October 18, 2010
I am announcing two changes we have made to move NOAA further down the road to an effective enforcement program in NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.
First, we are today posting a job announcement for a new Director, Office of Law Enforcement, and will conduct a nationwide search for a new strong leader. Outreach for the search will be carried out by a team headed by Vince O’Shea, Executive Director of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and former U.S. Coast Guard Captain in charge of fisheries law enforcement. Alan Risenhoover, the acting director of Law Enforcement, is in the meantime doing an excellent job of heading that office. Dale Jones is a fisheries program specialist working on the integration of NMFS trade monitoring program with the government-wide international trade data system.
Second, Charles Juliand, a lawyer in the office of General Counsel for Enforcement and Litigation, assigned to the Northeast Office in Gloucester, is being reassigned away from enforcement duties to the office of General Counsel for Natural Resources, where he will work on matters related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Since summer 2009, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and I have taken a number of steps to address complaints about NOAA’s enforcement program and to improve the program. These include asking for Inspector General reports and implementing recommendations from those reports, revamping the way we handle expenditures from the Asset Forfeiture Fund, putting in place a new chief of the General Counsel for Enforcement and Litigation office, providing for higher level review of enforcement decisions, and setting up a program for compliance assistance in New England.