Fishery management in the Northeast has been harshly criticized in the recent past, but the proof is in the pudding.
The management system Dartmouth’s Dr.Brian Rothschild calls "broken and dysfunctional" is the same system that tripled total sea scallop fleet revenues, rebuilt Georges Bank stocks of haddock, redfish, winter flounder, brought Gulf of Maine cod back from near collapse, and has sustainably managed the monkfish and herring fisheries to the point where they are no longer overfished. All of these improvements have directly benefitted New England fishermen.
Twenty years ago, the Mid-Atlantic fluke population dropped to less than 15 percent of sustainable levels, due to overfishing. But thanks to a strengthened rebuilding plan, this fish has bounced back. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted this week to increase the quota for fluke. In 2011, according to NMFS, the fishery reached the target rebuilding level for the stock. "Healthy fish populations provide better fishing opportunities; create jobs that support local, coastal communities; and help ensure stronger, more resilient oceans.”
Fish fraud continues as three Delaware Bay fishermen and a seafood wholesaler are among those indicted by a federal grand jury in Camden, NJ on charges of falsifying catch records and selling illegally harvested oysters. Know where your fish comes from.
Alaska’s Bristol Bay is home to what may be the world’s greatest salmon run. A copper mine is being proposed at the head of Bristol Bay that could cause irreparable damage to the 40 million fish that spawn in its waters. Local opposition is strong and let’s hope that this national treasure does not fall prey to greed.
Some beautiful fish will be accompanied by local summer vegetables on Wednesday as Chef Evan Hanczor offers a Farm Dinner at Williamsburg Brooklyn’s Egg Restaurant. Yum.