Monthly Archives: May 2012

Working with Fishermen to Improve their Fishing Businesses

Photo by Don Cuddy Commercial fisherman Frank Mirarchi of Scituate and Emilie Litsinger, groundfish project manager for EDF

Commercial Fisherman Frank Mirarchi of Scituate & Emilie Litsinger, groundfish project manager of EDF. Photo by Don Cuddy

The transition of the New England groundfish fishery to sector management has been a major cultural and economic shift for the fishery. Emilie Litsinger, our Groundfish Project manager, was featured in a recent story illuminating some of the relationships we have formed with fishermen to assist their transition to the new system by providing business tools and planning. “We care about the fish but we also care about the fishermen,” she said to South Coast Today. “We want them to succeed so we hired business consultants to look at the problems facing fishermen like Frank and to help them, not only with prices, but also to develop new marketing initiatives.” Our partnerships with fishermen go beyond achieving sustainable fisheries; we want them to have successful businesses as well. Read the full story here.

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I’ll Have the Cod, Please

Being a conscientious seafood lover is difficult today. What is sustainable? What is not? We wrote an op-ed published in the Boston Globe yesterday that we hope will help clarify the right choices to make in order to support both local fishermen and fish stocks. Given the ups and downs of fish populations, what matters most is having a management system in place that puts the fishery on a path to long term stability. Read the op-ed.


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Catch Shares Gain New Allies In Close House Vote

In a disappointing move for the environment and the fishing industry, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a rider that would effectively ban new federal catch shares for fisheries in the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico.

Thanks in large part to catch shares, many fisheries in the United States have been turning a corner after decades of overfishing, massive job losses and closures. Fish caught in catch shares currently account for about half of the value and over three quarters of the volume of commercial landings in federal waters.

Some fisheries still under conventional management have not yet recovered, causing fishermen to suffer. This misguided rider would thwart progress and take a proven tool off the table for struggling fishermen and regional fishery management councils.

The rider was approved by a vote of 220-191, a smaller margin than when a similar rider was approved last year by a vote of 259-159. More members of Congress have come to oppose a ban because they want to make our oceans more sustainable for the fish and fishermen.  Read More »

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