Tagged ecosystem-based fisheries management

What happens when you fish too long and too hard in one spot?

Science clearly supports a need for better ecosystem-based management. Image via NOAA FishWatch.

Science clearly supports a need for better ecosystem-based management. Localized depletion of forage fishes has real, adverse impacts on the forage species itself, on the rest of the ocean ecosystem, and on coastal communities. … More Info »

It’s Time for Action on Localized Depletion of Atlantic Herring

Atlantic herring are an important food source for whales and other marine life in New England. Image via NOAA.

At its upcoming September 20-22 meeting, the Council should develop a range of alternatives to address localized depletion of Atlantic herring and its impacts. … More Info »

The Plight of the Puffin: Protect Our Fish, Our Birds, and Our Ocean Ecosystem

A parent puffin must bring an average of 2,500 fish to its hatchling before it grows enough to fledge. Photo Credit: Jud Crawford.

This summer, sadly, the puffin chicks on Machias Seal Island are starving due to a food shortage. As reported by the Portland Press Herald, typically 60 percent of nests produce fledglings –birds that fly off to sea at the end of summer. Only 12 percent of nests produced fledglings this year; that’s just 320 chicks. Worse yet, the chicks are undersized and the scientists studying the colony do not expect them to survive to breeding age. What’s causing the food shortage on Machias Seal Island resulting in the worst breeding season on record, and what can we do to help? … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, August 12

Blue mussels and other bivalves use protein-based fibers called byssal threads to hold onto substrate. Image via nsf.gov

In this edition of Fish Talk in the News, the MAFMC approves an ecosystem-based management guidance document; Massachusetts promotes local seafood through a new marketing program; the “Good Catch!” campaign bolsters New England’s sustainable seafood businesses; the Ninth Circuit Court upholds federal fishery fees; why are New England’s wild blue mussels disappearing?; the Island Institute releases its lobster fishery characterization study; UMass Dartmouth forms a partnership with Iceland; meeting materials from ASMFC’s 2016 summer meeting are now available; NOAA Fisheries establishes international marine mammal bycatch criteria for U.S. imports; and an op-ed says protecting the NE coral canyons and seamounts is crucial to fisheries. … More Info »

10 Reasons to Maintain the Atlantic Menhaden Catch Limit in 2017

Menhaden_Illustration_16x9

At its Aug. 3 meeting, the Menhaden Management Board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) will decide how much menhaden fishermen will be allowed to catch along the East Coast in 2017. If managers increase the catch limit, hundreds of millions more menhaden—often called “the most important fish in the sea” because of their role as food for predators—will be removed from the Atlantic Ocean. Here are 10 reasons the board should not raise the existing catch limit on these forage fish. … More Info »

Fisheries and Fishermen: Part of the Ocean Plan Puzzle

Two fishing vessels dot the horizon on the Firth of Clyde. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

On this World Oceans Day, let’s take a step back from the day-to-day workings of fisheries management to view New England’s ocean on a larger scale. Our region’s fish species, and the fishermen that rely on them, are part of a very busy, ever-changing environment, and although fishery managers only have authority over fishery resources, this idea is an important one to remember. … More Info »

Dock Talk: Ocean Planning

2011-2014 commercial fishing vessel activity for the Northeast groundfish industry. Image via the Northeast Ocean Data Portal.

According to John Williamson, “Our priority as fishermen should be no further loss of [environment’s capability to produce fish for commercial and recreational fisheries.]…Regional Ocean Plans both attempt to improve consultation among agencies and with the fishing public, i.e., with fishermen, trade associations and the fishery management councils.” … More Info »

Celebrating 20 Years of Essential Fish Habitat Policy

A juvenile cunner swims through healthy kelp forest at Cashes Ledge. Photo credit: Brian Skerry.

The year 2016 marks a few noteworthy anniversaries: the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and Star Trek’s 50th birthday! And in the world of fisheries policy, perhaps the most significant anniversary – apart from the 40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Act celebrated earlier this month, of course – is the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Essential Fish Habitat policy. … More Info »

Inaction on Herring Amounts to Action in the Wrong Direction

Science clearly supports a need for better ecosystem-based management. Image via NOAA/NEFSC.

At this week’s New England Fishery Management Council meeting, the Atlantic Herring Committee will report on Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Amendment 8 focuses on long-term harvest strategies for Atlantic herring, including an “acceptable biological catch” control rule that explicitly accounts for herring’s role in the ecosystem, as well as measures to address localized depletion. Upon review of the Herring Committee’s recent investigations, the Council must take concrete action to prevent further inshore resource declines while scientific analysis on the impacts of localized depletion continues. … More Info »

Happy 40th Birthday, Magnuson-Stevens Act!

A red cod swims through healthy kelp at Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine.  Photo credit: Brian Skerry/NEOO

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, our nation’s primary law governing fishing and fishery resources in the United States. The law is now up for reauthorization, meaning that Congress has the opportunity to build on the successes of our nation’s fisheries as well as make improvements where we face challenges. … More Info »