National Fisherman

The New England groundfishery is a disaster. Conservationists know it, the federal government knows it, processors, shipyards and supply houses know it. And nobody knows it like fishermen do.
 
The source of the disaster can be summed up in a word: Complexity.
 
Around every corner in the quest to manage the groundfishery lurks another tangled issue.
 
Fishery managers declare catch limits that are little better than arbitrary because our definitions of overfishing are at odds, a condition created by murky, imprecise language in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery and Conservation Management Act, further complicated by the inability to agree on the size of the fishery, its relative vitality, the impact of warming and acidifying oceans, the number of fish versus the size of the fish, the role of economics and management mechanisms — you get the idea.
 
Dr. Brian Rothschild points out in a policy paper intended as a launching point for debate over the looming reauthorization of Magnuson-Stevens that a network of national institutes might make sense of this complexity. Rothschild, the president of the fledgling Center for Sustainable Fisheries and the former dean of the UMass Dartmouth School of Marine Science and Technology, recently discussed the reauthorization and the center's policy paper.
 
In answer to a question about whether the resources being put toward "best science available" are adequate and properly allocated, he said he believes the simple questions are being adequately addressed: what is happening with one species, for example. For proper management of the fishery, however, an entity akin to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites in Colorado is needed: How do multiple species interact? How do the changing waters affect them? How does the economics of fishing affect them? The complex questions, he said, must be tackled by top experts in science, policy and law if Magnuson-Stevens hopes to live up to its promise.
 
Read the full story at the Cape Cod Times>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 4/22/14

  • OSU study targets commercial fishing injuries
  • Delaware's native mud crab making recovery
  • Alaska salmon catch projected to drop 47 percent
  • West Coast groundfish fishery bill passes
  • Maine's scallop season strongest in years

Brian Rothschild of the Center for Sustainable Fisheries on revisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Inside the Industry

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently soliciting applicants for open advisory panel seats as well as applications from scientists interested in serving on its Scientific and Statistical Committee.

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The North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA), a nonprofit trade association representing commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, recently announced a new leadership team. Incorporated in 1952, its administrative office is in Bayboro, N.C.

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