Researching Some Fundamental Problems
National Fisherman
August 2009
The article discussed the role of science in regulatory decision-making. Specifically, within the fisheries industry there is a general lack of necessary data - gaps which allow industry groups, agency personnel, and environmentalists to argue for their preferred policy outcome. The Reauthorization Act of 2006 addressed the problem within the [fisheries] industry, requiring that the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) establish a regional cooperative research program. A congressional deadline of 180 days was placed on this requirement, but proposed guidelines were not submitted until December 2007. The delay of this information has resulted in cooperative research projects, that may potentially improve fisheries management, to remain at a standstill. Cooperative research will only take root and assist in the management process if it is properly integrated into the fishery management process. The article outlined the fundamental problems halting this process, and highlighted the fact that "no one has a greater stake in quality, balanced fisheries information that the fishing itself." It suggests that "the government needs to listen and assist, not erect roadblocks."