By ALLISON WINTER
The Obama administration is proposing significant new spending on a proposed cap-and-trade regulatory scheme for fisheries -- a major overhaul in fishery management and a bid to halt the decline of wild fish stocks.
In its fiscal 2010 budget request, the administration is asking for $18.6 million for "catch-share programs."
While that is only 2 percent of the $921 million budget proposal for the National Marine Fisheries Service, it is triple the NMFS's request for catch shares in its 2009 budget and a ninefold increase over the $2 million it allocated for catch shares in 2008.
The request indicates a major push from the administration to advance the management systems, which are still in the minority but have started to appear in fisheries across the United States since a federal moratorium expired five years ago.