Category Archive: Guest Column

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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Guest Column – Offshore wind: A perspective from BOEM

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As recently reported by Commercial Fisheries News, several fisheries representatives were invited to visit the Thanet offshore wind facility in England to speak with regulators and fishermen about issues regarding offshore wind development (see CFN May 2013).  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) applauds such opportunities for engagement, as they provide valuable insight to …

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Guest Column – Cable projects: Bringing wind energy to shore

One often-overlooked aspect of offshore wind energy development is how the energy will be brought onshore.  Transmission cables carrying the energy created by offshore wind turbines must cross the ocean, make landfall – often in working waterfront areas – and connect to land-based power stations. As much as offshore wind development may affect your operations …

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Guest Column – Wind farm planning: How to be heard

Many fishermen are asking what they can do to preserve fishing opportunities in the wake of ocean wind energy development.  The answer is threefold:  be aware of what is being proposed in your area; know what governmental body is in charge; and engage early and often in the regulatory processes. Multiple state and federal entities …

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