Tagged ecosystem-based fisheries management

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

Localized depletion occurs when intense harvesting reduces a particular species abundance to irreplaceable levels in a defined area over a particular time period. Photo credit: 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 »

Atlantic Herring Management is Flawed; Here’s How to Improve it

The midwater trawlers of the industrial herring fleet are among the largest fishing vessels working the Atlantic coast. Photo credit: Greg Wells.

Herring are also one of the most heavily fished species in U.S. Atlantic waters. Much of this fishing is done by industrial-sized ships known as midwater trawlers. The huge scale of fishing effort has created a challenge for the fisheries managers working to ensure that the herring population remains healthy enough to support fishing over the long term and that enough herring are available to feed the many animals that depend on them. … More Info »

Pacific Coast Commercial Fishing Ban Provides Template for Proactively Protecting Forage Fish Species Critical to Marine Ecosystem Health

An adult sand lance. Image credit: NOAA.

NOAA Fisheries commendably finalized a ban on directed commercial fishing for several forage fish species, including Pacific sand lance, silversides, certain varieties of herring, smelt, and squid, off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington. As New England and other coastal regions throughout the country evaluate ecosystem-based fisheries management approaches, they would be wise to heed the preventative action adopted along the Pacific coast for forage fish species management. … More Info »

Seagrass Provides Lifeline for Fish and Coastal Economies

A flounder swims through a bed of seagrass in Narrangansett Bay, RI. An acre of seagrass can contain up to 40,000 finfish and 50 million small invertebrates. The habitat needs better protection under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Image via NOAA.

Seagrass provides food and shelter for thousands of species. But these flora are dying in vast tracts across the globe. Congress has an opportunity to improve protections for all marine habitats when it reauthorizes the primary law that governs U.S. ocean fishing, the Magnuson-Stevens Act. … More Info »