NOAA Rule Proposal Would Restrict Access to Fisheries Data
Every year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spends about $40 million to put independent observers on fishing vessels, where they collect data on what’s caught in U.S. waters. The information is crucial for evaluating how well fishery management plans are working. Now NOAA wants to limit public access to these data in order to protect confidential business information. While the fishing industry welcomes the proposal, scientists and environmental groups are anxious. “Our worry is that this will limit third-party involvement in fisheries management,” says Lee Crockett of the Pew Environment Group in Washington, D.C. Public comments are due by 21 October.