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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.’”
UNESCO has launched a new program to collect, analyze, and monitor environmental DNA (AKA eDNA) to better understand biodiversity at its marine World Heritage sites. Scientists will collect genetic material from fish cells, mucus, and waste across multiple locations along with eDNA from soil, water, and air. The two-year project will help experts assess […]
It’s about time we had a conversation about the birds and the bees…or in this case, the otters and the seagrass. A new study found that the ecological relationship between sea otters and the seagrass fields where they make their home is spurring the rapid reproduction of the plants. Otters dig up about 5% of […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor An abandoned oil tanker off the coast of Yemen is deteriorating rapidly, and experts say that a hull breach could have far-reaching environmental impacts and threaten millions of people’s access to food and water supplies. The FSO SAFER tanker holds 1.1 million barrels of oil — more than four […]
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