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.

Signed by nearly 70 fishermen and fishing organizations from around the country expressing concern about ocean acidification and its impact on the marine ecosystem and fisheries, the attached letter was submitted and entered into the record for the Senate hearing on the Environment, Economic Impacts of Ocean Acidification.

A group of New England fishermen, community advocates, local food advocates, and scientists signed this letter to New England Congress Representatives urging for support of the Fleet Visioning Project. 

NAMA joins 50 other organizations from around the country on a letter in support of the Petition to Protect Children From Pesticide Drift (the “Kids’ Petition”), and to comment on the Pesticide Registration Notice regarding pesticide drift labeling and the accompanying guidance. In the letter, the groups urged the Environmental Protection to take immediate protective action by establishing no-spray buffers around areas where children congregate while EPA fully evaluates and protects against pesticide drift exposures to children. This petition asks EPA to take these immediate steps to comply with its legal duty, under the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), Executive Order on Children’s Health and the Environmental Justice Executive Order, to protect all children from all pesticide drift exposures. Why would NAMA sign onto this letter, you ask? Pesticides and other chemicals often end up in the marine ecosystem affecting the long term health of marine organisms including all the fish and marine animals we are all working so hard to protect. So, yes, we did it because we feel our kids shouldn't be exposed to pesticides drifting toward them. But we also did it because we believe better alternatives to toxic pesticides exist and must be used not only to protect our kids, but to protect all the species on the planet as we all live "in an inescapable web of mutuality" (part of Martin Luther Kind, Jr. quote. We're not that brilliant!).
113 organizations sent a letter to the US Senate expressing opposition to the nomination of Islam Siddiqui as Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the office of the United States Trade Representative. The organizations— representing family farmers, farmworkers, fishermen and sustainable agriculture, environmental, consumer, anti-hunger and other advocacy groups—urge the Senate to reject Dr. Siddiqui’s appointment when it comes up for a floor vote, despite the Senate Finance Committee's favorable report of his nomination on December 23, 2009. Siddiqui’s record at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and his role as a former registered lobbyist for CropLife America (whose members include Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow), has revealed him to consistently favor agribusinesses’ interests over the interests of consumers, the environment and public health. Siddiqui’s nomination severely weakens the Obama Administration’s credibility in promoting healthier and more sustainable local food systems here at home. His appointment would also send a harmful signal to the world that the United States plans to continue down the worn but now obsolete path of chemical and energy-intensive industrial agriculture while promoting toxic pesticides, inappropriate seed biotechnologies and unfair trade agreements on nations that neither want nor can afford them.
A diverse group of individuals, organizations and scientists provide feedback and comments to the White House Council on Environmental Quality's Ocean Policy Task Force regarding Marine Spatial Planning.

Take a look at NAMA's comments to the Amendment 16 Proposed Rule.  The new rule, if approved, will take effect May 1, 2010.

Read Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance's comments on Amendment 16 of the Groundfish Fishery Management Plan in support of community-based fishermen across New England.

Islam Siddiqui has been nominated to be the new Chief Agriculture Negotiator for the United States Trade Representative. Siddiqui’s record at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and his role as a former registered lobbyist for CropLife America (whose members include Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow), reveals him to be consistently in favor of agribusinesses’ interests over the interests of consumers, the environment and public health. His appointment sends an unfortunate signal to the rest of the world that the United States plans to continue down the failed path of industrial agriculture by promoting toxic pesticides, inappropriate biotechnologies and unfair trade agreements on nations that do not want and can least afford them. As the global food crisis deepens and negotiators prepare to meet at the upcoming World Trade Organization ministerial on November 30, the United States needs a trade negotiator who understands that current trade agreements work neither for farmers nor the world’s hungry. Organizations representing environmental, consumer, anti-hunger, family farm, farmworker, fishing groups, sustainable agriculture and other advocacy groups submitted a letter to the Senate Finance Committee urging them to reject Siddiqui’s appointment.

Based on our work with fishing communities in New England, we submitted the attached comments on the Interim Report of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force convened by the White House. In short, we recommend:

  • Place appropriate conditions on strategy objectives.
  • Include a provision for saying “no.” 
  • Facilitate timely, coordinated plans of action. 
  • Make coastal communities an integral part ofthe decision-making. 
  • Recognize the unique position of those people, such as fishermen, who have direct interaction with marine ecosystems.
  • Management should be consistent with multiple ecosystem scales.
  • Be more explicit about coordination and conflict resolution.
  • Incorporate diverse sources of information into management process. 

For details, download the whole document.