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It’s rare that fishers follow stocks—it costs more money to take a longer voyage—but allows some larger vessels to take advantage of the quotas allowed at different ports.
Why This Matters: Fishery managers set limits on when, where, and how many fish of different species can be caught in a given region. Most current policies still assume fish populations are in equilibrium and haven’t taken the shifting population into account. This study can help inform management to update their regulations, which could allow boats to still fish close to their home port.
As the study authors write: “While fisheries in the Northeast United States have a long history of social and economic transformations, climate change has the potential to compound already unprecedented levels of fishing industry consolidation, community decline, and livelihood precarity.”
Overfishing and Climate Change: In New England, the situation of the region’s Atlantic cod highlights the intersection of past fishery management decisions and future ones. Cod is overfished and many of the species’ old spawning grounds have been destroyed, leaving the fish with a near-zero chance of rebuilding their numbers any time soon. Over the past decade, management decisions that didn’t take the rapidly-warming Gulf of Maine into account may have allowed too many fish to be caught. Now, the climate crisis is disrupting spawning and their food source—and leaving fishers increasingly squeezed.
Perspective from the Fishing Boats: Fishers observe the shifts in the ocean firsthand, giving them unique insight into how fish stocks are changing. But while many of the fishers interviewed for the study noted changes in the fish they could catch and warmer water, they chalked it up to “cyclic changes” and “see scientists over-attributing [outcomes] to climate change.” This perception is also a data point: “Rather than any simple rejection or countering of scientists’ climate change claims,” the authors write, “we find fishers’ theories of environmental change to be important qualifications relative to how climate change is experienced ‘on the ground.’”
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Research has found that smoke and ash from Australia’s massive 2019 and 2020 wildfires triggered widespread algal blooms thousands of miles away. The Duke University-led study reported that the phenomenon could be effective in sequestering additional carbon, but algal blooms can also be toxic and devastating to wildlife and […]
You may remember our special Earth Day interview with Friend of the Planet, Brian Skerry. Well, he’s in the news again, but this time for working on the Emmy Award-winning documentary, Secrets of the Whales. The four-part series explores the complex lives of five whale species, including orcas, humpbacks, belugas, narwhals, and sperm whales. […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer A motion rejecting deep-sea mining was largely supported by delegates at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, currently meeting in Marseille, France. The motion calls for a moratorium on extracting minerals from deep below the ocean surface, as well as reforms for the International Seabed Authority, which is responsible for […]
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