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 New England Fisheries Management Council (Council) is considering a significant step forward in the process to adopt Fleet Diversity protections. We urge the Council to ensure this process is grounded in a clear problem statement with clear goals also recognizing that loss of fleet diversity has major ecological, social, and economic consequences.

This discussion paper outlines five areas of recommendation for decision-makers to consider while setting goals and objectives related to fleet diversity and excessive consolidation. The four areas include: 1) Allow for quota set‐asides that invest in fishing communities and allow affordable access for new entrants. 2) Foster an affordable fishery through leasing policies and costs that do not disproportionately impact portions of the fleet. 3) Create owner-operator incentives. 4)  Limit the concentration of quota. 5) Work toward longer-term changes in a management approach that will facilitate a more incentive-based strategy for maintaining fleet diversity, including spatial management and market considerations.

NOAA comissioned an independant review of the New England Fisheries Management process. The resulting report higlighted many failures and the means to improve the process. NOAA encouraged public comments on the reforms. NAMA prepared comments and is accepting sign-on's until May 27, 2011. To sign on to the letter, please contact Sean Sullivan.

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.