BLUE OCEAN INSTITUTE: Global Warming- One More Reason to Keep New Englandís Protected Areas in Place
April 22, 2013 -- The following is a excerpt from the Blue Ocean Institute's article, "Global Warming- One More Reason to Keep New England’s Protected Areas in Place," originally published on April 11.
Fisheries scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently helped develop a strategy for helping wildlife adapt to global warming. The strategy: conserve habitat to support healthy fish and protect ecosystem functions. Specifically, NOAA scientists suggest reducing destructive catch methods, like bottom trawling, and protecting important fish habitats from destructive bottom gears. Hopefully, if we protect fish as best we can and minimize other human impacts, fish will find a way to adapt to climate change. This sounds like a good idea, right?
Unfortunately, this idea lacks common sense. Opening up the closed habitat areas would un-do the protections scientists put in place to rebuild New England fishes in the first place. And it goes against the scientists own advice for combating global warming – a very real problem for New England fishes!
Analysis: Global warming, and how fish stocks adapt to it, will play an increasingly important role in the future of fisheries management. While attempting to address the role of habitat protection in this process, the Blue Ocean Institute conflates two different management measures recommended by the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) and under consideration by NOAA. In the process, they create the impression that NOAA plans to remove habitat protection from key areas of ocean, when in fact the opposite is true.
December 19, 2014 -- President Obama's decision to permanently protect Alaska's Bristol Bay and adjacent lands from oil and gas drilling is so clearly the correct decision that the only objections will come from those whose sole interest is the welfare of those two energy industries.