Interview of the Week: David Abel

Interview of the Week: David Abel

David Abel is a filmmaker and an award-winning reporter who covers fisheries and environmental issues for The Boston Globe. His most recent film “Entangled,” chronicles the efforts to protect North Atlantic right whales from extinction, the impacts of those efforts on the lobster industry, and how NOAA has struggled to balance the vying interests. The film, which […]

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Maine Lobster Businesses Trapped By Virus and Trump Tariffs

Maine Lobster Businesses Trapped By Virus and Trump Tariffs

The Hill and Time Magazine report that, despite all his pandering, President Trump is not winning over Maine’s lobster fishers nor is he helping Maine’s embattled Republican Senator Susan Collins.  Trump’s trade war with China and the coronavirus have delivered a one-two punch to the lobster industry in Maine. 

Why This Matters:  Unfortunately for Trump and Senator Susan Collins (in a tough re-election fight), his efforts to “help” are, according to The Hill, “falling flat.” 

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North Atlantic Right Whale and Many Species of Lemurs Now Critically Endangered

North Atlantic Right Whale and Many Species of Lemurs Now Critically Endangered

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is the global authority when it comes to whether a species is at risk of extinction, yesterday added the North Atlantic Right Whale of the eastern U.S. to its list of Critically Endangered species (elevated from Endangered) that are on the brink of extinction.  The IUCN also “upgraded” 13 different species of lemurs to the Critically Endangered list along with 20 other lemur species at risk of imminent extinction.

Why This Matters:  These species are on the verge of going extinct not because of anything they did, but rather because of us humans.

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NOAA Delays Urgently Needed Right Whale Protections Again

NOAA Delays Urgently Needed Right Whale Protections Again

The Boston Globe’s David Abel reported on Twitter last week that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is, according to court filings, delaying new protections for critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales even after a court found the agency in violation of the Endangered Species Act for its failure to take action to protect them.

Why This Matters:  There are fewer than 400 North Atlantic Right Whales remaining.
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Can New Technology Save the North Atlantic Right Whale? Yes, But Only If It’s Used

Can New Technology Save the North Atlantic Right Whale? Yes, But Only If It’s Used

Earlier this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report on large whale entanglements, looking at data from 2007 to 2018, and found that entanglements are up significantly, with 80% of those involving fishing gear. 

Why This Matters:  Emerging technologies that eliminate the ropes in the water column have been developed — the “catch” is getting fishers to use it.

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Fishers Caught In Coronavirus Storm, Some Change Business Model While Others Sit It Out

Fishers Caught In Coronavirus Storm, Some Change Business Model While Others Sit It Out

With many fishermen all around the U.S. forced to stop fishing due to restaurant closures and lack of tourism caused by the coronavirus, many are changing their businesses to sell directly to supermarkets and other retailers for home consumption. 

Why This Matters:  Like family farms, in the U.S., family-owned and small fishing businesses almost all struggle to stay in business due to stiff competition from cheap imports, and that was before COVID -19 struck.

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