If you picked up The Boston Globe on Sunday, you may have noticed this striking photograph of a scuba diver swimming through a lush, colorful kelp forest. The photo might have been familiar to you – it was taken by our friend Brian Skerry on Cashes Ledge, one of the most remarkable places in the Gulf of Maine.
The Globe’s front-page article lays out some of the reasons why Cashes Ledge is so important – it says “the frigid waters and glacier-sculpted peaks are home to a billowy kelp forest and an abundant array of life, from multicolored anemones to cod the size of refrigerators”; notes that the Ledge has been protected from trawling for more than a decade, creating a sanctuary of biodiversity; and acknowledges the importance of Cashes Ledge as a breeding ground for depleted cod.
But the article also points out that Cashes Ledge is at immediate risk. This fall, the New England Fishery Management Council is considering reopening the Cashes Ledge closed area to harmful bottom trawling. Its current favored proposal would eliminate protection for three quarters of the current closed area and threaten this thriving ecosystem. The Globe asked Brian Skerry what he thought of this proposal, and he couldn’t have been more clear: “Protection must happen now if there is any hope of holding on to what remains.”
We agree. Cashes Ledge deserves protection. Check out the Globe’s article, and if you agree, please sign our petition asking fisheries managers to maintain full protection for Cashes Ledge and the surrounding areas.