Andrew A. Rosenberg
Northeast Regional Administrator, NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930, USA
Source - Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science, Volume 23: 95-103
Fisheries have always been in a state of change, even though it is an activity rooted in long tradition and with a strong culture. Though many fishermen come from fishing families, most do not work as their fathers did either in capture methods, nor target species nor market strategies. In fact, the changes in fishing practices have resulted in the overharvest of many traditional species and international problems of depleted stocks and industry overcapacity.
Fishery managers and scientists are constantly changing too and in some cases, the overharvesting problem is beginning to be addressed. In the Northeastern U.S., New England groundfish have been under intense fishing pressure for more than 30 years, but in the past two years, management changes have been enacted which have finally reduced the harvest rate on many groundfish stocks to a level which is already leading to the beginnings of a recovery. This change gives some insight into how the fishery may look in the future. The following features are those that I see emerging out of the current climate: 1) fishing enterprises, large and small, will become generalists rather than specialists; 2) full access control will be implemented for all marine resources and will include addressing the participation of all user groups; 3) with property rights will come responsibility for conservation. The tools for change are new monitoring systems including satellite tracking and increased dockside monitoring, using access as a means of ensuring compliance with conservation measures, and the use of a precautionary approach to management decisions. Though optimistic, given the history of resource management, these changes are both inevitable and can lead to sustainable resource use in the next century.
Language - English
Publisher - Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), Dartmouth, N.S., Canada
Publication Date - October 1998
Publication Type - Journal Article