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Memo to Council on Atlantic Herring: Don’t Stop Now

Around the country, fishery managers have begun a transition to ecosystem-based fisheries management, which considers how fishing for individual species affects the wider ecosystem, and how such factors as ocean conditions, and the presence or absence of predators, affect the number of fish that can be caught sustainably. The New England Fishery Management Council is using this modern, realistic approach as it reconsiders how it sets catch limits for Atlantic herring. … More Info »

10 Reasons the Mid-Atlantic Council Should Manage River Herring and Shad in Federal Ocean Waters

Here are 10 reasons the council should vote to extend federal management to river herring and shad. … More Info »

The Case for a Marine National Monument Off New England

The array of life in these underwater mountains and canyons deserves protection now. … More Info »

10 Reasons to Maintain the Atlantic Menhaden Catch Limit in 2017

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 »

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

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 »

Seagrass Provides Lifeline for Fish and Coastal Economies

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 »

Climate Change Shuffles the Deck for Fishery Managers

In 2012 and 2013, sea temperatures along the New England coast spiked, shattering records that stretch back a century and a half. As the waters warmed, fishermen hauled in some unexpected catch, including species that are normally found far to the south. Although some of these unusual catches are likely just one-off events, scientists have found that many of these incidents indicate a larger and important trend of fish species moving as climate change heats our oceans. … More Info »

A Bird’s Eye View on Cape Cod Fishing

Perched aboard the International Space Station some 240 miles above the Earth, an astronaut trained a camera last July on one of the U.S. Atlantic Coast’s most instantly recognizable features: the hooked tip of Cape Cod. NASA included the picture in a list of the top 15 space station images of 2015, thanks to the striking patterns of swirling sands and what the image tells us about a landscape molded by constant change. It’s a lovely view of the place I call home, and I think it serves as a reminder of how useful it is to get a big picture on things in order to appreciate and properly respond to the changes that affect us here. … More Info »

A ‘Genius’ Fisherman’s Idea for a Cod Comeback

This latest piece in the Pew Charitable Trust series on the Magnuson-Stevens Act 40th anniversary features Maine fisherman and MacArthur “Genius” Ted Ames. His work to better understand the ecological history of cod shows a potential path to a recovery for the fishery by better managing the forage fish they depended on in the past. … More Info »

We Must Do More to Save Deep-Sea Corals

Less than 100 miles offshore from the heavily populated Eastern Seaboard lie submerged seascapes that look more like visions from another world than the cities and landmarks for which they are named. Most amazing, perhaps, are the living structures known as deep-sea corals that many of these animals depend upon for habitat. The Magnuson-Stevens Act is due for renewal—and the deep-sea corals illustrate why we need to update this important law. … More Info »