Protecting Ocean Ecosystems

Giving Thanks for a Life-Changing Adventure–and More

Damage Controlman 3rd Class Lee Crocket at the Coast Guard Station in Neah Bay, Washington, in 1977. His mission was primarily search-and-rescue, mainly of stranded fishermen. Photo courtesy of Lee Crockett.

In this Thanksgiving season, I’m giving a public thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard for the adventure that began my journey as an ocean steward…I’m also grateful for the good things that have happened in U.S. ocean conservation in 2014.

In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, November 21

Atlantic cod. Photo credit: Joachim Muller.

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, NEFMC cut the cod quota for the 2015 fishing year; Gulf of Maine lobstermen are exempt from cod closures; EDF is calling for 100% monitoring of groundfish boats; local cod prices are expected to rise; Charlie Baker voices support for local fishermen; Gloucester looks to balance fishing with tourism; NOAA Fisheries released Multispecies Framework 52 for public comment; NOAA Fisheries proposed 2015 fishing year specifications; NEFMC expanded scallop closures; ICCAT increased the bluefin tuna quota; Maine seafood suppliers are low on shrimp for the winter season; Maine fishermen are banking on the Portland Fish Exchange renovation; a PhD student is studying river herring migration; Great Bay oyster restoration is proving successful; a Maine-based company is developing yellowtail aquaculture; scientists discussed US-based eel aquaculture; and a new library exhibit in Providence features artwork from 19th century whaling ships.

New England Fisheries

Warming Waters and New England Fisheries

The Gulf of Maine is warming at a faster rate than 99% of the rest of the world's oceans. Photo credit: NOAA.

Two op-ed pieces this week address the rapid warming of the Gulf of Maine’s ocean. The first outlines the emerging science of climate change effects on the ocean, and the second offers ecosystem-based fisheries management as a sensible response.

In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, November 14

Atlantic cod at Cashes Ledge. Photo credit: Brian Skerry/New England Ocean Odyssey.

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, NOAA announced Gulf of Maine cod and haddock emergency measures; former deputy director of NMFS reassures that the science behind cod stock assessment is accurate; fishermen complain that lobstermen are exempt from new closure areas; NEFMC meeting is next week, November 17-20; University of Maine and NOAA Northeast Fisheries formed a new partnership for undergraduate students; The Gloucester Times will run a “Fish Tales” series next week; UMass Amherst researchers are tracking bluefin populations from the air; shellfish and herring were a hot topic at Wellfleet harbor conference; NOAA is transitioning to mail surveys for collecting recreational fishing data; U.S. seafood consumption is declining; the Cape Cod Fish Share is failing; nine endangered sea turtles were rescued from Cape Cod Bay; the number of dead zones are increasing; climate change is changing the Gulf of Maine ecosystem; the Blue Ocean Film Festival celebrated ocean conservation last week; NOAA established a new ocean exploration guide panel; a new USCG rule tries to stop invasive species; and a new technology was developed to monitor illegal fishing.

New England Fisheries

Facing the Fishing Facts

Atlantic cod. Photo credit: Dieter Craasmann.

The bad news is that the emergency measures put in place this week by NMFS’s regional director John Bullard are drastic. If the past is any prelude to the future, the worse news is that the measures will not be sufficient to stop the collapse of cod.

Bottom Line

Are you reading terms like “overfishing” and “stock assessments,” but you’re not quite sure what they mean? These blog posts explain the basics of U.S. fishery management, from the current state of our nation’s fisheries to policies and strategies to ensure healthy, robust fish populations.

Learn More »

Recent Comments

    6:41 pm, November 21, 2014
    Paul Lauenstein says:

    If Governor-elect Charlie Baker really wants to help Massachusetts fishermen, he will support efforts to rebuild stocks of cod and other commercial fish species.

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    11:03 am, November 15, 2014
    Mark Leach says:

    This notion that somehow the lobster trap fishery has anything to do with the demise of the cod fish stocks is totally absurd! I have been commercial fishing for both cod and lobsters for 38 years and the cod caught in lobster traps have always been live and bright. The assertion that the lobstermen kill them

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    3:50 pm, November 12, 2014
    Allyson Jordan says:

    Mr. Shelley- once again you have managed to bash an industry that supports local jobs, local economy and feeds people a clean quality protein. Sustainability is not something man can create: only something mother nature can define. Why are you not looking at who is fishing in closed areas and rolling closures????? Maybe

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