10 minutes ago
Last week, I critiqued Ron Arnold’s story about the “catch share” program being instituted in New England, saying that free-market environmentalists should support Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) programs. I stand by that point.
What is interesting, however, is that the more I look into it, the more I realize that what is being imposed (literally – see below) in New England is not the sort of catch share program I support. As happened with what became cap-and-trade in energy policy, the left has taken a good idea and perverted it so that it is a ghastly parody of the free market institution.
First, it seems that the scientific claim on which the call for action is based is exaggerated. Students of the environmental movement should not be surprised at this, as it is a pattern that repeats itself from DDT to global warming. The claim is that the fisheries as currently managed are in crisis and severely overfished. This does not appear to be the case.
For many years, these fisheries have been subject to regulation that sets a Total Allowable Catch (TAC), which represents the amount of fish scientists believe can be sustainably removed from the fishery. The TAC has not been exceeded for many fish species for years, and in most cases the catch landed isn’t even close to the TAC. For instance, in the last year for which full figures are available, 2008, only 6% of the TAC for Haddock in the George’s Bank area was landed. Fishing sources tell me that this significant undercatch is because of the excessive amount of regulation that dictate when and where fishermen can fish (a “complex web” that is likely to get more complicated if the environmentalists’ latest attempt to designate “critical habitat” for the North Atlantic Right Whale succeeds.) Regulations also lead to significant amounts of caught fish being returned dead to the sea. These regulations will be unaffected, for the most part, by a transition to catch share.
Secondly, the catch share program is not a true IFQ scheme of the sort that has worked in New Zealand, Iceland and elsewhere around the world. In this peculiarly American version, quota shares are not being distributed to fishermen, but to fishing “sectors.” These sectors will then lease out the permits to fishermen. The “sectors” that are getting the permits are almost exclusively signed up to the environmentalist groups’ definition of sustainable fishing, so they are likely to lease permits only to “acceptable” fishing companies.
It is like an energy cap-and-trade scheme where the only companies that got carbon allowances were those that had signed up to the US Climate Action Partnership (which was, of course, the unstated reason behind USCAP in the first place). So the vehicle for allocating permits has become a special interest of itself.
Finally, for now, the reason why this sectoral scheme was used is because, under the Magnuson Stevens Act (Sec. 303A on Limited Access Privilege Programs), any IFQ program would have to be approved of by 2/3rds of the fishermen involved in a referendum. By allocating quotas to sectors, NOAA has performed an end-around run around the act, completely in contravention of the spirit of the law, if not the letter. No wonder the fishermen feel aggrieved.
There are many more reasons to criticize the New England program. Free-marketers should support properly-designed IFQ programs, but the one that NOAA is literally imposing on New England stinks like a week-old fish.
Thanks to all those who contacted me in response to my prior post for opening my eyes on this typical piece of environmentalist newspeak.
Here is a prediction: Across the country, there will be races that some candidates will lose even though poll numbers, right now, indicate otherwise.
As you read this, at present, you should know that there are only seemingly disconnected anecdotal dots that are starting to connect. However, if the dots do fully connect, we may not know until well after the November 2nd election if, in fact, America’s democratic election process will have become the victim of the biggest fraud in our nation’s history. What’s worse, with early voting beginning this week in many states, it may already be too late to do anything about it.
Hello my girl,
I wanted to say hi and tell you how much I miss you and that I hope your classes are going well and that you are having fun too.
But I also have to have a mommy moment- bear with me here. I won't take long, and I won't be saying anything I haven't already said in one form or another, but it is important.
You may or may not have heard about the NJ college student who killed himself last week because his room-mate had posted videotape of him having sex with another guy. A terrible, senseless tragedy.
My mommy job requires that I remind you of two essential things:
One: Nothing ruins your life forever. NOTHING.
Two: Nothing ruins your life forever. NOTHING.
If that young man had only waited a couple of weeks nobody would have cared- he'd have gotten past it. People have short memories- life would have gotten better, much better. His parents and friends? They loved him prior to the tape- they would have loved him afterward too. A few awkward moments and then life goes on.
But when you are young you don't know that even the awkward moments are fleeting. On this, you just have to trust the old people. Remember when you were really small and cried and cried over something? Well, it didn't last. That's kind of what it's like- awful things happen, you feel like there's a rock in the pit of your stomach, somehow time goes by and it gets better. I promise you, it ALWAYS gets better.
The students, a girl and boy, who were involved in the taping and posting-- they are being charged with bias crime, invasion of privacy and possibly other things. Their college life is over. They will have to live with this death the rest of their lives-- and their families are devastated. What they did was so wrong- but also so kid-stupid. Not to mention mean. And so their lives will be different forever- but even so- their families will love them and they will have time enough to hopefully live in such a way as to make meaning from their mistake.
So, my beautiful girl, never, ever think something is unfixable. NOTHING you do will ever keep us from loving you. NOTHING you do could be so awful you can't get past it.
And if someone is mean to you, and it isn't something you can ignore-- seek out people to talk to about it. Surround yourself with people who are supportive. If you ever need help and don't know how to ask- try writing a letter instead. And right now- before you might need such help- think about who you would talk to if needed. In the midst of turmoil sometimes we don't always think as clearly- having a plan makes it easier to find help in crisis. And remember there are always alternatives. Always.
Finally, don't be mean. Don't let other people be mean. Stand up for the underdog, protect those who aren't as smart or confident or easygoing as yourself. Treat people's feelings like fragile little puppies- if you play with them- be gentle.
I love you so much and I know you really don't need me to tell you this stuff.... but it's my job.
Love and hugs,