Selected tag(s): NE Groundfish

Disaster Funds and Cod Problems: Setting the Record Straight about Fisheries in New England


Photo from NOAA

New England has received a lot of media attention recently about the fisheries disaster declared by President Barack Obama. The precipitous decline in groundfish in New England waters has created an imminent need to help fishermen and fishing communities that depend on stable healthy fish populations.

It is important to dispense with false rumors and to set the record straight.  There is an effort on the part of some to claim that catch shares are somehow responsible for the New England groundfish population declines. To claim this is to suggest that fishermen have exceeded their catch limits and are not following the rules. This is simply not true. In fact, sector fishermen have been working hard to stay under their catch limits, and in some cases remain well below these limits.

In reality, the disaster declaration was based on the fact that there are changes happening in the ecosystem that are impeding the rebuilding of fish populations.  We are forced to confront the frightening reality that fishing is changing in part because our oceans are changing.  We are dealing with a resource problem, not a management problem. Read More »

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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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