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Act Now to Protect Deep-Sea Corals in New England

The New England Fishery Management Council is developing the Omnibus Deep-Sea Coral Amendment. The amendment will comprise measures requiring some fishermen to take precautions in designated areas in order to protect the corals that live in those places. The Council is currently accepting comments on the amendment through June 5, 2017. … More Info »

The Bedrock of U.S. Sustainable Fisheries Just Got Rumbled

National Standard 1 is regularly identified as the bedrock of sustainable U.S. fisheries management: prevent overfishing while producing optimum yield from the nation’s fisheries. The latter objective imports the linked statutory requirement that overfished stocks should be rebuilt as quickly as biologically possible. But NOAA Fisheries’ revisions seem determined to shake this foundation. … More Info »

Optimum Yield for the Environment and All of Us

There is no shortage of historic firsts for the Atlantic Ocean. From the European discoveries of New England’s vast cod abundance that launched colonial America’s first industry to Marconi’s first trans-Atlantic wireless transmission to Lindberg’s harrowing trans-Atlantic flight, the Atlantic … More Info »

A Victory for the Magnuson-Stevens Act (and Common Sense): Judge Rules in Favor of Industry-Funded At-Sea Monitoring

Last Friday, the Chief Judge of the New Hampshire Federal District Court, Joseph N. Laplante, ruled in Captain David Goethel and Sector 13’s lawsuit opposing industry-funded at-sea monitoring (ASM). Without getting too much into the weeds – and this lawsuit was all weeds – let’s break down the ruling. … More Info »

Fishing Groups Exaggerate Economic Impacts of a New England Marine National Monument

The New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts Area holds remarkable ecologic value—ancient deep sea coral gardens, abundant and diverse marine mammal populations, as well as sea turtles and sea birds, and an array of rare and unusual marine species. The area is also distinguished by how little fishing actually occurs there. It is truly one of the least fished areas on the U.S. Atlantic Seaboard. That’s why I have to call out erroneous claims that creating a marine national monument in New England’s Coral Canyons and Seamounts would have “devastating economic impacts” on any fishery or port in New England. The facts simply contradict those claims. … More Info »

Innies-And-Outies: New Science Reveals Closed Area Effectiveness for Atlantic Cod

With NOAA poised to review the New England Fishery Management Council’s Omnibus Habitat Amendment – and in the face of some fishermen who claim that marine protected areas within the cold waters off New England show no benefit, and others that claim the new sector quota system eliminates the need for closed areas all together – a timely paper was recently released by two New England-based marine scientists. … More Info »

One strike and you’re out: Indictment of prominent MA fisherman exposes massive corruption

The criminal arrest and indictment of the region’s largest fisherman, New Bedford’s Carlos Rafael, for multiple charges of fraud, misreporting, tax evasion, and money smuggling should not be used to brush an industry with the tar of his allegedly corrupt practices. But it certainly raises several important issues in my mind. … More Info »

Blowing Up the New England Fishery Management Council

Captain David Goethel of New Hampshire, an accomplished fisherman and a former longtime member of the New England Fishery Management Council, recently sued the federal government regarding the imminent requirement that New England groundfishermen cover the costs of at-sea observers on their boats. But Captain Goethel’s lawsuit goes well beyond his attack on the at-sea observer requirement. It also claims that the very structure of the federal fishery management council system violates the U.S. Constitution. The potential consequences of these legal claims are potentially much darker and merit a closer look. … More Info »

Oil Exploration Threatens New England Waters and Economy

Oil exploration. Pipelines. Tar sands. Oil tankers. Spills. These should be words of our past, not our future. Yet at a time when climate change is one of the most – if not the most – pressing issue facing modern society, some recent developments involving these terms have me scratching my head. … More Info »

Clam Dredging: A Path of Destruction

The clam industry has made a number of claims about the “benign” nature of this fishery. It has done so with the hope that the fishery management council and NOAA Fisheries will allow the offshore clam fleet to continue to fish, by exemption from other regulations, in areas that the Council has identified as having some of the highest habitat benefits for New England fish species. … More Info »