Report Card: More Federal Fisheries Funding Needed


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
February 28, 2008

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative on Wednesday released its third annual U.S. Ocean Policy Report Card assessing the nation's progress in 2007 toward implementing the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, the Pew Oceans Commission and the Bush administration's U.S. Ocean Action Plan.

The nation's overall grade inched up to a C in 2007 from a C-minus in 2006. But the report card, which is intended to inform policy makers and the public about the status of the nation's oceans and fisheries, emphasized that inadequate federal funding is preventing fisheries managers from enacting "meaningful" ocean policy reform.

"Because states and regions have done much of the groundwork for ocean and coastal protection on the local level, the building blocks are in place. But they can only go so far without federal collaboration and support," said Leon Panetta, co-chair of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, in a press release. "This nation cannot successfully protect the oceans with one hand tied behind its back."

"NFI remains convinced that the road to progress is not paved with unnecessary federal bureaucracy," said John Connelly, president of National Fisheries Institute, in a Feb. 27 press release. "We believe it is important that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Marines Fisheries Service are fully funded so they can most effectively carry out their management and sustainability mission."

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