Letter To NMFS On John Hoey

By Steve Sloan

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association May 1999 Newsletter)

John Hoey was formerly in the employ of NMFS as a population scientist which is another word for stock assessment scientist. He left the service to spend almost a decade in the employ of National Fisheries Institute [NFI], which is not an institute, but rather the lobbying arm of commercial fishing interests. NFI has a long-standing policy to be against recreational fishing interests. Hoey in recent years committed himself to the longlining and purse seining groups at ICCAT. He attended many of the ICCAT SCRS meetings with the government scientists at his elbow, as a supposed representative of science, but in reality he was the numbers crunching watchdog of NFI, the longliners and tuna purse seiners. In 1997 and 1998 Hoey published a report in which deliberately misquoted Dr. Bob Ditton’s [from Texas A&M University] statistics trying to show that recreational fishermen were responsible for high mortality in the billfish areas when the opposite was the case. Hoey had to grudgingly apologize to Dr. Ditton. There is no worse offense for a scientist than to manage numbers in this fashion. He loses creditability immediately.

Imagine our surprise when NMFS hired John Hoey back this last fall to work on the swordfish numbers for NMFS. At the recent ICCAT meeting, held in Washington, the swordfish working group, headed by Nelson Biederman, the head of the longline association, specifically asked that Hoey be allowed to work on the swordfish stock assessments for this year of the swordfish at ICCAT. I objected violently and have asked, under freedom of information act, for the following information. A copy of my letter to Dr. Matlock is enclosed. We must rise above this tyranny!

Stephen Sloan

March 26,1999 Tel: 212-688-7567

Dr. Gary Matlock
The National Marine Fisheries Service
Office of Sustainable Fisheries
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD. 20910

Dear Dr. Matlock,

Under the Freedom of Information Act [ FOIA] we wish to have the following information as soon as possible.

1. The personnel record of John Hoey before he worked for National Fisheries Institute and worked for NMFS.

2. The personnel record and application used in his rehiring in the early fall-late summer of 1998.

3. A record of all the grant requests for the National Fisheries Institute [NFI] and any affiliates for the past 5 years including any recent requests for the year 1999.

4. A record of all grants given by NMFS to NFI, or any affiliates, for the past 5 years including any funded or partially funded during the year 1999.

5. A list of all NGO scientists and NGO fishery personnel who were part of any SCRS meetings, at home and abroad, for ICCAT for the past five [5] years.

6. Copies of all correspondence between NMFS and NFI during the past 5 years including any correspondence for the year 1999.

Please advise me when the requested aforementioned items will be delivered to us.


The Fisheries Defense Fund Inc.
Stephen Sloan, Chairman
cc: Congressman Michael Forbes



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