up the Potomac to demonstrate their sincerity. The reason being, is they have kids to send to college and workers to pay and communities to support.

If there is any problem, it's with the process by which we manage what we've found useful around us. If "depleted" isn't palatable to some folks, then look at where in the process it got changed and how, and propose something to make that part more democratic.

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Blogger Joe Powel said...

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11:06 AM  

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