Fishery Management Council Spares Cashes Ledge But Puts Other Ocean Habitat at Risk

Apr 24, 2015 at 5:51pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Cashes ledge, a spectacular underwater mountain range in the Gulf of Maine, has for now been spared by the New England Fishery Management Council, which met this week to vote on whether to open this biodiversity hotspot to the most destructive forms of commercial fishing. But, while the Cashes Ledge Closed Area survived the Council vote intact, that fate is not shared by other important ecological areas found within the Gulf of Maine. In addition to maintaining current protections for Cashes Ledge, the Council voted to add a new area of ocean habitat in the Eastern Gulf of Maine. That’s the good news. The bad news, however, adds up to laundry list of poor decision making that puts the health of our ocean, fisheries, and fishing economy at risk, as read more…

This Week on TalkingFish.org – April 20-24

Apr 24, 2015 at 4:15pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

April 21 – NOAA Warns New England Fishery Council Not to Weaken Ocean Habitat Protection – You might think that habitat protection would be an obvious priority in New England, which has the country’s worst record on overfishing and depleted fish stocks. Unfortunately, this long-overdue plan to manage the region’s ocean habitat could end up slashing protected areas by roughly 70 percent. April 21 – Incorporating Community into Regional Ocean Planning – It is well documented that the waters off of New England are changing. Between shifts in the ecosystem and changing use patterns, the future of coastal communities is uncertain. What is certain is that the future of our coastal communities is intertwined with decisions about how we use and manage these waters. A well-executed ocean plan will help these communities read more…

Earth Day Irony: Ocean Habitat Faces Threat of Destruction

Apr 17, 2015 at 6:55pm by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

This Earth Day, the spectacular underwater ecosystem known as Cashes Ledge faces the threat of destruction. Take action now to protect Cashes Ledge. Located in the Gulf of Maine, only about 80 miles from the coast, Cashes Ledge is a remarkable and irreplaceable ocean habitat. A governmental body known as the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) is entrusted with protecting habitats for fish in our region. But they have betrayed the public trust by moving forward with a draft plan to open much of Cashes Ledge to bottom trawling and other destructive forms of fishing. They are voting at their April meeting – timed to take place over Earth Day – on whether to finalize their dangerous recommendation! In recent months, more than 152,000 comments were submitted to the Council read more…

This Week on TalkingFish.org – April 13-17

Apr 17, 2015 at 2:49pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

April 14 – Fisherman Finds a Way to Help Sea Animals Avoid Needless Death on Hooks – Palmer’s creation shows how ingenuity can help solve a pressing problem for marine life. Each year, some kinds of traditional fishing gear incidentally kill large numbers of marine animals, a problem known as bycatch. But in certain cases, changing the types of lines, nets, hooks, or other options can reduce the problem. Palmer and I agree that under the right circumstances, alternative gear such as his can make sense both for the environment and some fishermen. April 16 – Let’s Keep the ‘Status of the Stocks’ Strong – The just-released report indicates that we continue to make important headway in ending overfishing and reducing the number of overfished stocks. In addition, the agency finds that read more…

Update on the EPSA Case in the U.S. Supreme Court

Apr 13, 2015 at 4:42pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

On February 19, I posted a blog here about the pending EPSA case in the U. S. Supreme Court, which case addresses the use so-called “demand response” (DR) as a way of reducing the amount of electricity that is used, and thereby reducing both the cost of electricity to ratepayers and the carbon emissions caused by electricity generators.  I explained that CLF had filed an amicus curiæ brief in the Supreme Court, and my earlier blog contained links to CLF’s Supreme Court brief and to other documents in the case. After that blog was posted, I received many questions about the case from legislators and others; so on February 20, I posted a second blog with answers to many of those questions. Last week, another round of briefs was filed read more…

This Week on TalkingFish.org – April 6-10

Apr 10, 2015 at 4:17pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

April 6 – A Habitat Committee Without Particular Concern for Habitat – Is New England’s fishery management system broken? It certainly seems so after last week, when the stakeholder body that designs and recommends plans and methodologies for managing our fisheries flagrantly ignored the direction of its parent agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), as well as the wishes of a large segment of the public that ultimately owns the resource. April 6 – Menhaden Recovery Still Incomplete in New England – A recent article distributed by the fishing industry web site Saving Menhaden tells a great story about the ongoing recovery of Atlantic menhaden. The article’s claims are supported by mainstream media accounts that celebrate what happens when menhaden return to local waters. Unfortunately, both the story and the recovery read more…

It’s Possible

Apr 10, 2015 at 9:02am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

A walk along Boston Harbor today reveals a waterfront that’s both beautiful and vibrant. Water taxis and sailboats skim its waters; tourists and locals stroll along its shores; fishermen catch striped bass right off the docks; and waterside restaurants brighten the evening. It’s hard to believe that, barely a generation ago, this same harbor was in crisis, a dirty and rancid stew of raw sewage and toxic pollution. Back then, it was deemed the problem too big, too dirty, too impossible to solve. No one wanted to step up and do anything about it. But, rather than back down from this challenge, we at CLF declared we were going to take back Boston Harbor from the polluters. And we did. It was really kind of outrageous at the time that read more…

A Single Word Could Restore Maine Energy Efficiency Funding

Apr 8, 2015 at 2:57pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

A recent decision by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) severely limits energy efficiency funding in the state. If the decision stands, Efficiency Maine Trust – the public entity that runs energy efficiency programs – would see its near-term budget cut from about $60 million to $22 million. This drastic cut in energy efficiency funding would essentially eliminate the cornerstone of sound energy policy in Maine. Fixing this mistake is vital to the state’s energy future. The fix is easy (the entire fiasco boils down to the single word “and”), but the backstory is more complicated. The Backstory Energy efficiency works  The more energy consumers use, the more energy must be generated. Whether that energy comes from coal, natural gas, or renewable sources, the cost to generate that energy goes read more…

Quiet and Hardworking: Energy Efficiency

Apr 8, 2015 at 10:28am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

We all know them. Every family and office has at least one. That quiet and hardworking member of the team that day in and day out gets the job done. No fanfare needed. Just consistently delivering results. In the world of energy, that quiet and hardworking team member is energy efficiency. Every day, it cuts costs and cuts pollution, both for electricity and for heating. In doing so, it makes us better prepared for the future when climate change demands that we move away from fossil fuels and rely on cleaner and lower cost electricity. At about half the cost of generating electricity, energy efficiency remains the lowest cost electric power resource. If we didn’t cut electric energy use with energy efficiency we would pay twice as much to buy read more…

A Habitat Committee with No Particular Concern for Habitat

Apr 8, 2015 at 9:01am by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

Is New England’s fishery management system broken? It certainly seems so after the latest meeting of the New England Fishery Management Council’s Habitat Committee. The Committee met recently to finalize its recommendations to the full Council as to the management measures that will best protect habitat where fish spawn, feed, and find shelter. However, those recommendations will do anything but protect habitat – at least not in the way they should. Indeed, the Committee instead endorsed measures that favor commercial fishing interests, while flouting the directions of the Council’s parent agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and ignoring entirely the wishes of more than 152,000 members of the public. With the full Council expected to log its final vote on habitat protection measures later this month, the Committee’s actions could be read more…

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