Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

"Green Gate - U.S. National Ocean Policy Is A Tool To Lease Tracts of Ocean To Corporations Creating Ocean Real Estate"

Why should we be looking across the pond to the USA and its fishing and marine activities? Because a huge stone was dropped in that pond years ago and now the ripples are now beginning to hit our shores.

Not so many years ago an inshore fisherman might put to sea in a boat that was owned by him and his family. Apart from some basic certification in order to operate the boat - a VHF operator's licence and maybe a "Second Hand" (Special) ticket - not much else was needed or indeed affected by the daily comings and goings of the boat, its skipper and crew. Today things are different. 

In the space of 30 years today's skipper/owner of a small fishing boat is directly or indirectly affected by most or all  the following:

The list is almost endless.

Let's just take the last of these under the JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committe) and sub divide the number or groups involved:
The Marine Monitoring Coordination Group (MMCG)
The Marine Environment Monitoring Group (MEMG),
The Inter-Agency Marine Monitoring Group (MMG)The National Marine Monitoring Programme (NMMP)
The National Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control Scheme (NMBAQC)
The UK GOOS Action Group (GOOSAG) 

add to that mix a host of other people and organisations from chefs to CEOs of multi-national companies who have no real knowledge of the industry all keen to say how a skipper should fish - which many of these people seem to forget is first and foremost is a a way of life not just a BUSINESS.

Today a fisherman can no longer pretend that he operates without heeding the impact of these organisations, individuals or groups. The media and new, increasingly more powerful, social media command the respect of the public in a fickle way. Fishermen are at the mercy of the media. NGOs like WWF and Greenpeace are publicity machines with huge budgets to spend on cleverly manged PR campaigns - witness the recent story erroneously linking the foreign ownership of 5 large vessels with 32% of UK fish quota to the lack of quota and fishing opportunities of UK inshore fishermen. Any fisherman knows that there is absolutely no connection between the fishing opportunities for a large stern trawler and an inshore fishing trawler or netter - Jo Public has absolutely no idea that the two are not related - they just hear the figures and make a judgement.

High Fearnley-Whittingstall's "Fish Fight" anti discards campaign was a battle fought largely on behalf of North Sea cod - in a war that was already won by the fishermen of the North Sea themselves through years of fleet reduction and technical measures - the current landing figures are testimony to their efforts.

Yesterday's haul from a beam trawler off the coast of Devon - 90% of the fish from this haul had to be thrown back - dead - testimony to the situation we now find ourselves in - with thanks to the MMMO - the Marine Mis-Management Organisation.
Photo courtesy of @seanperkes

Behind the scenes money talks. HFW's Fish Fight programme was funded largely thanks to a donation from a charity from across the pond - PEW. 

The ripples are getting bigger and hitting our shores - now.

So who is PEW?

Read on:

In 2003 a group called the PEW Charitable Trusts began calling for a National Ocean Policy for the US outer continental shelf. The policy written by the PEW Oceans Commision became law last year and placed PEW in majority control of the Joint Oceans Commision an organization that will administer and for the most part control ocean policy in the US. Their first order of business Ocean Planning and Zoning for large area sea floor leases to corporations for energy production, fish farming, bio-prospecting, and even mining the ocean floor.

Will this be the future of the ocean? It is not too late to oppose ocean zoning or the shackling of ocean and climate science to agenda driven, narrow interest, partisan groups like PEW.

Their plan calls for the rent money from these lucrative leases be put into a fund that PEW administers creating a large pool of money to support all of the science that PEW favors. There will be grant money, investment funds, support and funding for all those people in the ocean and climate science communities that have supported PEW's agenda driven science and whose findings agree with PEW's political needs. There are many examples of PEW's agenda driven science already and thus far the results always favor the politics in science that they fund and administer. Giving these wealthy campaign donors control of US ocean science is a mistake that fishermen and others who do not fit the corporate model will pay for. If history repeats itself much of these funds will be wasted and / or go missing like other funds of this sort have.

With Pew in charge of both ocean science and ocean planning and zoning (ocean real estate) traditional users of the free ocean will have no chance to resist the agenda, the pollution, or the loss of their traditional way of life that industrialization and privatization will bring. The commoditization of the fish in the sea will lead to the loss of most of the small businesses and jobs in the fisheries. Corporate partners of PEW will be able to benefit from the politics of crisis science to insider trade fish quotas against the people who have worked all of their lives to get what little they have. There will be very few fishermen left to catch-share crop for the trusts and foundations that own the fish. When they are inevitably pushed into small fishing areas there will probably not be much of a fuss.

Unfortunately for the American tax payer generous amounts of money are already being spent on agencies that should be doing loads of ocean science now. A large part of the reason the people are not getting what they are paying for is the PEW agenda of prioritizing politics over science. Jane Lubchenko took 52 million dollars from the science budget (de-funding some of the best research programs) to fund catch share policy pushes that destroy jobs, just after recieving copious amounts of stimulus package funds to create jobs. Thus creating more waste and abandoning the science that the money was allocated for. Appointing a politician like Jane to a post historically manned by a former military professional that knows how to get things done has been detrimental to both the science and the mission of NOAA.

A national ocean policy and ocean investment fund that are designed to be used as tools to lease tracts of ocean to the highest bidder are not worth having. There has always been a free ocean and there always should be. Windmills, fish farms, and all of the other uses (except strip mining) for the ocean are entirely possible without single use zoning and creation of ocean real estate. Offshore fish farms are constructed to be mobile and if they are spread out and moved occasionally the detrimental effect they have on the environment is somewhat mitigated. Wind mills are just poles sticking out of the water and can be done safe for other ocean users.

Having the organization that administers the policy incentivized to lease as much ocean as possible to fund their ocean slush fund is not going to end well, and can only result in corruption of the science and policy and rapid industrialization of the ocean.

A lot of legitimate academic science organizations are currently experiencing budget cuts to their programs putting valuable research and talented people out of work. Ending these science programs and starting new ones that are shackled to a narrow, partisan, agenda driven group like Pew should not be allowed to occur. Real science requires open minds with the only agenda being the search for truth and must not be directed in a manor that skews results to the political needs of the moment.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with PEW...

The Pew Charitable Trusts has been described as the, "Perfect Specimen of Corporate Funded Environmentalism." A 5 billion dollar foundation/organization founded by the children of Joseph N. Pew, CEO of the Sun Oil Company. Pew has made hundreds of millions of judicious donations to environmental (lite) groups across the US. The donations considered as investments always come with heavy strings attached. An environmental group on the PEW payroll "toes the line," or loses their funding and "seat at the table." (In some instances it is alleged that alternative organizations were set up with PEW funding to compete with groups that weren't willing to go along with the PEW agenda.) Many worthy environmantal organizations faded into obscurity due to this form of competition. Today almost all environmental organizations follow the PEW agenda and recieve funding from PEW, other foundations have followed PEW's lead and largely fund only favored organizations.

The PEW campaigns for Marine Conservation are becoming a true push to corporatize the Ocean. They are actively pushing industrial projects like massive wind mill projects, fish farming installations, and energy infrastructure projects like offshore storage of liquefied natural gas. They have never entirely come out and stated that they are for offshore oil and gas drilling but the politicians they support always do. The only thing they have done to maintain their green credentials in this campaign is to demonize and marginalize almost the entire fishing industry at one time or another. Slogans like over-fishing and scare tactics like the thoroughly de-bunked report, "Oceans of abundance," that caused a media sensation by claiming there would be no fish left in the ocean by 2048. Their advocacy of privatization of the fish in the sea is making catch-share croppers out of many fishermen and if successful would historically cut revenue to workers and coastal communities by 70 percent, devestating local businesses as well as eliminating most of a 400 year old industry.

The Pew ocean policy which it has been calling for since 2003 has been completely adopted by the Obama administration and called the National Ocean policy. They also created the Joint Ocean Commission by merging the Pew Oceans Commission with the National Oceans Commission which due to the (NOC) having already been packed with PEW supporters gives PEW tremendous influence in any conversation about ocean policy. Many feel that PEW has effectively established ocean zoning and virtual control of the process dis-enfranchising the electorate and the workers from any say in what happens to the last pristine wilderness area in the US and the biggest legacy of wealth the people still hold as common wealth. That it is PEW and their supporters that desire ocean industrialization under the guise of climate change prevention and other subterfuge that caused the need for the new ocean policy leaves one with the impression that the fox has succeeded in it's application to guard the hen house.

For those of you that need links-

This letter from the Joint Oceans Commision discusses how they want to lease the ocean for industrial purposes and keep the rent for their pet projects and anything else they might need for "The best available science" ( probably yachts and such).
Establish an Ocean Investment Fund
The establishment of a dedicated Ocean Investment Fund in the U.S. Treasury has been a priority of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative and the two national ocean commissions that preceded it: the US Commission on Ocean Policy and Pew Oceans Commission. Such a fund would allow for increased investment in improving our understanding and management of oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes. It should be capitalized by a significant portion of rents derived from the use of publicly-owned ocean resources by the private sector in federal waters. Currently, virtually all federal revenues generated from activities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) are derived from oil and gas activities. However, converging economic, technological, demographic, and environmental factors make our oceans an increasingly attractive place for new and emerging commercial enterprises that will eventually generate federal revenues from the use of resources and space on the OCS. These might include a broad range of offshore energy activities such as wind, tidal, and wave power generation projects, as well as marine aquaculture, bioprospecting, and others. These existing and emerging OCS-generated revenues should be credited to the Ocean Investment Fund and used to support federal, regional, state and local ocean and coastal science and management priorities identified in the National Ocean Policy.

This announcement by BOEMRE (a division of NOAA) announces the work needed for drill baby drill in the mid-Atlantic,
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today announced it has begun work to develop the first Geological and Geophysical (G&G) Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for areas in the mid and south Atlantic. The PEIS will evaluate potential environmental effects of multiple G&G activities, such as seismic surveys, that will be conducted to inform future decisions regarding oil, natural gas and renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the mid- and south Atlantic planning areas.
“This work will enable us to carefully and responsibly identify the resources that meet our nation’s energy needs
An article about the anti-fishing (not looking so environmental anymore) juggernaut,

A new website - - will give you some idea. "The odds are that unless you're a foundation/ENGO insider, you'll be staggered by the answer," said Stolpe. "Hundreds of millions of dollars just barely cover it."

"These so-called grass roots organizations have roots that appear to go in only one direction - towards the board rooms of a handful of multi-billion dollar 'charitable' foundations," he emphasized.
Fisheries related grants
A letter that proposes thousands of windmill sales for Obama's friends at GE, big rent money for Pew, and the death of both thousands of Seagulls and the tax bases chance of ever seeing a balanced budget,
Dear President Obama:
As environmentalists, conservationists, and clean energy advocates, we urge you to support the swift development of offshore wind along the Atlantic Seaboard while still ensuring strong environmental safeguards. We applaud the Administration’s efforts to date to foster offshore wind development, as federal leadership is critical for advancing this homegrown clean energy source. For the sake of our environment and the hope of building a truly clean energy economy in America, we must see numerous wind farms spinning off our shores within the next few years – and we need your help to make that vision a reality.
This article says that they are only going to drill Alaska's Cook Inlet, and the pristine Arctic (Which is conserved from fishing but allows the much more friendly practice of corexit spraying),
Today, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced an updated oil and gas leasing strategy for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Based on lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Department has raised the bar in the drilling and production stages for equipment, safety, environmental safeguards, and oversight. In order to focus on implementing these reforms efficiently and effectively, critical agency resources will be focused on planning areas that currently have leases for potential future development. As a result, the area in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico that remains under a congressional moratorium, and the Mid and South Atlantic planning areas are no longer under consideration for potential development through 2017. The Western Gulf of Mexico, Central Gulf of Mexico, the Cook Inlet, and the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in the Arctic will continue to be considered for potential leasing before 2017.
An article about the conquest of the ocean,
The problem is that the Pew money machine provided a seemingly endless supply of cash and those who drank from this fountain of wealth became empowered to turn their every wish into reality. They became so adept at revving up the media engine that the science
became secondary to their ability to spread their frantic message in ever widening circles.
Ultimately the Pew engine was positioned so far in front of the boat that all ocean science became tainted by Pew science and the best available science was constrained by the only available science. The mantra that “the oceans would soon be running out of fish”
reverberated so often that Pew science only needed to fund those programs which were in search of the next great marine crisis to make their agenda the law of the land (and Sea).
An article about PEW's Dr. Pauley being paid 20 million dollars to advocate for catch shares,
PEW's - Dr. Daniel Pauley

This shows that Dr. Daniel Pauly, one of the top advisors on ocean policy to our Congressmen and Senators, has promoted Catch Shares, but he has been heavily funded by PEW and in essence has been paid over 20 million dollars to say so, soliciting PEW's agenda to influence Catch Shares as the ultimate answer to all of the fishing industries problems. Remember, Catch Shares will be eliminating 50-75% of the Southern New England Fishing Fleet and give ultimate rights to Private Industry, Large Corporations as well as Foreign Entities to be traded on the Stock Market, therefore, taking away one of the American People' last Public Resources Fish, and the privilege to fish for any American. It will prohibit any American from taking a Sunday afternoon fishing trip with their kids, because all the fish will already be owned by someone else.
An essay on the PEW family history,
“TRUE PEW LEGACY“Charity, to Howard Pew, implied a voluntary commitment;
Otherwise it was just organized thievery masquerading as good will.” Mary Stennholz – Pew Biographer
The myth of the kind-hearted, philanthropic Pew family was created by the Sun Oil Co and carefully nurtured and managed by the Pew public relations machine. This fairytale has been repeated hundreds of times, but it has never been carefully scrutinized and dissected until now. This is, in part, because most sources of hard information were archived by the Pew heirs and their hired representatives. Nevertheless, a close examination of the published Pew family chronology (when put in the context of the turbulent times they lived in) reveals a much darker story.
This record of PEW's investments and numbers in 2001 is from a partisan source (The numbers are approximately correct)
Description: All based on the Sun Oil Company fortune of Joseph Newton Pew, the seven trusts that comprise the Pew Charitable Trusts were each established at separate times:
The trusts have their own private bank, the Glenmede Trust Company. The financial data presented represents the combined trusts.
For 2001:
Assets Amount:
Expenditures: $212,401,819
Qualifying Distribution: $243,841,247
Total Giving: $187,853,822
Grants Amount: $187,486,697
Loan Amount: $34,000,000 Number of Loans: 4
Matching Gifts Amount: $367,125 NO. OF MATCHING GIFTS: 449

Here is a couple of articles from environmentalists in the land conservation movement about PEW's take over of it-
Big Industry has given up its 20th century tactics of demonizing enviros for a whole new strategy. Why should industry play the villain when it can green up its image by hand-picking the conservation groups asking the least and give them fat foundation grants, a seat at the bargaining table, and all the (corporate-owned) media money can buy. Once in a while, Industry throws them a bone—like postponing drilling the Arctic Refuge or setting aside a minuscule "rocks and ice" wilderness area on unloggable land. All that's asked in return is a promise from the enviro-lites not to challenge the root cause of nearly every environmental problem: corporate rule—leaving genuine solutions like real campaign finance reform, ending corporate tax subsidies, stopping private land clearcutting, or canceling the federal timber sale program off the table.
For a perfect specimen of corporate-funded environmentalism look no further than Pew Charitable Trusts.. 
Josh Schlossberg is the associate editor for the Forest Voice newspaper ( and co-director of Cascadia's Ecosystem Advocates (
While the proliferating campaigns do involve grassroots groups, in every instance of which I am aware the campaign is in reality implementation of a wilderness strategy formulated by a small group of professional environmentalists working for the Pew Charitable Trust--a very large foundation headquartered in Philadelphia. Pew professionals advise each campaign, helping develop campaign plans that are then funded by the foundation. The unwritten rule is that if you want funding you must adopt the Pew approach. Pew favors concentrating on "low hanging fruit," that is, wilderness areas which local congressmen and senators are eager to support because they are not controversial. 
Pew appears to have taken pains to obscure its connection to the new round of wilderness bills. This was not always the case. In April 2001 the Pew Wilderness Center launched with nation-wide TV spots proclaiming a nine-year campaign to protect additional federal wilderness. But today a web search can not locate the Pew Wilderness Center, nor is it mentioned on the Trust's web site. Deeper investigation reveals that the Center has reorganized as the Campaign for American Wilderness which employs the same Pew professionals and promotes the same "low-hanging fruit" strategy. Nowhere is the Pew connection acknowledged. 
There is little opposition to Pew's dominance; most members of western wilderness campaigns are not aware that strategy and tactics are controlled by Pew
 With thanks to:
Felice Pace, former Conservation Director of the Klamath Forest Alliance and a grassroots leader in the Ancient Forest Campaign, served on the steering committee of the California Wild Heritage Campaign until he was voted off the group as a result of disputes over strategy and the decision making process. He can be reached at: