New England Fisheries

Top Stories from 2019

A fishing boat moves through a New England harbor. Image via The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Thank you for keeping up with Talking Fish in 2019. As always, it was another busy year for fisheries in New England. From North Atlantic right whales to ocean warming to Atlantic cod, here are our top five stories from 2019:

1.) The Road to Ropeless Fishing Gear by Michael Anderson

Entanglement in fishing gear is the leading cause of North Atlantic right whale mortality. But there is good news. The road to ropeless is underway, and this technology can benefit both the iconic right whale and New England’s fisheries.

2.) NMFS Receives Failing Grades on 2018 Status Report by Peter Shelley

NMFS recently released its 2018 Status of the Stocks report. While general progress is being made towards sustainable fisheries at the national level, fish stocks in New England and highly migratory species continue to struggle under poor management. It’s time for NMFS to take responsibility for both its successes and failures.

3.) Sea Surface Temperature Increases in the Gulf of Maine by Clayton Starr

The entire planet is heating up and has been for almost 200 years. Unfortunately, the ocean is no exception. In fact, in the Gulf of Maine, sea surface temperatures are increasing faster than almost any other ocean region. This blog unpacks the mechanics behind that trend and some of the specific challenges facing New England’s fisheries.

4.) Environmental Groups Call on Fishery Managers to Fix New England’s Failing Monitoring Program by Talking Fish

Conservation Law Foundation and Environmental Defense Fund have challenged NOAA Fisheries, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the New England Fishery Management Council to properly manage the region’s ailing groundfish stocks. In a letter sent to the leaders of these agencies, CLF and EDF call for improvements to monitoring practices so that managers can make informed decisions.

5.) NOAA Fisheries Reverses Course on Herring Catch in 2019 by Erica Fuller

In a pleasant surprise, NOAA Fisheries published a final rule today that lowers the catch limits of Atlantic herring in 2019, specifically to account for its role in the ecosystem. Catch limits were expected to be reduced to prevent overfishing, but the size of this reduction was a surprise because the agency had originally proposed limits that were almost 30 percent higher than recommendations from the New England Fishery Management Council and its scientific advisors.

Don’t see your favorite story listed here? You can find all previous stories in our archives. Have a happy new year!


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