BOSTON (CBS) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration came under fire today at U-S Senate subcommittee hearing at Faneuil Hall over their spending of fines levied against New England fishermen.

At issue is the Asset Forfeiture Fund, money collected by NOAA from fines paid by fishermen.

Senator Scott Brown criticized NOAA official Eric Schwaab for the agency using that money lavishly to buy cars and boats.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports

“Do you think that the purchases… in your opinion, is a proper use of taxpayer funds?” Brown asked.

Schwaab told the committee that in the past, the purchases were deemed acceptable, but also noted that changes are now in place to prevent that spending.

Comments (3)
  1. Lewis B. Sckolnick says:

    Does this story come with a blankie?

  2. Bill Carson says:

    The real battle is ocean wind turbines Vs the fishing industry in 3400 square miles of traditional fishing grounds. Many of the 13,000 NOAA employees are environmentalist that believe ocean wind turbines are the answer as does the current Massachusetts administration. It’s no secret that NOAA has a goal of downsizing the size of the fishing fleet.

    The Massachusetts State House on October 18,2007 set regulatory pathways for ocean wind turbine contractors right here in Buzzards Bay. New Bedford has been selected as the ocean wind turbine port for all of New England in fact in an unusual turn of events revenues from EPA funds for dredging in New Bedford harbor have been used to hire a Tacoma, Washington engineering firm to build the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. The plans for the marine commerce terminal or ocean wind port are still on a drawing board on Beacon Hill until a determination is made if the port gets moved to the old Fore River Shipyard in Quincy .

    Massachusetts representatives have been quoted as saying they will turn the Whaling City into the Wind Turbine City or The City of New Bedford was once known as the city that lights the world and is going to be known again as the city that lights the world with wind turbines.

    Where does this leave the New Bedford fishing industry ?

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