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Illegal Fishing Puts the Rest of Us on the Hook

We’ve seen a spate of news stories recently on illegal fishing in northeast U.S. ocean waters, as enforcement officials take action on unreported catch. Some of the numbers are eye-popping. One bust involved 56,000 pounds of illegally caught and unreported summer flounder, also known as fluke. Another charge alleged 86,000 unreported pounds of the same fish over three years. Few people realize the extent of illegal fishing, the harm it can do to our ocean resources, and the ways in which this cheating undermines efforts to measure and sustainably manage fisheries. … More Info »

Puffins Love Forage Fish – And So Should You

I can’t help but smile when I see a puffin, and I know I’m not alone. Thousands of people board tour boats each summer in Maine to get a glimpse of these charming seabirds with their tuxedo plumage and rainbow beaks. But … More Info »

Little Fish Reveal the Big Picture on Cod

Why did fishermen see a bounty while scientists in fact called it a bust? Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center say a change in the forage fish, or small prey species, the cod were eating offers an explanation. … More Info »

Avoiding the Next Disaster

Federal and state officials recently announced a plan for the distribution of millions of dollars in disaster assistance for New England fishermen who depend on cod and other bottom dwelling groundfish. But some of these same regional officials are considering a proposal that threatens to make things worse by cutting back habitat protections for depleted groundfish species. … More Info »

Atlantic Menhaden Catch Cap a Success; Millions More of the Most Important Fish in the Sea

The menhaden fishery is the largest on the Atlantic coast and some in the fishing industry warned that the catch limit would harm business, triggering potential cutbacks and layoffs. Despite this pressure the commission followed the science and voted into place a cap that reduced the overall catch of Atlantic menhaden by 25 percent from the previous year. The numbers now are in for the first year of fishing under the new catch cap and it is clear that the commission’s action is achieving its ambitious conservation objectives. … More Info »

No Refuge For Fish? Stressed Species Need Safe Habitat

Overfishing and warming waters are combining to create a potent one-two punch that threatens significant harm to New England’s already beleaguered fish and fishermen. Fortunately, there is one thing we can do to help cushion both blows: protect ocean habitat — the places where fish spawn, grow, and find shelter and food. … More Info »

Small Fish, Big Opportunity

Over the past several months, a collection of conservationists, anglers and others have come together to urge federal policymakers to safeguard the array of species that serve as the foundation for a healthy marine ecosystem. And, to their credit, regional fishery managers on both coasts heeded the message these advocates delivered: If we want to protect the oceans, it makes sense to start small. … More Info »

Conservationists and fishermen agree to agree

By Peter Baker. (Peter Baker directs the Northeast Fisheries Program for the Pew Environment Group.) News stories in New England about fishing often pit conservationists and fishermen against each other over how many fish should be caught, or play up every instance in which a private citizen bemoans government intervention. But today there is a much more compelling story, on which fishermen and conservationists agree. … More Info »

Net Gain for Fish, Fishery

Peter Baker directs the Pew Environment Group’s Northeast Fisheries program. This op-ed originally ran on Saturday, April 23 in the Boston Herald. You can view the original piece here. Last May, the New England groundfish industry transitioned to a new … More Info »