NAMA Weighs In

To facilitate the transformations we seek, we often have to communicate with policy makers. Although sometimes we go solo, our goal is to join others who share our vision for the future of our oceans. Here are a collection of letters that lay out positions taken by NAMA and/or our projects on various issues from fisheries to persistent pollutants to climate change.

From time to time, we'll also upload supporting documents here that are not necessarily NAMA's.

The Council on Environmental Quality invited the public to send suggestions to the National Ocean Council regarding their drafting of a strategy for implementation of the 9 priority objectives in the National Ocean Policy established by Executive Order last year. NAMA prepared comments, which were circulated for sign-on and were submitted on behalf of a broad spectrum of 36 organizations and individuals around the country.

NAMA supports permit banking that creates more affordable access for community-based fishermen. This amendment is strictly an administrative exemption that allows State-operated Permit Banks to more easily function. To read more about permit banks please click here. 

NAMA joins 160 organizations concerned about the rapid consolidation and vertical integration, the livestock and poultry markets because we see the pattern repeated on the water with our seafood market. As the letter states "this nation have reached a point where anti-competitive practices dominate, to the detriment of producers and consumers. Numerous economic studies in recent years have demonstrated the economic harm of current market structures and practices, and have called for greater enforcement of existing federal laws in order to restore competition to livestock and poultry markets."
NAMA supports a Control Date in the NE groundfish fishery. Setting a Control Date is one step toward limiting excessive concentration of fish-quota ownership. We know excessive consolidation undermines the triple bottom line that we strive for - ecology, social, and economy.
NAMA urges New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) members to consider their already established goals and objectives that are currently not being reached. Goals include a diverse fleet, maintaining inshore and offshore fleets, and prohibiting any one person from acquiring an excessive share of the resource. NAMA presents the case for how these goals and objectives are not being met and urges the NEFMC to consider mechanisms and safeguards that can head our New England fisheries in the right direction.
NAMA urges the New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC) to set protections in order to achieve its own stated goals and objectives which includes: maintain inshore and offshore fleets, maintain a diverse fleet in terms of gear type, geographic location and boat size, and prevent excessive consolidation by any one entity. Currently the NEFMC has no plan to achieve these goals and that is a threat to coastal communities, the health of our oceans, and the security of our food system.

NAMA joins over 40 organizations and individuals in a letter to President Obama urging him to reign in the irresponsible and fast track approach the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is taking toward approving offshore aquaculture facilities.

 

NAMA put together comments on NOAA's proposed National Aquaculture Policy draft, in which we call the NOAA Aquaculture Program to task for not taking seriously enough the potential negative consequences of some marine and other aquaculture and for taking on the role of, in their own words, "enabling aquaculture development" in the US instead of regulating and managing it responsibly. The comments were submitted on behalf of nearly 40 organizations and individuals representing an impressive diversity of perspectives and opcupations.
165 organizations, including NAMA, signed on to community comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency's docket stating the only way to protect public health from toxic coal ash is to finalize a rule regulating coal ash under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA). Again, you may not at first make the connection between an organization focused on marine fisheries and coal ash, but there are indeed many connections. We'll give you one specific connection: we know that mercury is a byproduct of coal burning power plants which rely on coal as their source of fuel. We also know that mercury is one of persistent and bioaccummulative toxicants that build up in the food chain. Mercury is connected to many human behavior, congnitive and other diseases. The advice we hear often is stay away from foods that contain too much mercury and of course tuna comes up all the time. Why, because tunas live at the top of the marine food chain. By the time they eat everything else that has mercury and potentially other toxicants, they are getting a pretty good dose that is building up in their fatty tissue. Tuna like to eat other fish and we seem to like to eat tuna. By what is the mercury doing to the tuna? What if the human diseases associated with mercury are happening to tuna and other marine animals. Many of us are working to ensure the tuna populations remain health and not in danger from over fishing. But if all our fights in the fishing picture is undermined by toxicants that may be affecting the animals, how good of a job are we really doing? So if we don't care enough about the humans, let's get rid of the sources of mercury for the tuna and other marine animals. There are, of course, many other connections, but more on that later. In the meanwhile, please take a moment and check out the letter.
132 undersigned organizations representing consumers, fishermen, farmers and ranchers, local food producers, and co-ops signed onto a letter to the United States Senate expressing concern about food safety legislation, S.510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, and its potential for unnecessarily burdening and handicapping small-scale, local food producers. The groups urged the Senate to support the amendment co-sponsored by Senators Tester and Hagan to ensure that small-scale direct-marketing farms and food producers are protected from unnecessary and overly burdensome federal regulations.