Submitted by Ted Williams on Fri, 06/16/2006 - 13:12.
Yesterday President bush proclaimed the creation of a new Marine National Monument and I suggested that perhaps there was a hook. A response posted to a listserv by fisheries expert Paul Koberstein said: "You are totally wrong, Scott." And so I dug deeper. The appended article provides useful background about President Bush's interest in promoting "rights-based fishing" with "dedicated access privileges" --- i.e., privatization of the fishes in the seas. This idea is strongly supported Libertarian thinks tanks and by such markets-based "environmental" organizations as Environmental Defense. Funding for the promotion of these ideas comes from the usual right-wing, anti-democratic, foundations (Koch, Bradley, etc…) This article is part of a series of similar articles on the topic of marine resource privatization found at the anti-commons blog commonsblog.org. The author is Jane Shaw of PERC. To learn more about current proposals for marine privatization, click both of the links provided below. The link at the end of the page is of particular importance --- it's explains everything from the free-market perspective of PERC's Don Leal. And why is THAT important? Because, the chances are extremely high that President Bush's interest "to work with regional fish councils to build an improved market-based system to restore our fisheries" (as he said yesterday when signing the proclamation to establish the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument ) is in fact Don Leal's interest and Leal a leader of the marine privatization movement. The text of yesterday's proclamation itself appears clean…but something still smells very fishy. Yesterday , Bush said "the Ocean Action Plan calls for Congress to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. They need to get that done." But the legislation sponsored by Richard Pombo, Barney Frank and Don Young, H.R. 5018, that would reauthorize Magnuson-Stevens is dreadful and would be harmful to the oceans. "Although it claims to follow recommendations from the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, the Pombo-Frank bill actually weakens current overfishing laws and threatens the long-term viability of ocean fish populations" --- said the National Environmental Trust last month http://www.net.org/proactive/newsroom/release.vtml.... Meanwhile "Ocean Champions" www.oceanchampions.org have dclared Pombo "Ocean Enemy #1" Is it possible that the legislation President Bush said needs to "get done" is none other than Pombo's Magnuson-Stevens bill? More to the point, were deals cut yesterday that will facilitate the passage of Pombo's marine bill???? Does that sort of thing actually happen in politics --- or in horse trading??? Scott Silver http://commonsblog.org/archives/cat_oceans.php