Federal takeover of our coastal fishing and marine resources?
Are we headed for a Fishing Czar telling us Bubba's where we can fish?
March 10, 2010News and Commentary
It looks like we are in for another Federal power grab. This time those of us who like to boat and fish appear to be the victims of this effort to expand the Federal bureaucracy's control over coastal waters to include what some fear would be Federal control of recreational and commercial fishing in our coastal waters and even inland water if they think what goes on upstream impacts the coastal waters.
Ever heard of CMSP? We hadn't either until we read an ESPN Outdoors piece by Robert Montgomery.
So we did some research and what we found scares us to the point we've considered selling our boat and wonder if we're going to have to get rid of our fishing gear. We suspect the beer companies are equally uneasy about what lies in store.
It seems that President Obama has appointed a group called the Ocean Policy Task Force. The original idea was to plan Federal policy related to ocean fishing. But on December 14, 2009 the Task Force issued its Interim Report entitled: Interim Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning.
You can find on page 5 what this "framework" will effect:
The ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes are home to and support myriad important human uses. CMSP provides an effective process to better manage a range of social, economic, and cultural uses, including: Did they miss anything?
• Aquaculture (fish, shellfish, and seaweed farming)
• Commerce and Transportation (e.g. cargo and cruise ships, tankers, and ferries)
• Commercial Fishing
• Environmental/Conservation (e.g., marine sanctuaries, reserves, national parks, and wildlife refuges)
• Maritime Heritage and Archeology
• Mining (e.g., sand and gravel)
• Oil and Gas Exploration and Development
• Ports and Harbors
• Recreational Fishing
• Renewable Energy (e.g., wind, wave, tidal, current, and thermal)
• Other Recreation (e.g., boating, beach access, swimming, nature and whale watching, and diving)
• Scientific Research and Exploration
• Security, Emergency Response, and Military Readiness Activities
• Traditional Hunting, Fishing, and Gathering
Did you pick up on "commercial fishing" and "recreational fishing"?
Anybody out there see Federal fishing licenses coming?
If you can think of anything that this "framework" would not include then check out the box on Page 3 (6 of the pdf file) and see if there is anything you can think of that would not be included. Don't overlook the "flood prevention" if you live in one of our CAMA counties.
The idea is that another Federal bureaucracy would be created by Presidential Executive Order that would implement a policy of comprehensive "spatial planning" of the nation's territorial waters off shore, but on page 9 of the report (page 12 of the pdf file) we find:
The geographic scope would include inland bays and estuaries in both coastal and Great Lakes settings. Inclusion of inland bays and estuaries is essential because of the significant ecological, social, and economic linkages between these areas with offshore areas. Additional inland areas may be included in the planning area as the regional planning bodies, described in Section IX below, deem appropriate. Regardless, consideration of inland activities would be necessary to account for the significant interaction between upstream activities and ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes uses and ecosystem health. Likewise, consideration should also be given to activities occurring beyond the EEZ that may influence resources or activities within the EEZ.In another section they talk about meshing the CMSP with existing state, regional and local planning agencies. Presumably, for North Carolina that would include the Coastal Resources Commission, Wildlife Resources Commission, Marine Fisheries Commission, and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Some of our readers will remember a few years ago the Congress passed a law giving the Army Corps of Engineers control over navigable waters. Navigable waters ended up being called "blue line streams." One such "blue line stream" is the ditch behind the Hiram Masonic Lodge on 5th St in downtown Washington. The ditch is not navigable even for a duck most days. Yet the Federal government controls what can be done with the ditch.
|Rep Walter B. Jones, D-NC3|
If all that's not reason enough to scare the daylights out of you, we give up.
The Beaufort Observer asked Rep. Walter B. Jones, Jr. for his comment on this matter and here is what Mr. Jones had to say: ""I am very concerned about the Administration's proposal for marine spatial planning, particularly its potential impact on commercial and recreational fishing. Along with government-run health care and cap and trade, this appears to be another front in the Administration's systematic effort to expand the size and scope of federal government control, and that is something I strongly oppose."