Posts tagged #Gulf of Maine

“Arctic Caucus” called for by Sens. King and Murkowski

On Thursday of last week, the first-ever hearing dedicated to the Arctic region as a whole was held in the U.S. Senate. The hearing signaled the launch of the “Arctic Caucus” (Caucus), a body assembled by Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to explore issues facing the geographic area.  The formation of the Caucus coincides with the United States’ ascension to a two-year post as chairperson of the Arctic Council (Council), the intergovernmental body of eight Arctic nations. 

Senator King’s remarks on the region illustrate that his interests reach beyond that of the Council. He said, “As the climate changes and the Arctic continues to open, the strategic significance of the region will only grow more important, both for Maine and for the rest of United States. In essence, what we are seeing before our eyes is the revealing of a new and enormously important ocean resource with respect to energy, security, and commerce.”  

Posted on March 10, 2015 .

High Water Everywhere: Northeast Waters Warmin’ and A Risin’

Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Arizona recently released findings from tidal data collected over a two year period (2009-2010).  The central conclusion of the data is this: New England sea levels are rising more rapidly than anticipated. 

Although the study most likely represents a peak in data and not a permanent rise, the findings are still being held as significant.  The study found that over a two year period, Northeast waters rose on average 3.9 inches with the steepest rise of 5 inches taking place in Casco Bay, off the coast of Portland, Maine.  The report attributes the sharp rise to warming ocean temperatures.  This conclusion builds upon the initial findings of a more long-term study undertaken by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.  This study indicates that the waters of the Gulf of Maine are warming faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans. (An informative discussion of the impacts of this trend on both marine life and fisheries can be found here.) 

Posted on February 27, 2015 .

NOAA Shuts Down Cod Fishing – Six Month Moratorium

Last month, this Blog posted a well-received article contrasting the healthy and profitable cod fishery north of Scandinavia to the dwindling and depleted stock in New England. 

On Monday of this week, in an emergency action, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) announced what many are calling its most drastic cod-related policy ever: the Gulf of Maine will be closed for cod fishing, commercial or recreational, for the next six months—at least. 

NOAA’s ban is in reaction to reports that fish populations have plummeted steeply while spawning rates have also failed to rebound. Many in the fishing industry dispute both NOAA’s management measures and its accounting science. This disagreement will undoubtedly continue beyond the six month moratorium.  

Stay tuned to the Law of the Land (and Air and Water) for future policy updates concerning cod and other important species. 

Posted on November 13, 2014 .

A Cod Comeback?

Legend has it that cod in New England was once so bountiful that you could walk across the water on their backs. Today, the once teeming fisheries of Atlantic Cod in Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine are on the verge of commercial collapse. And yet, regulation of cod and other species remains a complex web of legal jurisdiction coupled with a battle between fishery biologists.