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NOAA Chief Leaves After Criticisms On Tuna Policy United States, December 13, 12

Jane Lubchenco, the head of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will be leaving the government agency at the end of February, after years of criticism for her Bluefin tuna policy. She plans to return to her family and academia in Oregon, she wrote in a message to NOAA staff members on Dec. 12.

Jane Lubchenco, head of NOAA
Despite being one of President Barack Obama’s first scientific appointments, Lubchenco was highly criticized for her “hostility” towards the American fishing industry. At the annual International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) meetings, she was known for advocating cuts to Bluefin tuna catch quotas when scientific evidence suggested the stock had recovered. Fishermen and congressional leaders accused her of selling out the interests of small tuna fishing businesses.
In her parting message, Lubchenco hinted that the decision to leave was based in part by the challenge of trying to maintain a long-distance family life. Her husband, marine scientist Bruce Menge, remained at Oregon State University after Lubchenco took the job in 2009. “As wonderful as Skype is for staying in touch, it is not a viable long-term arrangement!” she wrote.