Spotlight on Salmon in the SOTU - Oceana USA
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January 26, 2011

Spotlight on Salmon in the SOTU

All eyes were on President Obama’s State of the Union address last night, and everyone was abuzz about who was sitting with whom, tie color, and economic competitiveness. But according to NPR, the three words that listeners used most to sum up the speech were “inspiring,” “hopeful,” and “salmon.” Yes, salmon.

From the transcript:

“We live and do business in the Information Age, but the last major reorganization of the government happened in the age of black-and-white TV. There are 12 different agencies that deal with exports. There are at least five different agencies that deal with housing policy. Then there’s my favorite example: The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in saltwater. (Laughter.) I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked. (Laughter and applause.)

President Obama’s salmon remark was amusing because it’s true. America’s oceans are managed under more than 140 laws implemented by 20 federal agencies. The National Ocean Policy, which Oceana has been working to promote, will help move us away from piecemeal, disjointed management.

The first meeting of the National Ocean Council was in November, and Oceana will continue to work with the Obama Administration to ensure that the oceans — including salmon — have a voice.