Thursday, February 9, 2017

Fisheries Workshop

COA’s Coastal Policy Attorney recently attended a 3 day Marine Resource Education Program Science 100 level course to learn more about fisheries science and management and connect with commercial and recreational fishermen and women who are passionate about learning more about these ecosystems. The workshop covered a wide array of topics ranging from how scientists determine the age of a fish and survey the mid-Atlantic, how commercial and recreational landing numbers are incorporated into stock assessments, and ever more pressing, how we can determine the ways in which fish and fishing grounds are changing due to ocean warming. Two things become very clear from this workshop; first is that there is much common ground between all types of ocean users who depend upon a clean and functioning marine environment.  While COA does not work on fisheries issues directly, our focus on marine water quality and prevention of offshore industrial activities supports healthy ecosystems and the fish that depend upon them. When the ocean is clean and industry free, we all win. Secondly, the workshop makes clear that continued investment from State, Federal, and Local entities in science and research, for fisheries, and for our marine ecosystem, is critical in understanding the health of fish stocks, as well as the greater marine ecosystem. A changing climate and all types of human uses are changing our cherished blue world. It is critical that we invest the time and money to understand the extent and pace of these changes.

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