Category Archive: Guest Column

A much needed revolution in fishery stock assessment

Dr. Kevin Stokesbury is about to turn the world of fishery stock surveys on its head. Fishermen have long maintained the NMFS stock assessment for Atlantic cod is out of touch with reality.  Commercial boats fishing for healthy stocks such as pollock and haddock are finding codfish so plentiful they can’t keep them out of …

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Guest Column – Now that draft regional ocean plan is out…

Now that draft regional ocean plan is out, fishermen again encouraged to comment and help shape final document by Amy Trice and Anne Hawkins In Commercial Fisheries News May issue, the background, impending release, and need for fishermen to comment on the draft Northeast Regional Ocean Plan were discussed. The Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) is now accepting …

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Northeast Ocean Plan to be released in May: Comments welcomed, participation encouraged

In mid-May, an important New England ocean planning document will be released.  Fishermen in the Northeast should take advantage of the 60-day public comment period that will follow. The Northeast Ocean Plan is a regionally developed blueprint that coordinates the activities of state and federal agencies responsible for New England ocean resources and involves local …

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GUEST COULMN: Mosquito fleet fights consolidation

by Brett Tolley Control over the iconic New England groundfish is concentrating into fewer hands because of catch share policy, and the future of our ocean and seafood system is at stake. According to last year’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) report, one entity controlled 25% of the entire groundfish revenue. With no safeguards in …

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GUEST COLUMN: Regulations have done little to boost depleted cod stocks; Maine’s lobster management approach offers clear direction

The following originally appeared as an op-ed in the Bangor Daily News (BDN) and is reprinted here by permission of the BDN. —Editor   Colonial America’s first true industry, groundfishing, has followed the path of many others. Technology improved as the industrial revolution took hold – it kept improving afterward – and a growing population …

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New bluefin stock assessments show stunning reversal in abundance

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by Rich Ruais As recently as 2009, the Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRS) to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) was warning that the eastern Atlantic stock of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea faced “a high risk of fisheries and stock collapse.” This implied terrible stock condition led …

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GUEST COLUMN – Reject distractions; fix catch shares now

by Brett Tolley Three years ago, I sat among a group of fishermen testifying before the New England Fishery Management Council that the new catch share program was not working and needed to be fixed.  The fleet was consolidating, access was becoming unaffordable to owner-operators, and inshore fishing areas were coming under increased pressure.  Several …

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Guest Column – Disaster aid distribution raises tough questions

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by David Pierce Disaster aid is the talk of the waterfront and within the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), too.  And why wouldn’t it be?  Many groundfish fishermen have been hit hard by very low groundfish catch limits, individual allocations small enough to fill a teacup, and just a plain lack of fish. Lack …

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Guest Column – Industry gives thumbs up to electronic reporting

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In the fall of 2012, the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) brought together fishermen, dealers, and fisheries managers to better understand the potential pros and cons of electronic reporting. Electronic reporting by fishermen and dealers clearly has its advantages.  Fisheries managers have access to more timely data, allowing them to better monitor catch and …

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Guest Column – Coping with wind farms through ‘best practices,’ mitigation, planning – John Williamson

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In the global picture, offshore wind power is an increasing part of the energy mix in Europe, China, and Japan.  The world leader in offshore wind production, the United Kingdom (UK), which includes England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, has ambitious plans for quadrupling its present capacity by 2020.  The race is on. Although the …

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