EDFish

Selected tag(s): Atlantic

How can building and strengthening international institutions help achieve climate resilient fisheries?

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a multi-part blog series, Fisheries for the Future, examining the impacts from climate change on global fisheries and the opportunities to address these emerging challenges. Throughout the series, we’ll be investigating how climate change will impact the world’s supply and distribution of fish and what we can do to ensure the most sustainable future for ourselves and our planet. Learn more about this work: Resilient Seas

History is written in no small part through the conflicts over shared resources between neighboring countries, as each party tries to maintain its share of the pie. But in the ocean, these issues tend to be exacerbated. One of the key ocean resources is fish, which are out of sight and mobile, swimming long distances to find optimal breeding or feeding grounds. Now, with rapidly warming ocean waters due to climate change, the stakes are even higher as fish shift out of areas where they’ve traditionally been found, often crossing international boundaries. Read More »

Posted in Climate and Fisheries Series / Also tagged , , | Comments are closed

Charting a Course for Gulf of Maine Cod: Part II

Atlantic cod

Atlantic Cod; Photo Credit: NOAA

Yesterday, I recounted the recent history of assessments of the Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod stock that has led to a looming crisis for many New England fishermen, and the management response underway in the form of emergency action.  Today, I discuss two major goals that will most effectively use the time before us to potentially change our understanding of cod status, and avoid or minimize socio-economic hardship.

Expand our scientific perspective
Before the 2011 assessment had even been reviewed, a barrage of criticisms began to be levied.  To be sure, many decisions made during the assessment could have gone a different direction, including data to include or exclude, values for key parameters, and determination of reference points.  Renowned ecologist E.O. Wilson once observed that ecology is far more complex than physics, and fisheries science is a close cousin of ecology.  There are few universal rules for how to assess fish stocks, and the discipline relies heavily on experience, professional judgment, vigorous debate, peer review, and trial and error.  The GOM cod assessment was not lacking in any of those elements.  In my view, the assessment was done right, was done well, and should be commended for achieving what it set out to do.  Gerrymandering the assessment to get a more favorable outcome is both bad practice and bad policy. Read More »

Posted in New England / Also tagged , , , , | Comments are closed