Gloucester’s fishing industry knows all too well about the complexity of our oceans. Through my years of working with groups like the commercial striped bass fishermen and the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, I have seen our fishermen adapt to the highs and lows that come with fishing these seas. That complexity has multiplied as new demands are placed on our ocean and coastal areas. From wind power to aquaculture, there are more and more people making a living off our waters.
And while we all agree that New England should make the most of these opportunities, we can’t do it at the expense of our fishermen’s livelihood, the health of our ocean wildlife or the places where our families go to play. It is now more critical than ever for us to effectively protect our oceans.
That is why I’m proud to see the years of compromise come to fruition with the release of our nation’s first draft regional ocean plan. Following the establishment of the National Ocean Policy in 2010, a planning body made up of New England states, local tribes and federal agencies came together to coordinate the efforts of all agencies that work on ocean-related issues. The result: a draft plan that streamlines ocean management at all levels of government.