Tuesday, August 18, 2009

PA May Have Missed a Boat on NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco

I don't know where to begin, but I'm tempted to drive up to Fairbanks to confront this problem.

Three sources now indicate that Dr. Jane Lubchenco, the head of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has denied during Monday's Nome visit, that she has any knowledge whatsoever that there is a problem on the Yukon River regarding salmon returns, and has disambiguated when questioned about sustainability issues in the area - Northwest Alaska - when confronted by the few people at her public appearances who were knowledgeable about how complex this is.

More coming.

At this point, though, all I can do is apologize to readers here to whom I've touted this scientist so fully in the past.

Meanwhile, her staff has not been cooperative on helping me set up an interview.


Anonymous said...

Now what Phil? The chum aren't coming back either. They can't blame that on bycatch, doesn't mesh. Something very big is happening in the Bering Sea but it's not related to fishing. Everyone is going to have to wake up to the fact that maybe the fishing isn't going to be the same, so now what?

If we don't adapt, we won't survive.

AKPetMom said...

Anon 11:17am:

Some lack of salmon return can be related to bycatch. Some diminishing salmon returns can be linked to natural "boom and bust" cycles within the particular salmon population.

Some diminished returns might well be the result of a change in habitat that decreases the number of salmon fry that are able to survive and smolt.

There are many factors to be considered regarding salmon and the strength in which they return to their natal streams.

Out of all of the factors, however, the one factor that we cannot ignore is the fact that over 100,000 Yukon bound kings are caught as bycatch from the Pollock fishery. That is a reported certainty.

As I stated before, the reason for the chums not returning in great numbers this year could be a result of a multitude of environmental and manmade factors and we'll perhaps not know the reason for many years.

But, we do know that bycatch is a problem and diminishes the subsistence and commercial catch of kings in the Yukon and we can fix that and we should fix that. The other problems, well we may just have to wait and see but we should fix that which is within our ability to correct.

Jim said...

Something is happening-- I'm astonished the Frazier River's projected 10 million sockeye run may come in at less than 2 million.

At least on a scale of 1 to 10, that's a 2-- but our federal executive branch's awareness of Alaska issues seems to be at 0.

Jim said...

I'm sorry; I slaughtered the spelling-- it is the Fraser River in B.C.

Harbormaster said...

There are current concerns with the new NOAA administrator among New England commercial fishermen. There have been some enforcement actions by NMFS and proposed implementation of catch shares that have created the concerns.


funkalunatic said...

Zaki vid on yt:

Looks like Lubchenko is totally unaware that there's an issue. Seems like there's a lot of people in the Obama administration who are either blind to regulatory capture or don't consider it a problem :(

Anonymous said...

I think it's a matter of speaking, if there isn't an honest answer than she's possibly not giving it. Everyone thinks they know, but the scientists are not sure yet. Everyone seems to think if they blame this all on bycatch it will go away. How naive.....