Posted in National Policy

Commerce Department Sets Dangerous Precedent in Overrule of Fishery Commission

President Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, is making waves in fisheries management—and setting a dangerous precedent that may undermine future efforts to protect vulnerable fish stocks in the Northeast. … More Info »

“Data, data, data”

The Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing today on the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), the primary federal law governing our nation’s fisheries. It was the first in a series of hearings about the MSA and its reauthorization; the focus of this particular hearing was to understand NOAA’s and the regional councils’ perspectives. The testifying witnesses were Chis Oliver, the newly appointed administrator of NOAA Fisheries, and Dr. John Quinn, Chairman of the Council Coordination Committee and the New England Fishery Management Council (Quinn testified on behalf of the CCC). … More Info »

Trump’s National Ocean Proclamation Covfefe, Confusing

Following the tradition of those who have come before him, President Trump proclaimed June National Oceans Month. However, as has been his modus operandi, Trump broke ranks with his predecessors. Instead of using National Ocean Month as a platform for promoting conservation, Trump seized the moment to suggest ways to exploit and destroy our oceans treasures. Marine life had better take cover, because National Ocean Month under President Trump means oil drilling destruction and favoring commercial interests over environmental protections. … More Info »

Latest U.S. Fisheries Management Bill, Like its Two Recent Predecessors, is Bad for Fish, the Ocean, and Coastal Communities

A fisheries bill recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives is a reprise of legislation we saw in the past two Congresses. And, just like those prior bills, the “new” one would significantly weaken our nation’s fishery management law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), which was enacted more than 40 years ago. … More Info »

With New Fish Rule, NOAA Lets the Big One Get Away

In October the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which oversees our nation’s fisheries, passed up a chance to take a major step toward EBFM. … More Info »

Two New Developments Could Boost Health of Fisheries and Our Ocean

Those of us who care about healthy oceans and fish populations are pleased to see two strong spotlights shine last week on ecosystem-based fishery management, or EBFM. As a reminder, the goal of EBFM is to better inform management decisions with a big-picture approach to fisheries management that uses existing data about where fish live, what they eat, what eats them, and what threats they face in order to ensure that ocean ecosystems and the fisheries they support are healthy and productive. … 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 »

Final NOAA Rule Weakens Fisheries Protection

Protecting U.S. fisheries from overfishing, and restoring populations of fish that are at unsustainably low levels, just got a little tougher. On Oct. 13, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) announced a final version of guidelines to implement National Standard 1, which directs fisheries managers to prevent overfishing while attaining the greatest economic, ecological, and social benefits for the nation. National Standard 1 is the most important of the 10 standards that guide fisheries managers’ implementation of the nation’s primary fishing law, the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The final rule contains several critical deficiencies. … More Info »

Key Players in Ocean Conservation Identify Next Steps to End Illegal Fishing

How to build on recent successes in the fight to end illegal fishing proved to be a major topic of discussion at June’s Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) in Washington. The annual program, held during National Oceans Month, brought together more than 600 national and global policymakers, scholars, scientists, and conservation leaders to talk about the state of the world’s oceans. … More Info »

Study Supports Current Approach to Rebuilding Fish Populations

An analysis published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE in January found that the standard method for setting timelines to rebuild depleted fish populations—that is, by calculating how long it would take for the population to recover if there were no fishing, and adding the average age at which a fish in the population reproduces—is still the best approach for U.S. stocks, compared with two alternatives recently proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s marine fisheries service. … More Info »