White House, Greens target Atlantic fishing grounds

“The sacred cod.”  On March 17th, 1784, Mr. John Rowe of Boston arose from his seat in the Hall of Representatives at the Old State House, and offered the following motion: “That leave might be given to hang up the representation of a cod fish in the room where the House sit[s], as a memorial of the importance of the Cod-Fishery to the welfare of the Commonwealth….”

A symbolic cod was placed in the hall, and was later moved to the new State House building in 1798. There it has remained ever since.

Fishermen and seafood-dependent communities in New England are Fishing fleetbattening down the hatches, fearing that an Obama administration move to create a giant Atlantic Marine Monument will spell the end to their way of life.

Led by Earthjustice, the Conservation Law Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographic Society, and the Pew Charitable Trust, environmentalists are urging the White House to use the 1906 Antiquities Act to designate a 6,000-square-mile area in the Gulf of Maine and off the coast of Massachusetts as a National Monument. The area is home to spectacular geological formations, including Cashes Ledge, an underwater mountain system, and the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts, an undersea chain of formations about 150 miles off the Massachusetts coast.

“We have an opportunity to permanently protect two of our nation’s greatest ocean treasures, right off our coast,” Priscilla Brooks, the Conservation Law Foundation’s director of ocean conservation, told the Associated Press (September 13, 2015).

National monument designations come with severe land- and, Gloucester fishermanin this case, sea-use restrictions. For over four hundred years, the area targeted by green activists and the Obama administration has been one of the richest fishing grounds in North America.. The region’s fishermen fear that the monument could spell the end of their industry and they suspect that this is the ultimate goal of environmentalists, in and out of government.

“Excluding Commercial Fishing Activity from Certain Segments of the Ocean”

This view is shared by Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R). “These National Marine Monuments serve only one purpose – excluding commercial fishing activity from certain segments of the ocean,” he wrote in a letter to Obama in August. Fishermen are particularly concerned about being denied access to the seafood-rich Cashes Ledge. Robert Vanasse, executive director of the fishing advocacy group Saving Seafood, told the AP that the monument proposal ignores protections already in place in Cashes Ledge, including a prohibition on dredging and bottom trawling.

Marine monuments – there are currently four in the Pacific, and none in the Atlantic – are under the jurisdiction of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA typically bans commercial fishing, mining, and dredging in marine monuments.

Every bit as troubling as the monument designation itself is the use of the Antiquities Act to bring it about. Originally crafted to protect Native American sites of historical and cultural significance, the Antiquities Act has been used by the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations to declare an area a National Monument for environmental reason via executive action, with little if any local input. “There shouldn’t be a couple of people sitting around a table in the West Wing deciding this kind of thing,” Saving Seafood’s Vanasse told the AP.

A decision on the monument designation is expected in early 2016. Entering his last year in office, and determined to leave behind an environmental “legacy” to augment his unilateral, anti-fossil fuel action on climate change, Obama can be counted on to give NOAA the go ahead to designate the Atlantic Marine Monument.

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About the Author: Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.

Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.

Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D., is a senior policy analyst with CFACT.

  • sapereaudeprime

    I agree that the Gulf of Maine is warming, and that the warming has human causes, but I don’t think that the scarcity of demersals can be attributed to the warming. “Warm-water” species occurred occasionally in the GoM throughout the historical record. A careful look at data from 1804 through 1977 would suggest that rampant overfishing and industrial waste have played the dominant role in the disappearance of vertebrate biota in the GoM, from the watersheds to the rivers to the estuaries to the near-shore banks to the offshore banks. To paraphrase Heraclitus, “you can’t eat the same fish twice.”

    • Well Done

      Man has nothing to do with any climate change. Don’t be a dupe.

      • sapereaudeprime

        Your choice of a symbol is an indication of your perspective. I’d rate it as limited. I have a Ph.D. in historical marine ecology as well as years of sailing experience as a licensed skipper in the Gulf of Maine, the Caribbean and trans-Atlantic. BTW, my great-great grandfather was a captain in the 9th Vermont. He led his company into Richmond in the final battle that took down that flag. Try another perspective on the earth’s ecosystem today. Take a course at the local community college in ecology, and a course in American environmental history: you’ll be much happier, and know more than you do now.

    • Joe Robinson

      Your eastern liberal elitist credentials are showing. The people and fishermen want to be left alone to live in the Liberty that was given in blood by our founding generation. People like you should stay in the ‘halls of academia’ and leave the rest of us alone. Peace.

      • sapereaudeprime

        I have carefully studied the detailed data on the catch from the Gulf of Maine on an annual basis going back to 1804. I have a very good knowledge of the marine resources there, and I have also seined herring on the NH coast, before I knew how destructive the fishing industry had become. Liberty has never been the liberty to destroy the ecosystem, which is what industrial draggers and pair seiners have done. And my ancestors were fishing, farming and preaching the Gospel in New England starting in 1630. At least two branches were burned out by tories and Indians in the Revolution, and many of my ancestors and relatives fought in that war, the preceding six Indian Wars, and every war thereafter. They did not fight to secure the right to destroy the ecosystem, but that’s what is happening. We presently have between 0 and 5% of the marine resources we had when my grandparents were born in the 1870s and 1880s. All those families who sustainably harvested the fish from 1620 until the advent of the steam seiner after the Civil War and steam trawler after 1895 are now either fishing solely on lobster or out of the fishing business altogether, and rich people from away have bought their coastal homes and shut them out of coastal access. Do you know that lobstermen now get some or all of their bait from Asia, because we have virtually extirpated the billions of herring that once spawned on our New England coast, and virtually wiped out the mackerel, shad, and menhaden, while alewives are at perhaps 10% of their 19th century numbers.

        • Borehead

          Another one that thinks fish recognize boarders. Atlantic herring are not over fished, and overfishing is not occurring. Menhaden stock assessment refutes your claim. Mackerel come and go. You claim to be a historian, you should know that. As far as Blueback’s, habitat habitat habitat. While you rail about extraction, you ignore the pollution that is the degradation of the habitat of 70% of the nations juvenile fish habitat.

          • DickyG

            This guy is a troll.

            • Brin Jenkins

              Yes he is and it seems he relies on this for his income.

              • sapereaudeprime

                I do the research for free, because I was brought up to serve the ecosystem. Both my parents were graduate biologists who taught–at Wabash and at Carleton. I am embarrassed to be the citizen of a country that has your genes in its gene pool, but at 72 I am too old to emigrate. If you think that everyone who is better educated than you and disagrees with you is a troll, vote for Trump or Cruz.

                • Brin Jenkins

                  I’m sorry, I should not have insulted you.

                  I feel very concerned that our UK fishing industry has been destroyed by political interests and now all distrust green warming campaigners. Many are very quick to insults and regrettably I treated you as one of them.

                  Brin, 80, and English.

                  • sapereaudeprime

                    Apology accepted. We have a problem in common.

                  • sapereaudeprime

                    I have spent time in England twice, btw, and love that place. I did research on the Maine/New Hampshire border at the PRO in Kew in 1999, and I attended a conference at Cambridge on the Anglo-Portuguese alliance back in 1992. What a great country!

          • sapereaudeprime

            That is the most ignorant thing I’ve read about the herring. You clearly have no idea whatsoever of the herring stocks and their movements over the past two hundred years. The herring in the Gulf of Maine today amount to less than 4% of what was there in 1902. The schools that spawned inshore for all the centuries before pair seiners appeared have vanished, Their eggs have to stick to something to mature and hatch, and they have been seined offshore for the past fifty years, before they could get to their spawning grounds. When we killled them ten miles off Seabrook in 1980, they drooled milt and eggs into the fishhold by the ton. And it’s spelled “borders.”

          • sapereaudeprime

            You have clearly never seen the numbers from the fisheries between 1804 and 1977. I have.

          • sapereaudeprime

            We’ve been polluting the riparian and estuaring ecosystem since the 1830s, with coal-gasification byproducts, then aniline dye by-products–all known toxins when they were used–there are contemporary reports about their destructive effects on the anadromous species. Then cam copper arsenate pesticides right after the Civil War, and then DDT, and now the smorgasbord of industrial toxins. But overfishing has been the chief culprit. In the 1870s Rhode Island steam seiners were exterminating menhaden in the harbor of Belfast, Maine, and up the Penobscot River as far as Winterport. The Menhaden oil factory owners bought enough of the Maine government to prevent any protective laws, even though Maine cod-fishermen petitioned to protect the menhaden because they knew that the strength of the cod fishery depended on them for forage. You need to do some more research, Borehead.

        • Jim

          The same elitists have been spewing the same garbage for years. Green alarmism since the 1800s.

          http://www.fishnet-usa.com/over_a_century_of_crises.html

          • sapereaudeprime

            Your ignorance is pathetic. How many years did it take you to get out of the 8th grade in Mississippi?

            • Jim

              Typical Elitist shithead. When you are faced with facts you resort to insults. Did you read the article? Its alarmism from the 1800s that states as fact the herring and menhaden were going to be wiped out in a few years. Kind of like you are doing now. You are a fucking fraud!

              • sapereaudeprime

                You know nothing, and apparently it’s congenital.

  • Dano2
    • Pam Dunn

      Thanks for your idiocy; Perhaps the drop is DUE to Government regulations and NOTHING else.

      • Dano2

        Thanks for your smartie! Perhaps you are utterly and completely unable to support your big wish claim with evidence!

        Best,

        D

        • sapereaudeprime

          She’s an eighth grade dropout at 17. There’s no point in trying to reason with a right-winger, they are lobotomized by their own propaganda, and not one of them has a degree in biology or ecology.

          • Brin Jenkins

            Really? How about you explaining exactly, the mechanism for man made CO2 being a bogey?

            • sapereaudeprime

              CO2, being denser than 02 stores more heat from sunlight more than O2. I think you can learn about it from the professionals. But global warming isn’t as harmful as the shrinking pH of seawater. We rely on phytoplankton for much of our oxygen, and as seawater becomes more acidic (H20 + CO2 = H2C03, carbonic acid) the phytoplankton that depend on calcareous shells die. Ocean acidification might actually kill us by removing one of our major oxygen supplies before earth overheats to a fatal degree.

              • Brin Jenkins

                I’m told its absorption and re radiation of infrared that is slowed causes a slight warming by the delay. I feel with 400 parts per million and a tiny fraction caused by humans it insignificant. Gravity bends light/radiation, in other words it is attacted to out going radiation will be slowed a little

    • MIGHTYJ

      Book em Dano….
      Cod fish have tails and they swim across imaginary lines all of the time. Many anecdotal reports of there being plenty of cod fish coupled with nearby Canadian waters being full of cod do seem to at least offer the promise of a quick come back for this fishery.
      Unfortunately the over protection of herring is causing some cod depletion due to their eggs and fru being scarfed up by the now massive herring population.

      • sapereaudeprime

        Ever study the data for the shore fishery, bank fishery, and distant water fishery? The only country that has sustainable cod fishing today is Iceland. I have eaten Icelandic cod in the Azores–the fish that the icelanders salt are 4′ long, dressed. I have caught cod off the Maine coast. The average cod caught today is less than 18″ long before it’s dressed, and they are rare. The cod caught in Ipswich Bay in the 1870s and 1880s averaged 0ver 50 lbs. Cod caught from rowboats on the Maine coast at the same time were occasionally 80-90 lbs.

  • marlene

    Green is the color of islam. America’s greenies are both. Green is also the color of the money – defund these traitors. And green is also the color of the spineless cowards who want what doesn’t belong to them and steal it to get it. Rabid fanatics all of them. THEY should be OUR target!

    • J T

      YELLOW is the color of “the spineless cowards who want what doesn’t belong to them”!

      • marlene

        lol – I agree, good call.

      • jreb57

        And red is the color of the conspiracy.

    • Dano2

      Weak hyperbole to try and hide utter lack of facts and inability to speak to the issue.

      best,

      D

      • marlene

        To what issue are YOU speaking? Where are YOUR facts? None, because you have none.

        • Dano2

          because you have none.

          You made that up.

          Do you know how I know you made that up? I presented the facts already on this thread. Days ago. That’s how I know you made that up. Maybe you are trying to keep fish stocks down to make people starve, is that it?

          Best,

          D

          • marlene

            No. Eat it.

        • jreb57

          Dano2 is likely a troll and not the first else he would be Dano1.

    • sapereaudeprime

      Nonsense. Get a lobotomy; it’ll double your IQ.

      • marlene

        I’d suggest you get one first, but you have nothing to lobotomize – LOL

        • sapereaudeprime

          Land owner since I was 11 years old. Charter-boat business owner for 7 years. Licensed skipper for over 25 years. Ph.D. environmental historian/historical ecologist with published papers, as well as published short stories, articles and poetry. And your credentials?

          • marlene

            Rocket scientist!

  • wolveyjanet

    AMERICA’S GREENIES ARE WRONG AND SO IS OBAMA ABOUT DOING THIS TO THE FISHERMEN’S LIVELY HOOD. STOP TAKING LAND AND OCEAN’S AWAY FROM THE PEOPLE WHO THEIR LIVES DEPENDS ON! THE OCEAN’S AND OUR LANDS ARE FOR EVERYONE, PERIOD! NO BODY HAS THE RIGHT TO TAKE SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T BELONG TO THEM, PERIOD!

    • sapereaudeprime

      Try taking a course in historical marine ecology. You might learn something. You are correct: nobody has the right to take something that doesn’t belong to them personally, and not one fish in the Gulf of Maine has the patented trademark of any individual citizen on it. They belong to all of us, and you can’t just go out there and kill them. Do you have any idea of how much waste is involved in the corporate industrial fishery? Do you have any idea of how many thousands of fishing families have been put out of business by giant corporate-owned factory trawlers and seiners?

      • AuBrix

        The vast majority of “giant corporate-owned factory trawlers and seiners” are owned and worked out of JAPAN and other Far East Nations.
        The US Regulations control US Coastal Fishermen. EXCEPT where Nancy Pelosi owns canneries in America Samoa and then SLAVE WAGES at that.

        • sapereaudeprime

          You will never see me defend Nancy Pelosi. But I do know how many people were fishing out of Maine ports in nearly every year between 1880 and 1977. My own ancestors were fishing out of the Isles of Shoals and later the Vineyard, and Sandwich, MA in the 17th and 18th centuries, and some of their descendants in other lines are still fishermen. But you should check your sources; I have three friends who have skippered mid-water factory trawlers in the past five years, and they all were owned by Norwegians, not Japanese.

          • AuBrix

            “The vast majority…” indicates the statement was NOT an absolute.
            The issue is that Mass Fishing is NOT an American Fleet caused problem, but the World and Greenies feel we should be the solvers or punish our industry while they do as they please everywhere else.

            • sapereaudeprime

              We’re talking about the Gulf of Maine. The problem there is American corporate vessels, not little family boats or foreign fleets.

      • jreb57

        “Do you have any idea of how much waste is involved in the corporate industrial fishery?”
        Do you have any idea of how many people would starve if you eliminated the fishing industry?

        • sapereaudeprime

          Do you have any idea of how many people are going to starve when corporate fleets vacuum every marine habitat and the largest marine animals left are jellyfish?

  • Ron

    The Greenies just keep getting crazier by the day! Do they not have anything better to do?

    • Dano2

      Protecting your food is something better to do. Or maybe you want your family to starve to death.

      best,

      D

      • jreb57

        “Protecting your food is something better to do”
        You have no interest in protecting food. The plants that we humans consume depend on CO2 and we humans depend on plants. That being said, why do you think it is a good idea to eliminate this atmospheric gas?

        • Dano2

          The topic is them thar greeny regalaytin th’ fished-out fishery.

          HTH

          Best,

          D

          • jreb57

            Well, you brought up protecting the food bubba. Greenies should not regulate anything. Too much agenda, not enough trust.

  • Rip Cunningham

    If it is the principle of closing any area that one objects to, fine. However, you might want to take a look at the proposed areas. Some of it has been closed to commercial fishing for years. Some is way off the edge of the continental shelf and has never been fished for groundfish species. Rather than pushing for either open or closed, it might make sense to put in place regulation that would protect the valuable habitat and allow fishing activities that do interact with that habitat. In any case, the Northeast groundfish industry has much larger problems than this proposed closure.

    • Borehead

      Those problems were only exacerbated during your “hitch” on the NEFMC. Its obvious you’re a Pew/CLF kinda guy.

    • Jim

      Rip the the NE Canyons are fished by an artisinal small boat(rod and reel) tuna and sword fleet that have no interaction with the sea floor. Explain to me why we should be shut out of such rich fishing grounds.

      • Rip Cunningham

        Jim, I see no reason why fishing that has no interaction with the bottom should be banned. I see that I made a typing mistake above, but tried to say just that. I have asked the same question to my “supposed comrades” at Pew and have not received a satisfactory response.

        • Jim

          Thank you for your reply and for trying to get an explaination. The whole problem here is with the way this being done. This is big money backdoor politics at its worst. No input from stake holders just big Money Pew whispering in the Presidents ear with no consideration for anyone who will be harmed by this.

          • Borehead

            Don’t forget the secret emails between these morons.

      • sapereaudeprime

        When tuna and swordfish first became marketable targets, in the years following the Civil War, tuna were an occasional weir catch literally within a pistol shot of shore, and swordfish were a harpoon fishery within sight of land. The figures on those fisheries are available in the records of the USFC publications, and often in the local papers, which noted when swordfish were taken in large numbers by the shore-boat fleet–one was taken in Portland harbor in the 1880s. A rod and reel fishery should not substantially harm the stock, provided the number of rods and reels is limited, and the fishery is regulated by area and season. You cannot eat the same fish twice, so it makes sense not to kill it until it has reproduced.

        • Jim

          There are already plenty of regulations in place to ensure we do not kill sexually immature fish and the Gulf of Mexico where the Bluefin spawn is already off limits to commercial fishing during the winter. Closing more areas does nothing to protect HM species and this deal is being done behind closed doors with no public input. By the way troll take your civil war stats and shove em up your ass.

          • sapereaudeprime

            Jim, you have no idea of what you’re talking about, and I’d suggest you not insult strangers.

            • Jim

              Dont tell me I have no idea what I am talking about I live this life everyday. My business depends on these areas being opened or closed. You pull meaningless stats from the civil war out of your ass and we are supposed to be in awe of your intelligence? The swordfish during the civil war have nothing to do with this dirty back room deal going on between PEWs big money and scumbag politicians. Stay on topic. This has nothing to do with saving fish and everything to do with corruption,greed and power.

              • sapereaudeprime

                Jim, my stats go from 1804 through 1977. They were gathered from the fishermen themselves before they finagled the “secrecy” crap that enables them to fish without sharing the locations in which they catch marketable amounts. Those stats were gathered at the behest of fishermen themselves, when they noticed an accelerating decline in catch of several marketable species, from demersals to pelagics. I don’t give a fuck what you think of my intelligence, but my data are spot on, and I have fished and seen what has happened to the Gulf of Maine since the advent of motorized seiners and otter trawlers. The data are right out there in the Govdocs, I have the hardcopy publications on my desk. If vessel size were restricted to less than 60 tons and less than 65′ or somewhere thereabouts, with only baited hooks, or gill-nets with a 12 inch mesh, I wouldn’t object at all. But the O’hare people have the small-boat owners thinking they’re all in the same boat. When the O’Hare fleet utterly eradicates all profitable fisheries in the GoM the few surviving small-boat owners will be fishing on zilch and the O’Hare ships will be in the Pacific or off the coast of Africa.

                • Borehead

                  O”Hara is in Alaska.

                  • sapereaudeprime

                    O’hara has ships in Alaska, but they also have ships in the Gulf of Maine. Their headquarters were in Rockland, Maine, in the 1970s. I got them to sign something for me around 1978, in their Rockland office, when they were relatively small. Their ships can go anywhere, constrained only by draft. I think they’ve moved their headquarters to New Bedford, MA, but I don’t know for sure.

                • Jim

                  The article is about how PEW wants to close down some of the NE Canyons to ALL commercial fishing. This is being done in a backdoor deal between PEW and Obama and is illegal. There should be input from those like myself that will be directly effected by this deal. I am a rod and reel fisherman and I would like to know why I can no longer fish in an area I have historically fished without causing any damage to the eco system. My question is very simple and has nothing to do with OHare, Civil War era fishery statistics or any other stat you can pull out of your hat.

                  • sapereaudeprime

                    I don’t think rod and reel fishermen should be included in any zone regulations, provided that they don’t fish on spawners. I don’t think Obama has anything to do with it; he has more pressing things to worry about, and it looks like little guys got caught in a reaction to the effects of industrial factory-trawler fishing. I know three people who have skippered factory trawlers in Alaska, and that fishery is much more tightly regulated than ours in the GoM. I have always maintained that the best regulations for the marine resources would be to simply prohibit otter trawlers larger than 30-40 tons and and seines with a mesh smaller than 12″. Trawlers that small can’t venture to offshore banks safely in bad weather, although they wiped out the flounders in Frenchman’s Bay in one winter in the 1940s.

  • jameshrust

    Humans are becoming the endangered species in the eyes of the Obama Administration.

    • jreb57

      “Humans are becoming the endangered species in the eyes of the Obama Administration.”
      Humans are becoming the endangered species BECAUSE of the Obama administration.

  • Well Done

    “Earthjustice, the Conservation Law Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographic Society, and the Pew Charitable Trust.”

    The above are among the tools used by the backroom of the Obama administration and other academic extremists. Their goal is to make food more expensive.

    In war, combatants target their enemy’s fuel, food, and land. That is what the so-called “elites” are doing to us in the West; waging war on citizens. At least they are trying to; it’s becoming time to stop them. Cold. If we don’t they’ll keep this up until we’re starving and freezing, with no place to live. Don’t believe me? Read the news!

    • sapereaudeprime

      Nobody who flies the flag of traitors deserves a hearing.

  • ninetyninepct

    If the Obidiot wanted to ban this area from human contact he could possibly designate it a Muslim private bathing area.

    He & they are intent on ruining America but sure want donations, don’t they. Soros will die soon and the world can start getting back to a semblance of sanity. Sooner is better.

    • sapereaudeprime

      Only poorly educated scum talk about our president like that. How many years did it take for you to get out of 5th grade?

      • Borehead

        Only an idiot would defend this pathetic excuse for an administration that based its premise on transparency.

  • J T

    “Stand back, I shall destroy!”

  • Rocky Novello

    These green environmentalist live on old news and ancient science !
    STOP TRYING TO MAKE OUR OCEANS MONUMENTS AND DO YOUR JOB !!! CLEAN UP POLLUTION OF THIS WORLD !!!

    • AuBrix

      I agree w/ Rocky N. go clean up the plastic floating islands especially the Pacific. When you so-called “environmentalists” get that job done I just might consider something you do legitimate.
      ps- I was doing conservation practices when most of the Greenies were not even thought of or poopin’ in disposable diapers because their mom and dad did not want to use detergent that they THOUGHT polluted the water.

      • Rocky Novello

        ENVIRONMENTALISTS , WHAT THEY DO BEST IS , DESTROYING THE LIVELIHOOD OF HARD WORKING PEOPLE , WHOM THEY CONSIDER ARE IN THEIR WAY, OF MAKING THIS WORLD ONE BIG MONUMENT ??? ENVIRONMENTALISTS USES LOTS OF MONEY , TO DESTROY PEOPLES JOBS , BUT NOT MUCH ON IMPORT ISSUES ?
        EXAMPLES: ACID RAIN–OCEAN POLLUTION — GLOBE-WARMING- OIL POLLUTION OF WATERS & LANDS–AND ETC !!!

        • sapereaudeprime

          Nonsense. Both of my parents were conservationists with graduate degrees before 1946. They honeymooned in the Mexican jungle, where my father was collecting plant specimens for his dissertation. I can remember Woods Hole when there were naval vessels at the dock, in 1945. You will accomplish more by thinking in reasonable terms than you will by insulting people who are well-educated, well-traveled, and have decades of experience working in the forest and on the water.

  • Geordie King

    In ISIS fashion, we should cut the head off of the greenies funding. Then and only then might we quell their seemingly insatiable appetite for killing the working man and his economy. They prey upon NOAA’s ineptitude (an abundance of woefully inaccurate trawl surveys done in the wrong places at the wrong times) and seize upon every opportunity to advance their warped agenda; this just being the latest.The notion of closing Cashes completely to human activity is Utopian at best. There is simply no need to do so as that area has been closed year-round to commercial fishing for the past 15 years or so anyhow- (although lobstering and rec / charter fishing are still allowed; fisheries which render negligible effects to the bottom habitat). The problem as I see it with these groups is their never ending flow of tax-exempt capital and has little to do with reality. Now that they’ve got the industry over a barrel, they want to finish us off -Deliverance style no less.

    • sapereaudeprime

      I have been researching the Gulf of Maine ecosystem longer than you have been alive. The Gulf of Maine is currently holding much less than 5% of the vertebrate biota it had in 1890. The fishermen themselves predicted that engine-powered beam-trawls and otter-trawls would destroy the fisheries when they appeared in the industry in 1895-1915. And that’s exactly what has happened. The first draggers into Frenchman’s Bay in the 1940s took over a million pounds of flatfish in one winter. A few years ago we went to grounds off Mount Desert that had once produced thousands of pounds of cod every summer, and caught two cod, one rock cod and one bank cod, and each was less than two pounds. The Frenchman’s Bay fleet caught more cod on handlines in the season of 1861 (April through November) than exist in the entire Gulf of Maine today. Moreover, the corporate-owned mega-vessels have killed nearly everything in the water column in the offshore waters, as well as everything on the bottom. Watch the survey movies that scientists have made of the action of trawls on the bottom. Read the annual reports of the US fisheries Comission and its successors. I’ve graphed them. Or look at how many productive weirs and fish traps were on the Maine coast in the 1870s–there were over two hundred of them in Penobscot Bay alone–each catching alewives, shad, salmon, menhaden, stripers, and occasionally a tuna. The most productive swordfishing grounds in the world were within sight of Cape Cod and in Saco Bay around Wood Island. The extraordinary ignorance of today’s under-60 youngsters bodes ill for this country’s future. Every fishing family on the Maine coast has been forced into lobstering or pushed off the coast. Why don’t you start looking up the real data provided by the thousands of fishermen who worked in the inshore and offshore groundfish industry before 1970? Those records are in the National Archives as well as the NOAA online library. What I don’t understand is how profoundly ignorant so many Americans are today of the marine ecosystem that once supported thousands of fishermen on the Maine coast.

      • Geordie King

        #1- how do you know how old I am? #2 I am a fisherman who has fished the GOM waters for the past 35+ years and in that time have learned a few things about its ecosystem. The Cashes Ledge closure alone is approx. 450 square nm in area. The Western GOM closure is approx.900 square nm in area. These areas encompass perhaps the best and most lucrative fishing grounds / habitat in the GOM. There are a multitude of other seasonal or temporary closures in place in addition. The new England groundfishery is no longer a viable industry as evidenced by the lack of actual vessels or infrastructure in and around our ports. While there is no doubt that over-fishing and over capitalization was at one time occurring you cannot blame the present situation solely upon it. What I’m saying is NOAA’s science is a laughing joke of the scientific community and their regulatory system is even worse. They have the unknowing public (yourself included) believing that there are no codfish left in the ocean. I haven;t seen this many cod since the late 90’s yet they keep saying there’s a collapse occurring. The quota they allocate to all other species within the stock complex are so ascew and out of reality it makes one wonder if they operate in a different ocean altogether. Armchair warriors like yourself always seem to have all the answers. Go join (if you haven’t already) the ranks of PEW and Oceana where you superior mind may be fully utilized.

        • sapereaudeprime

          If they left those grounds open to vessels under 55′ and under 60 tons, fishing with longlines or handlines, I’d have no objection to fishing there. But if you would like to know what those grounds used to produce before trawlers got at them, let me know and I’ll send you the data, gathered before NOAA existed, by the US Fish Commission and its successors at the behest of the mid-19th century fishermen who were noticing a serious reduction in catchable saleable fish on the banks. The O’Hare fleet and other vessels of their size have reduced the stocks to less than 5% of what they were when my ancestors fished from the Isles of Shoals and from Sandwich. Don’t expect me to defend NOAA, they are under pressure from O’Hare types on one side and bought and paid-for congresspeople on the other, so they are damned, whatever they do.

  • sapereaudeprime

    If the defenders of the status quo were ambitious enough to track down the data collected by the fishermen themselves and their buyers over the past two hundred years, they might have a better understanding of the regulations. Here’s one small fact: the 1870 report of the Maine Fish Commissioners listed 211 producing weirs and fish traps on Penobscot Bay alone, from Camden to Bangor. They were producing salmon, shad, alewives, stripers, menhaden, and occasional miscellaneous species. Those weirs involved a lot of labor and some capital to build and maintain–the owners didn’t put them out there to take a loss. Until 1924, Maine’s inshore fisheries were listed separately from the bank fishery, and they produces the majority of the Maine fisheries product, including tuna and swordfish, as well as demersals and the occasional whale.

    • Dano2

      Posh! It’s them thar greenies fault!

      Best,

      D

      • Brin Jenkins

        Sure is, many fools acting for folks they don’t even know exist

  • jimmywampum

    When will people realize that the disgusting ‘unwashed masses’ should NEVER be allowed to gather their food and live a life of freedom and cooperation? The elites hate humanity, and want to see them starved out…just like it has been throughout history. This is the culling of the ‘have not’s’ by those that can do it, just because they can do it. It’s really that simple…..

    • sapereaudeprime

      Do you have any idea of how many families were able to make a living in the fisheries before corporations took over the industry? Tens of thousands! Look up the data in the USFC and successor bureau reports between 1880 and 1977 The history of fishing in the NW Atlantic over the past half century is the history of the death of the family fishing business and the little harbor fisheries. They have been wiped out by well-financed industrial corporate fishing, using multi-million-dollar factory trawlers and seiners. I have attended enough New England Fishery Management Council meetings to watch the corporate shills make sure that nothing is ever done to help reconstruct an ecosystem that would support family fisheries. And I know of two people who were threatened with broken knees if they tried to keep the industrial shills from running the meetings.

  • sapereaudeprime

    When purse seines came into common use in the middle of the 19th century, fishermen warned that they could take pre-spawners and prevent their target species from reproducing. Then beam trawlers appeared in 1895, and otter trawls in 1915. If you see the catch by species per gear for the seiners and otter trawlers between 1890 and 1928, it becomes clear what has happened to the fish stocks that once were so prolific that they supported tens of thousands of hook and line and gill-net fishermen.

  • MIGHTYJ

    Oil funded environmental organizations putting fishermen out of business. What else is new?

    • Dano2

      Fished out grounds putting fishermen out of business. What else is new?

      Best,

      D

      • MIGHTYJ

        Eco-trolling is kind of new. Does it pay well? Perhaps some of those dis-enfranchised fishermen could be trained for a fast growing new industry.

        • Borehead

          How much a pound for trolled eco’s, and will we be able to market them? The chefs keep pushing the dogfish that have saturated the eco system, but, no ones biting!

          • Brin Jenkins

            Dog fish is good eating, 70 years ago in NE England it was sold in the fried fish takeaway chip shops as “Woof’n chips please.”

        • Dano2

          FUD about collapsed fish stocks is nothing new.

          Best,

          D

  • MIGHTYJ

    President Obama is going to do whatever Pew says. They will go Mickey Mouse on him if he tries not to.
    https://youtu.be/TF4_4g1B2Ug

  • jreb57

    Is it any wonder that many believe in conspiracy theories? Put the fisherman out of business, put the coal miners out of business, put the cattlemen out of business by pushing up feed costs through the “renewable” fuels mandate and socialism fills the gap. Of course, socialism produces nothing except big expensive government.