Tagged bottom line

The Bottom Line: Rebuilding Plans Work for U.S. Fisheries

Status of US Fish Stocks 1997-2012

By Lee Crockett, The Pew Charitable Trusts. A congressional hearing this week on the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act examined a new report from the National Academies on the law’s effectiveness in rebuilding depleted fish populations. As a member of the peer-review panel for the report, I can attest to the amount of work that went into this study, which clearly recognizes our nation’s overall success in restoring fish stocks. … More Info »

The Bottom Line: For New England’s Fishing Fleet It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

Twenty years later, the sense of déjà vu is unshakeable. A new season brings a troubling scenario of depleted fish populations and deficient management. Fourteen of the region’s 20 groundfish—or bottom dwelling—species are currently overexploited. Cod stocks are at the lowest levels ever recorded. New England’s best captains could not find enough cod in the past year to meet more than a third of their allotted quota on Georges Bank. It is, officially, an economic disaster, as the U.S. Department of Commerce declared last fall. In short, here we are, with our storied fishing grounds in even worse shape than they were two decades ago. … More Info »

The Bottom Line: Changing Course for America’s Oldest Fishery

Recent scientific studies estimate that cod populations are at or near record lows. But this serious problem has not stopped the New England Fishery Management Council from proposing to end protection of their waters off the New England coast, a move that will make it even harder for cod—a fish that helped build the region’s economy—to recover. … More Info »

The Bottom Line: A Better Way to Manage Fish

Some proposed fisheries rules would take us backward, with costly new delays and exemptions that could allow overfishing and reverse conservation gains. Other proposals offer an opportunity to improve the health of our oceans, by managing our fisheries as part of the larger ecosystem. This holistic approach — often called “ecosystem-based fisheries management” — looks beyond the health of individual species to also consider the food and habitat they rely upon. … More Info »

The Bottom Line: Don’t Remove Protection When Cod Need It Most

New England is famous for cod fishing. But the industry is ailing – and the cure being proposed might be worse than the disease. A proposal by regional fisheries managers to reopen areas where groundfish are currently protected is a big step in the wrong direction. … More Info »

The Bottom Line: Big Turnout for Little Menhaden

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has seen a lot in its 70-year history but nothing quite like this. More than 128,000 people flooded the commission’s inboxes with postcards and emails last month, a new record for public comment. Scientists, small business owners, nature lovers, and anglers sent letters and spoke out at public hearings. And it was all about a fish that almost no one ever eats—Atlantic menhaden. … More Info »

The Bottom Line: Historic Moment for Menhaden

By Lee Crockett of the Pew Environment Group. Menhaden numbers have plunged nearly 90 percent over the past 25 years, and the regulators responsible for their management will soon make a critical decision. In December, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) could finally help the depleted population recover by setting a coastwide, science- based annual catch limit. … More Info »

Fishing for Giants

By Lee Crockett of the Pew Environment Group. The rod-and-reel fishermen who catch bluefin tuna deserve to have their stories told. “Wicked Tuna” has the opportunity to introduce TV audiences to this magnificent fish, the men and women who pursue them, and the types of fishing gear they use. National Geographic is working hard to present a balanced view, highlighting both the fishermen and conservation concerns. … More Info »

Bottom Line: New Year’s Resolution 2012: Let’s Gain Weight in the Ocean

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions for Americans is to lose weight. Around this time of year, gyms fill up, the health food sections of supermarkets become crowded, and people whose daily exercise consisted of picking up their mail start jogging. But for the fish in America’s oceans, we need to resolve to help them gain weight. Bigger, older animals will create abundant offspring, which will lead to better fishing, increased seafood, more jobs, and healthier and more resilient ocean ecosystems. (Lee Crockett leads the Pew Environment Group’s efforts in Washington, D.C. to establish policies to end overfishing and promote sustainable fisheries management.) … More Info »