Georges Bank

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President Obama Bans Atlantic and Arctic Drilling
by Peter Shelley

In another major victory for the environment and ocean conservation before President-elect Trump takes office, President Obama has banned offshore oil and gas drilling in large expanses of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. To do so, the President used the authority granted to him by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953, which states:…

News Clips
The Potential of the Gulf of Maine

… Over the past year, Cashes Ledge and several canyons and seamounts on or near the southern edge of Georges Bank have been proposed as national monuments. We won’t know the outcome for sure until January 2017, but the question remains: Is there a need for a few carefully selected areas in the Gulf of…

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Another Hard Year Ahead for Cod and Cod Fishermen
by Allison Lorenc

May 1 marked the start of the 2016 fishing year, which means new regulations for New England’s fisheries and fishermen. Just days before the season opening, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approved new catch limits for the 20 groundfish stocks managed by the agency, including Atlantic cod. The catch limits are part of new…

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Right Whales and Cashes Ledge: How to Make a Good Thing Last
by Tricia Jedele

In late January, North Atlantic right whales scored a big win when the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expanded the critical habitat for the endangered whale from 4,500 square nautical miles to 28,000 square nautical miles. The original area included only a portion of Cape Cod Bay and an area east of Nantucket near the Great…

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Oil Exploration Threatens New England Waters and Economy
by Peter Shelley

This is the second in a three-part series on the recent oil-related developments in Canada – and what they mean for New England. You can read the first blog, introducing the problem with Nova Scotia’s new exploration leases and the threats they pose to endangered whales here. The final blog will cover the approval of…

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This Week on TalkingFish.org – December 21-25
by Allison Lorenc

December 22 – A ‘Genuis’ Fisherman’s Idea for a Cod Comeback – This latest piece in the Pew Charitable Trust series on the Magnuson-Stevens Act 40th anniversary features Maine fisherman and MacArthur “Genius” Ted Ames. His work to better understand the ecological history of cod shows a potential path to a recovery for the fishery by…

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Will Atlantic Cod Exist in 2036?
by Peter Shelley

Imagine it’s 20 years from now, and your grandchild is about to head to bed – but first, she wants to hear a favorite bedtime story, “the one about the fish.” You pull it off the shelf – Mark Kurlansky’s The Cod’s Tale – and begin reading. Unbidden, her eyes widen at the vivid illustrations of…

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Baked Cod: The Path Forward in an Era of Climate Change
by Peter Shelley

In recent weeks, we learned more sobering news for New England’s cod population. A paper published in Science detailed how rapidly increasing ocean temperatures are reducing cod’s productivity and impacting – negatively – the long-term rebuilding potential of New England’s iconic groundfish. The paper confirmed both the theoretical predictions associated with climate change and the recent…

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The Death of Atlantic Cod: The Convenience of Denial
by Peter Shelley

Atlantic cod’s future in New England is overshadowed with existential dread. With so many opinions flying around about what the “science” says or what the fishermen “see,” trying to make sense of what is going on with Atlantic cod with any precision seems a fool’s errand. However, we must not fall victim to the convenience…