• Recreational, Commercial Fisherman Fear President’s Ocean Zoning Plans Will Block Access, Create Conflict in Fishery Management

    From: House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee

    WASHINGTON, D.C., March 22, 2012 – Today, the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs held an oversight hearing on “Empty Hooks: The National Ocean Policy is the Latest Threat to Access for Recreational and Commercial Fishermen.” Representatives from the charter, commercial and recreational fishing industries testified on the implications of President Obama’s National Ocean Policy. Established by Executive Order 13547, the National Ocean Policy creates a new, top-down bureaucracy that could restrict access for the fishing industry, increase industry overregulation and create conflicts in fishery management.

  • Ocean planning and Massachusetts

    IT IS DE RIGUEUR these political days to claim that anything Massachusetts does is bad for the nation as a whole. Health care aside, a new study shows that the state’s adoption of a comprehensive approach to ocean planning is not only good for the environment but also for business. It’s a message, however, that is under attack by the energy industry and its allies in Congress.

    The nation’s waters are its last ungoverned area, and many Republicans in Congress want it to be like the Wild West. Instead of bullets and holsters, though, this is all about getting good bait. Literally, honestly, bait.

  • NOAA, administration press on with ocean policy changes



    Congress refused last year to fund a $27 million budget request to implement President Barack Obama’s new National Ocean Policy, but that isn’t stopping the administration from moving forward with the plan.

    The first 92 pages of the draft policy released Jan. 12 call for more than 50 actions, nine priorities, a new National Ocean Council, nine Regional Planning Bodies tasked with creating Coastal Marine Spatial Plans, several interagency committees and taskforces, pilot projects, training in ecosystem-based management for federal employees, new water quality standards and the incorporation of the policy into regulatory and permitting decisions.

  • First study to measure value of marine spatial planning (EurekAlert)

    From EurekAlert

    Scientists show that comprehensive ocean planning can maximize profit and minimize conflict

    Santa Barbara, CA – The ocean is becoming an increasingly crowded place. New users, such as the wind industry, compete with existing users and interests for space and resources. With the federal mandate for comprehensive ocean planning made explicit in the National Ocean Policy, the need for the transparent evaluation of potential tradeoffs is now greater than ever.