The role of planning in marine resource management: The effect of differing legislative mandates on the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan

Shannon Olivia Marie Bettridge, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

Natural resource management laws mandate that Federal agencies must develop and implement plans to protect living and non-living resources. Occasionally these laws overlap in their jurisdiction of marine species, subjecting the resource in question to the requirements of more than one Federal statute. This dissertation examines the planning directives of three Federal resource laws: the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, to identify procedural and substantive conflicts between their mandates. ^ In the U.S., Atlantic large whale protection comes under the purview of the three environmental statutes as well as the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP). This dissertation traces the development and implementation of the ALWTRP in the context of the three laws and the roll that lawsuits have played in that process. In this circumstance, the Marine Mammal Protection Act directed the planning process, while the mandates of the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act were concurrently met. ^ The dissertation also investigates the impacts of the plan on New England lobster fishermen through the use of a research questionnaire. Finally, this study examines the experiences of New England state fisheries managers throughout the development and implementation of the plan. ^ The data collected and analyzed in this dissertation reveal that the amount of lobster gear lost increased significantly following the implementation of gear modifications required by the ALWTRP. This increase was likely an unanticipated result of the gear modifications mandated by the plan. This lost gear, and the consequential increase in the number of traps deployed, raises legitimate concerns about cumulative gear impacts. ^ Importantly, the environmental assessments conducted prior to implementation of the plan did not anticipate the increase in lost gear and its replacement as a concern under the “preferred alternatives.” The biological, economic, and social costs were not quantified; nor were the likely replacement costs adequately addressed. Given this missing component, the impact on the human environment was likely to be much greater than estimated in the environmental assessments. ^

Subject Area

Environmental Sciences|Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Recommended Citation

Shannon Olivia Marie Bettridge, "The role of planning in marine resource management: The effect of differing legislative mandates on the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan" (2005). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3186894.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI3186894

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