Tagged ecosystem-based fisheries management

“Holy Mackerel!” – Capt. McMurray Sounds Alarms About Unmanaged Forage Fish

Chub mackerel. Image via John McMurray/Marine Fish Conservation Network.

In his follow-up blog to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting, Captain John McMurray summarizes the general comments submitted during the scoping process and sounds alarms that emphasize the critical need for an Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment. … More Info »

A Coffin for Cod? The Downward Spiral of the Fish that Built New England

The 2014 cod population on Georges Bank, located off Cape Cod in the easternmost side of the Gulf of Maine, was the lowest ever recorded—roughly 1 percent of what scientists say would be a healthy population.

As fish populations have plummeted, fishery managers have shown a consistent pattern of failing to heed warnings from scientists, sufficiently limit catch, promptly pursue corrective actions, and otherwise do what’s needed to help fish populations recover, including protecting the habitat and bait fish that cod rely upon. It’s high time to finally get it right. … More Info »

This Whale of a Photo Says a lot about Keeping Oceans Healthy

The humpback whale nicknamed Rockaway Jerry enjoys a forage fish meal with a Manhattan view on the side. Photo credit: Artie Raslich.

The return of that whale, nicknamed “Rockaway Jerry,” and dozens of other whales to New York’s waters is partly due to smarter management of our ocean resources. It’s a success story that we would like to see a lot more of, as we seek to modernize the nation’s principal ocean fishery management law to take the needs of whales like Rockaway Jerry into account. … More Info »

Baked Cod – The Path Forward in an Era of Climate Change

Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Photo credit: Dieter Craasman.

Last week’s Science paper on the impacts of rapidly increasing ocean temperatures on cod’s reduced productivity and its long-term rebuilding potential in New England was sobering. It confirmed both the theoretical predictions associated with climate change and the recent scientific federal, state, and Canadian trawl surveys that caught incredibly few cod. … More Info »

Fishing in Hot Water

A map of the sea surface temperature anomaly in New England waters.

Taking a broader approach to fisheries management allows for increased ecosystem resilience through adaptive management, which in turn can prepare our fisheries and fishermen for the impacts of climate change. Scientific studies continue to provide evidence of warming ocean waters being the product of climate change and excessive carbon pollution. The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s oceans, so being prepared MUST be a priority for Maine’s fishermen who rely on species that are dependent on cool waters. … More Info »

Council Makes a Wrong Move for River Herring

NOAA should reject the Council's plan to increase river herring catch caps. Photo Credit: Darlyne A. Murawski.

The New England Fishery Management Council has again shown that they are unwilling to protect river herring and shad at sea. Last week at their meeting in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the Council voted to increase the amount of river herring and shad that can be caught by the herring fleet, even though the current caps have not even been in place for one year, and no science was presented suggesting that these populations have recovered. … More Info »

Council Delivers Blow to River Herring in New England

Fisheries managers should take an ecosystem-based approach, including protection for forage fish like these river herring. (Photo credit: Mike Laptew)

The New England Fishery Management Council voted in favor of increasing river herring catch caps at its September 2015 meeting last week. This post provides an update to our readers following last week’s post, River Herring at Risk in New England Waters. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, September 29

A view inside one of Richard Nelson's lobster traps.

In this edition of Fish Talk in the News, NOAA Fisheries released a draft Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management Plan; New England fishermen worry about black sea bass; read the story of a 23-year old female fisherman; oysterman James Bloom is appointed to Connecticut’s Aquaculture Advisory Council; comments on reducing scallop fishing days will be accepted until Sunday; Cape Cod Times says national monument designation a boon for nature; and NEFSC announces its Strategic Science Plan 2016-2021. … More Info »

River Herring at Risk in New England Waters

River herring make their way up a fish ladder. Photo credit: Greg Wells (via Pew Charitable Trusts).

While the New England Fishery Management Council has established yearly limits on the allowable river herring bycatch from the Atlantic herring fishery, the Council is currently considering an increase in these river herring catch caps. … More Info »

Why is Managing Fish in the World’s Oceans Like an Episode of ‘I Love Lucy’?

Jason Link (left) and Peter Auster, science director at Northeast Underwater Research Technology & Education Center at the University of Connecticut, hold barndoor skates while on the research vessel Albatross IV during a scientific mission.on Georges Bank, off the New England coast. Image via F. Almeida/The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Fish scientist Jason Link says he often feels like he’s living the classic chocolate factory episode of the 1950s TV show “I Love Lucy,” in which Lucy and Ethel can’t wrap candies as fast as the conveyor belt spits them out. “We’re trying to keep up with rules on individual species whose populations are frequently changing. Our conveyor belt is moving faster and faster.” … More Info »