Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), plans to step down from her position in February, citing family reasons.
“My home and family are on the West Coast,” she said in a letter to NOAA staff. “As wonderful as Skype is for staying in touch, it is not a viable long-term arrangement.”
In her letter Lubchenco listed a number of achievements during her tenure including: “ending over-fishing, rebuilding depleted stocks, and returning fishing to profitability; creating the first National Ocean Policy; reforming international fishery management organizations; and by creating a saltwater sport fishing summit, developing a recreational fishing action agenda.”
But for whatever good she may have done, many recreational anglers across the U.S. will likely remember her for what they’re calling a “trail of destruction.”
- Northeast anglers blame Lubchenco for the steady decline in groundfish since her appointment, with a disaster declared by Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank last September.
- Jane Lubchenco was often chided for her handling of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and controversial Catch Shares program. Lunchenco defended these positions, even against heavy opposition from most fishermen.
- National rallies at the Capitol in 2010 and 2011 protested current fisheries policies, and drew more than two dozen members of Congress.
What are your thoughts? How will you remember Jane Lubchenco’s 4-year run as director of NOAA? Add your comments below.