The Big Green Money Machine – how anti-fishing activists are taking over NOAA

"Oh what a tangled web we weave...." Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17.

For the first time in at least a century, U.S. fishermen won't take too much of any species from the sea, one of the nation's top fishery scientists says.” This is from an article written by Jay Lindsay for the Associated Press (link) and the top fishery scientist is Steve Murawski, who retired early in 2011 as Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor at NOAA Fisheries. So why are so-called “marine conservationists,” ENGOs, the handful of billion dollar foundations that support them and the upper echelons at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce still claiming that radical surgery is needed to “save” our fisheries? The answer to that question is beyond me, and beyond anyone who’s likely to be looking at this website.

However, exploring the relationships – spelled out in dollars, generally a really lot of dollars – might help to understand what’s really going on. Following the advice that Deep Throat - Mark Felt - gave to Bob Woodward during his Watergate investigation, it is an exercise in following the money. Hence this website.

The heart of it is a database (link) in which I’ve listed the foundations that have funded what most fishermen consider to be anti-fishing efforts, the grants that they have made, the amounts of those grants and the recipients who have benefited from them (note that not all of the listed grants are deleterious to fishermen - just most of them). You can easily search the database by clicking on the down arrow in the box, revealing a drop-down list of grantors, grantees, etc. The information it contains is taken directly from the foundation websites. Unfortunately the web access they provide to their grant-giving activities extends back for varying amounts of time and the search engines they provide appear to have limitations which make searches somewhat unreliable. While not all of the listed grants might apply directly to fishing, they almost certainly apply to the influence that the foundations making them have on the recipients. (It is also available as an html file here.)

The tabs on the “Connections” page that you can reach by clicking on the button up above are linked to the people, the organizations and the work products that the hundreds of millions of dollars of “investments” by this small group of foundations have yielded. To get there, click on the button above this paragraph. Even a cursory examination of the connections they make will demonstrate that what has been sold as a massive “scientific” movement is in fact controlled by these few very powerful, and if the degree of human suffering they are responsible for is any indication, very uncaring “charitable” institutions.

Just as it was important in the Watergate investigations, following the money is also important in determining who is doing what and why in fisheries management and where the impetus for a management "revolution" is coming from. In order to help untangle what seems to be an overly tangled web, I’m putting together information on the mega-foundations behind the anti-fishing juggernaut and the individuals and organizations that are most heavily involved.

The inclusion of individuals, organizations or events here is not meant as an indictment of any sort. They are simply listed because they are connected to hundreds of millions of dollars doled out by a small handful of foundations, and the sum total of the effects of those millions of dollars is the destruction of what since colonial times has been considered an invaluable part of the heritage of our coastal communities: fishermen and the businesses that depend on their fishing.

If you find any inaccuracies or have any documented information that you think should be added here, please let me know via email (click here but you must delete the two Zs from my address – thank the spammers and their web bots for this added exercise). This is and this will remain a work in progress and will only be as valuable as the information it contains. Also, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

The full database is also available as a Microsoft Excel file by clicking here.

Thank you,

Nils E. Stolpe