New England’s cod and other groundfish populations have plummeted to historic lows because of decades of overfishing. Our current system of monitoring isn’t bringing back accurate data, and a new amendment is an opportunity to improve it.
Atlantic herring is the main source of food for larger fish, whales, and seabirds. However, New England fishery managers currently don’t take herring’s key role as a food source into account when determining how many herring fisherman can catch. Now, there’s a chance to improve how New England sets herring catch limits.
After 14 years of development, a newly approved plan for managing New England’s fisheries should have prioritized protection of important ocean habitats and improved the long-term well-being of our fishing economy. Instead, in a short-sighted decision, fishery managers put fragile habitats and overfished species at even greater risk than they are today.