Regulations to restock fisheries and keep fishermen safe ought to go hand in hand. Unfortunately, in an effort to control how many fish are caught, regulators frequently impose rules that end up putting fishermen in harm’s way. For instance, if fishermen are limited to a set number of days on the water, there is pressure to go out and stay out, no matter the weather conditions. This time constraint also makes it less likely that captains and crew will take safety precautions and get enough rest.
EDF Oceans has joined safety advocates and families of commercial fishermen who have lost their lives at sea in signing a letter urging the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to ensure that rules to control overfishing do not result in unsafe conditions for fishermen.
The letter, signed by members of the Safe at Sea Network, as well as other fishing safety advocates, says, “When it comes to fishing safety, management plans should ‘first do no harm.’” Read More
Left to Right: EDF National Policy Specialist Melissa Carey, Former Senator Slade Gorton III, Former Representative Robin Tallon & Representative Chellie Pingree.
Photo Credit: David Hills
This week more than 100 fishermen, chefs and seafood distributors from around the country gathered in Washington, D.C. to talk with members of Congress about sustainable fishing and the need to keep catch shares in the tool box for our nation’s fisheries managers.
Recently, some in Congress have attempted to take catch shares off the table for fishery managers; limiting regional councils’ ability to make the best decision for their fishermen.
Catch shares help eliminate overfishing and restore fish stocks by dividing the total scientifically approved allowable catch among the fishermen and ending short seasons and derbies. Catch shares have been proven to recover fish populations, increase compliance with catch limits, reduce waste, stabilize revenue and increase business efficiency.
In more than 115 meetings, the fishermen and chefs stood together to make it clear that catch shares are working, they are making American fisheries more sustainable and they have had positive impacts not only on fishermen, but the seafood industry. Read More