Join with us in clarion calls for 4 alternatives to the Fishery Council’s Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2 in the Gulf of Maine.
◊ Protect deep sea corals;
◊ Protect forage fish including Atlantic herring, river herring (alewives and blue-backs), and shad;
◊ Protect the northern edge of Georges Bank groundfish and scallops;
◊ Create a No Take Zone called the Northern Reference Area, which is about 1/6 of the Stellwagen Dedicated Habitat Research Area that lies in the southwest corner, about one third of the Western Gulf of Maine Closure Area.
Protecting and remediating essential fish habitat is a vital part of maintaining productive and resilient marine ecosystems. This EFH amendment offers New England a long-awaited opportunity to improve its ocean habitat protection.
By listening to and carefully considering information brought forward through the public comment period, more robust and inclusive solutions will be found. Responsible stewardship for healthier ocean places and 100% sustainably fished fish stocks are worthy objectives.
“Ocean River Institute demonstrates insightful intricate understanding & resourceful advocacy concerning the issues at stake in the competent management of our marine ecosystems.” ~ Frank Adamick of Astoria, NY
No Take Area within the Stellwagen Dedicated Habitat Research Area
Commercial groundfishing has been restricted since 1998 in the Western Gulf of Maine Closure Area. The Stellwagen Dedicated Habitat Research Area is located within the closure area, about one third of the area including all portions within the Sanctuary. A small section within the Stellwagen DHRA, about one sixth of it, is proposed the Northern Reference Area. This nested area would exclude both recreational and commercial groundfishing to provide a control site in the Gulf of Maine so important in the development of good scientific design. A map is posted on Rob’s blog page.
The Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is located about 25 miles east of Boston, south of Gloucester, north of Provincetown. As the threshold separating Massachusetts Bay from the Gulf of Maine, Stellwagen Bank has a marvelous diversity of marine life, including whales, sea turtles, fish, birds and cold-water coral. Located offshore from Boston, the Bank is under assault from multiple fronts: habitat damage from trawling and draggers, depletion of fish, ship collisions with whales, pollution, invasive species and climate change.