Peter Shelley

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Restore New England’s Coastal Fisheries
by Peter Shelley

Once, large predatory cod and other fish were found close to shore in every embayment in New England chowing down on the plentiful runs of river herring and shad that ran in and out of New England’s rivers. Now, famous fisheries in places like Penobscot Bay are gone and have been gone for 50 years or more, despite virtually no commercial finfish fishing during that time. Rebuilding these inshore fisheries will be a long process, but we can start by restoring critical habitat for their prey species.

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CLF Calls to Shut Down New England Cod Fishery
by Peter Shelley

Yesterday the story of New England’s cod fishery took another tragic turn when the New England Fishery Management Council voted to drastically cut catch limits for New England’s two cod stocks—Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank cod—by 77 and 61 percent, respectively. Now is not the time for denial. It is not the time for timid decisions and unconscionable risk. It is time to make the painful, necessary steps towards a better future for fishing in New England. Rather than arguing over the scraps left after decades of mismanagement, we should shut the cod fishery down and protect whatever cod are left.

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Court Upholds New England’s Landmark Fishing Law
by Peter Shelley

This week, the federal First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston dashed the hopes of the cities of New Bedford and Gloucester to throw out the management structure that has been in place since May 2010 for harvesting cod, haddock, flounder and other groundfish. The court upheld a prior decision by the district court in favor of the government and CLF, which intervened on the side of federal agencies.

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Massachusetts’s New Sustainable Water Management Initiative Disappoints
by Peter Shelley

In 2010, CLF and three other Massachusetts conservation groups walked away from water policy discussions, terminally frustrated that the talks would produce any meaningful change that would stem the increasing trend of streams being drawn dry by public and private water suppliers. To his credit, Governor Patrick encouraged us to come back to the table with a promise that the fundamental protection for fish provided under the water supply law, the so-called “safe yield” limit, would be interpreted by the state to protect fish populations.The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has now released the long-awaited fruits of those renewed discussions: the “Sustainable Water Management Initiative” Framework.

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Smooth Sailing with Clean Diesel
by Peter Shelley

In 2011, CLF Ventures, the strategy-consulting arm of CLF, received a grant from the EPA to help two New England fishing/whale watching vessels replace the aging, inefficient engines on their vessels with cleaner-burning, more efficient four-stroke diesel engines. In this video, Captain Brad Cook of the Atlantic Queen II and Captain Chris Charos of Captain’s…

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More Congressional Fisheries Misdirection
by Peter Shelley

Despite its caption, the “Transparent and Science-Based Fishery Management Act of 2012,” H.R. 6350, introduced by U.S. Representative John Runyun of New Jersey just hours before Congress adjourned for summer recess on August 2nd is a misguided piece of legislation.

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What Single-Celled Diatoms Know That We Can’t Seem To Take Seriously
by Peter Shelley

A recent scientific article from four Maine ocean scientists reminded me of a not-very-good environmental joke. An archangel was reporting to God all the terrible things that humans had done to the earth’s environment. God listened patiently as the list expanded, interjecting regularly that the archangel was not to worry; these events had all been anticipated. But when the angel reported that there was now a hole in the ozone layer, God bolted upright in shock: “I told them not to mess with the ozone layer!”

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Mega Millions, Fishery-Style
by Peter Shelley

Federal fishery managers rolled the dice on the New England cod fishery on Monday, once again. It is hard to escape the premonition that they fell well short of their responsibility. We think catch levels were set too high, too little was done to reduce the growing cod catches of recreational fishermen, and nothing was done to balance fishermen’s economic and social pain by directing the small allocation of Gulf of Maine cod toward coastal fishing boats.