With fishery regulators poised to impose devastating cuts on the New England fleet, blame for the disappearance of once-abundant cod and flounder populations is shifting from fishermen to a warming ocean, reports Beth Daley at the Boston Globe. Warming waters and an evolving ocean ecosystem possibly related to man-made climate change are contributing to the anemic populations, not just decades of overfishing, government officials say. Stocks are way down and fishermen are recording sea bottom water temperatures that are far warmer than they should be. Researchers are just beginning to understand how the vast Gulf of Maine is responding to global warming and exactly what will happen to fragile fish populations. They acknowledge they don’t know whether prized cod and flounder stocks will ever rebound — and if they don’t, what species will take their place. “While we are not blaming fishermen, this is not good news,’’ said John Bullard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s regional chief. “We can control overfishing — it’s hard but we can do it — but how do you control this?” The only option is to dramatically restrict fishing and hope the fish come back.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. This is how YOU can make a difference.
Drastic cuts in fish quotas expected. With fishery regulators poised to impose devastating cuts on the New England fleet, blame for the disappearance of once-abundant cod and flounder populations is shifting from fishermen to a new culprit: the changing ocean. Boston Globe http://bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2012/12/20/with-drastic-fishing-cuts-expected-thursday-blame-for-disappearing-cod-shifts-ocean/OydWAwHlQcZwWxL6eIXzSI/story.html