Sadly, NMFS’ Assessment Was Right

Sadly, NMFS’ Assessment Was Right

Photo: Gulf of Maine Atlantic Cod, by Joachim S. Mueller Counting fish is a difficult job, and even the best stock assessment contains its share of uncertainty. The 2014 stock assessment update for Gulf of Maine cod found that, depending on the model used, the current spawning stock biomass might be as low as 2,100 […]

What Do Anglers Want?

What Do Anglers Want?

Photo by John McMurray Every now and then, my wife and I will be talking to someone who doesn’t fish. Upon learning that we do, and that we own a boat, a typical reaction is something like “That’s really nice. You don’t have to go to the store to buy fish.” And one of us […]

Bad Legislation Threatens Good Fisheries Management

Bad Legislation Threatens Good Fisheries Management

Top Photo: Striped Bass, by John McMurray Fisheries management is a complicated endeavor. Before issuing regulations that will prevent overfishing and maintain healthy fish populations, managers need to consider multiple factors. They must estimate the size of fish populations, and decide whether such populations must be rebuilt. They must determine how many fish are lost […]

Will “Steepness” Stymie Opponents of Fluke Regulations?

Will “Steepness” Stymie Opponents of Fluke Regulations?

If there is one constant in mid-Atlantic fisheries management, it is that restrictions on the recreational summer flounder harvest will always be controversial. That is particularly true in 2017, after six years of below-average recruitment—the number of young fish entering the population—has caused the population to decline to just 58% of the target level, forcing […]

Managing Fisheries Management Uncertainty

Managing Fisheries Management Uncertainty

Fisheries management is not an exact science. Although biologists are constantly refining their stock assessments and population models, there are still many sources of uncertainty. Some of them fall into the category of “scientific uncertainty.” Such scientific uncertainty applies to all of the important parameters, such as stock size and the number of young fish […]

National Academy of Sciences Praises Marine Recreational Information Program

National Academy of Sciences Praises Marine Recreational Information Program

Top photo courtesy John McMurray Whenever fishery managers propose regulations that restrict anglers’ landings, someone will always complain that such rules are not needed, and challenge the data on which they are based. While biological data, such as stock assessments, receive some criticism, most anglers’ rancor is reserved for the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) […]