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Editorial January/February 2012

MRAG AMERICAS, The Finest Science Money Can Buy

or Hiring the Fox to Evaluate How well security

is working at The Chicken Coop

   MRAG Americas is affiliated with the Marine Resources Assessment Group (MRAG Ltd.) headquartered in London, England. MRAG Americas occupies an office located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and is registered as a consulting firm with the Department of Commerce (US). The company is also the recipient of $500,000 from the PEW Charitable Trusts. MRAG’s president, Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, received his master’s degree from Oregon State University when Jane Lubchenco was on the faculty. According to Richard Gaines, staff writer for the Gloucester Times, Rosenberg, Lubchenco, and David Festa, then ocean policy director at the EDF, and currently EDF VP West Coast and VP land, water, and wildlife taught a graduate course together at the university.
   Here are some of MRAG Americas’ clients listed on their website and the monetary grants and payments received by these clients from environmental foundations:
   Non-Government Organizations MRAG Americas Client List:
      The Lenfest Ocean Program—Lenfest Ocean Program is managed by the Pew Environmental Group
      Ocean Conservancy—recipient of $691,000 from PEW Charitable Trusts, $1,215,000 from David and Lucile Packard Foundation, $491,000        from Walton Family Foundation (Wal-Mart), $769,000 from Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
      Oceana—recipient of $62,073,000 from PEW Charitable Trusts, $775,000 from David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
      Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)—EDF is the recipient of $33,426,000 from the environmental foundations.
   In the past, MRAG’s non-government environmental clients have received $99,440,000 from environmental foundation coffers. (Special thanks to Nils Stolpe and his website at www.fishtruth.net for providing this money trail of the enviros.)
   EDF also contracted MRAG to provide research and analysis on specific aspects of catch share design which includes monitoring, recreational fisheries and fishing related employment. In essence, MRAG Americas wrote the catch share manual for the Environmental Defense Fund and Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA.Administrator.
   After seeing MRAG’s non-government client list, knowing they received $500,000 from PEW Charitable Trusts, and understanding the extent of their client’s affiliation with the environmental foundations, it is apparent that MRAG Americas and their parent organization have deep ties and getting paid well by the environmental “business” community for their catch shares consulting work.
   MRAG Americas not only works for non-government organizations, they also provide consulting, and observer services for U.S. government organizations. Their government client list on MRAG’s website is extensive. It lists 22 different NOAA agencies out of 30 organizations that are listed. These clients, just to name a few, include:
      The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
      Alaska Fishery Science Center
      Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment
      National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
      National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—MRAG Americas has received more than $15,000,000 in contracts from       NOAA.
      Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
      North Pacific Fishery Management Council
   It is apparent MRAG Americas has extremely strong ties to the environmental community, and Jane Lubchenco and works extensively with the Environmental Defense Fund. It also has many NOAA and NMFS departments listed as clients and recipients of their services and let’s not forget that MRAG Americas has also written the catch shares manual for the EDF, the same fisheries management system being forced upon us by the EDF, Lubchenco and her group of hand-picked environmental stooges at NOAA.
   Let’s take a look at MRAG’s most recent NOAA project contracted by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a $5 billion dollar environmental foundation that has provided grants to the EDF totaling over $7,000,000. MRAG Americas will prepare a study and report back to the EDF and NOAA’s Jane Lubchenco on the five year effect of catch shares and the privatization of the New England ground and Pacific trawl fishery even though catch share regulations have been in effect for only two years by New England and no time at all for the Pacific trawl fishermen.
   Alright, let me put that in other words. NOAA is expecting to receive an evaluation on how well catch shares are working in these two fisheries and how well they will be working three to five years in the future. This evaluation and speculation is coming from a company with deep ties to the EDF and the environmental foundations; a company that wrote the manual on catch shares; a company that has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the environmental foundations. I’m damn sure I already know the outcome and recommendations of this MRAG report. It will supply EDF and NOAA the ammunition they need to continue their catch shares scam on the American fishing public.
   How blatantly deceitful, deceptive, and unethical does the EDF, Lubchenco and the environmental “business” community must continue to be in their attempt to privatize, control, and profit from our marine natural resources before a government investigative authority takes notice and sees the improprieties that are occurring by this NOAA administration and the undue influence being placed on our fishery management process by the environmental “business” community?

   Captain Len Belcaro