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Here’s what people say about the new NOAA director

Jane Lubchenco has been nominated by President-elect Obama to lead NOAA, the most important fishery regulator in the nation. She won’t officially assume the position until approved by Congress. In the meantime, here are what people have said about Lubchenco and what she has said about herself:

Few of the world’s ocean scientists have done more than Jane Lubchenco to combine the doing and the communication of good science. She is one of the world’s most effective spokespersons for a new scientific strategy to preserve all the living things in our oceans. –Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2003

 No one is better qualified than Lubchenco, either, to lead a national effort to restore ocean health. A member of the Pew Oceans Commission, Lubchenco understands the quadruple whammy of overfishing, pollution, coastal development, and climate change — and the steps we need to take to reverse the oceans’ decline. – The Oregonian, December 2008
 
The Bush administration has not been respectful of the science. But I think that’s not true of Republicans in general. I know it’s not. – Lubchenco in the Washington Post, October 2008

Because the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources — it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. – Barack Obama, December 2008

Even though the area in a protected status is far from the only criterion for conservation status, the fact that between 5 and 10 percent of the land is in parks and preserves and less than 1 percent of oceans is protected gives some sense of the disparity. – Lubchenco in the New York Times, October 2008
 
Networks of no-take marine reserves, for example, can protect habitat, biodiversity, the BOFFS (big old fat female fish) that provide the bulk of the reproductive potential for future generations, and they can provide insurance against mismanagement and environmental change. Networks of no-take areas may well provide the most resilience to climate change by protecting as much genetic and biological diversity as possible and allowing adaptation to occur. – Lubchenco in the New York Times, October 2008
 
Eliminating fishing, dumping, and drilling results in amazing transformation of many areas. – Lubchenco in the New York Times, October 2008

The commission is looking at the critical role of marine protected areas and marine reserves in the challenges that are emerging in ocean management and the potential that they have as an important new tool for promoting marine biodiversity, for protecting habitats, and for improving governance and enhancing fisheries. – Lubchenco before the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, Nov. 13, 2001

One MPA in the Philippines experienced a 560 percent increase in the biomass of its predatory fish populations, said Jane Lubchenco, a zoology professor at Oregon State University. There is incredible potential for those MPAs to help revive fisheries outside the reserve. – Worldwatch Institute, Oct. 14, 2008

Everywhere marine reserves have been created, most fishermen fought the idea. They saw it as losing someplace where they’ve traditionally fished or as yet another onerous regulation. But once the reserves were in place for a few years, they were impressed. – Lubchenco in Frontlines, June 1, 2007
 
Wild fluctuations in the intensity of ocean upwellings are wreaking havoc with the ecosystems of the West Coast. We’re seeing extreme distortions on both sides of the norm. This is a system that is out of kilter. It’s fluctuating rapidly. – Lubchenco in the Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, Feb. 17, 2007

The evidence suggests that if the spigot of nutrients can be turned off, coastal systems can recover. Doing it can be accomplished by using fertilizers more efficiently, preventing human and animal sewage from entering rivers, and replanting vegetation (along riverbanks) to absorb excess nutrients. – Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 15, 2008

“We cannot go back in time to some past system,” Dr. Lubchenco said. “But we can protect and restore the functioning of today’s ecosystems so they can be as healthy, productive, and resilient as possible.” – New York Times, February 2008

The North Atlantic cod was once a bountiful fishery, but it was so exploited that it has collapsed and may never recover. Many species of West Coast rockfish have been overfished. The bottom line is, we’re just dumping too many things into the ocean and we’re taking too much out. – Lubchenco in Frontlines, June 1, 2007
 
People have relied for millennia on the useful goods produced by marine ecosystems. Food, fibre, shells, medicines, chemicals — and now genes — are extracted, used, bartered, and sold around the world. These “ecosystem goods” have been the prime focus of the economic value and “usefulness” of marine ecosystems. But the oceans also produce a suite of essential “ecosystem services” so far less appreciated, but no less essential. These services range from producing oxygen and influencing climate, through both carbon and sulfur cycles, to creating the habitat that other species need to survive. – Lubchenco in Our Planet, United Nations Environment Programme, October 1996

In view of the fact that around one-half of the mangroves around the world have already been transformed for coastal development, shrimp ponds, and agriculture, additional transformation is likely to result in significant additional losses of ecosystem services. – Lubchenco in World Aquaculture Magazine, December 2003

Suggestions that aquacultural use of feeds to grow fish is a more efficient use of those feeds than growing fish in the ocean completely misses the point that ocean ecosystems provide more than just fish to be consumed. – Lubchenco in World Aquaculture Magazine, December 2003
 
In similar fashion, the ecological and social consequences of discharges from aquacultural operations need to be part of the equation. These outputs include nutrient and chemical pollution (including antibiotics, persistent organic pollutants, and other compounds), diseases, and escapes of non-native species. Each of these outputs has the potential to disrupt the functioning of the adjacent ecosystem and many also impact human health. – Lubchenco in World Aquaculture Magazine, December 2003

Global aquaculture now accounts for more than one-quarter of all fish consumed by humans. In the case of shrimp and salmon — the fastest growing segment of aquaculture — two to three pounds of fish are needed to grow one pound of the raised seafood. Thus this practice is depleting the oceans of food for wild fish, birds, and marine mammals. – Lubchenco writing for the XVI International Botanical Congress 1999

“Too often these days, I see issues being cast in a false light, such as jobs versus the environment,” Lubchenco said. “That’s myopic. It’s more a question of short-term profits versus long-term sustainability.” – OSU Communications, February 1997