Thursday, January 31, 2013

Devastating News For New England Fishing Communities

The news is not good at all, with huge decreases in the allowable catch on everything other than red-fish, winter flounder, pollock and halibut. To sum it up, the highly anticipated second stock assessment found the same results as the first one, confirming the dire situation of our local ground fish stocks. Because of this assessment significant cuts have been recommended which will be devastating to New England fishing communities, especially New Hampshire

Now More Than Ever We NEED TO SUPPORT the promotion of underutilized species in our local waters to help save our fishing communities. 

Please read the Following Press Release for detailed information
  New England Fishery Management Council
News Release
Newburyport, MA 1/31/2013 Contact: Patricia M. Fiorelli
For Immediate Release 978/465.0492, ext.106
Portsmouth, NH Following a review of the available scientific information, advice from
its Scientific and Statistical Committee and testimony by fishermen, the New England Fishery
Management Council approved major cuts to the region’s cod stocks yesterday. Despite that
catches of Gulf of Maine cod and Georges Bank cod are already restrictive, the Council took the
action out of concern over the poor condition of both stocks and worry that the situation could
worsen without additional protection.

The Council’s 18 voting members approved the cuts by wide margins. For fishing years
2013 through 2015, the Council agreed to decrease the overall quota for Gulf of Maine cod by
77 percent. Fishermen’s allocation will be reduced from 6,700 metric tons in 2012 to 1,550
metric tons, beginning on May 1 this year. Georges Bank cod is shared with the Canadians and
that quota is set annually under an agreement between the two countries. In 2013, the U.S.
share will be set at 2,002 metric tons, a 61 percent drop from the 2012 quota of 5,013 metric

Wednesday’s day-long deliberations were well-attended by New England fishermen who
were unequivocal about their concerns over the cuts. In turn, many Council members
expressed their awareness about the serious negative economic impacts that will undoubtedly
occur and affect the small inshore boat fleet in New England most significantly. Many
fishermen in this group have been historically dependent on cod and have already seen the
impacts of decreased catches.

The Council’s sentiments were clearly pointed out by Chairman Rip Cunningham. “The
Council was faced with very difficult decisions concerning Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank
cod. In the final analysis there were no goods choices,” he said.
The New England Council develops rules for both large and small-scale commercial and
recreational fisheries that operate between three and 200 miles off the coastlines of Maine, New
Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
# # #
New England Fishery Management Council | 50 Water Street, Mill 2 | Newburyport, MA 01950
Tel 978.465.0492 | Fax 978.465.3116 |

Sunday, January 27, 2013

We're On Our Way To D.C.!

This February I will be heading to Washington D.C.with American Fisherman and a few select chefs  to express our concerns with fisheries management today. Even after decades of regulations aimed at restoring fisheries big problems still exist and thanks to the Environmental Defense Fund we will have a voice at our nations political hub to share our frustrations but most importantly to give our suggestions and feedback as to the impact that both regulations and lack of regulations has had on the fishing community as a whole.

Ask yourself the true meaning of sustainability? in basic terms it is the what, where and how something is being produced, fished or raised. But to me and more importantly, the message I aim to bring to the Congress floor is the WHO and the WHY? Who is in charge of making the decisions impacting the American fisherman? Why are we making decisions without thinking about about replenishment? What about progressing? Where are the efforts from our politicians to help swing the decisions of the American consumer to diversify their seafood selections?

I have learned the hard way I like to think, that consumers drive demand. Restaurants, fish markets, big box supermarkets etc...will all carry what the consumer wants. We need to start focusing our efforts on diversifying our American palette when it comes to seafood and think about those other species of fish that are in great shape and can provide fisherman with fish to catch at a fair price paid by consumers. This sounds simple enough but I fully understand the challenges we face trying to send this message on our own. This is why we need the United States Senate & Congress to help us send this message. This message doesn't only help our helps the entire fishing community and also helps the fish in the sea. By alleviating the pressure on those challenged species and allowing the abundant species to be introduced all while providing a fair income to those suffering the most, not the Cod, but the fisherman.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meet the Scup, The Sea Robin & The Dogfish

After a year of talking about it, a year of phone calls, and a year of collaboration with some of my great friends and of course, amazing chefs.....we are excited to announce the First Chefs Collaborative Trash Fish Dinner! 

About the event: Meet the scup. The sea robin. The dogfish. These are fish that have traditionally been left off the menu by chefs, discarded by fishermen as bycatch, and virtually unknown to the general public.
During this family-style multi-course dinner, you’ll enjoy Atlantic fish that fly under the radar, prepared by eight renowned chefs from the Boston area, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. All proceeds benefit the work of Chefs Collaborative.

Featured Speaker: Barton Seaver – Sustainability Fellow in residence at the New England Aquarium and National Geographic Society Fellow.

Who’s Cooking:
Evan Mallett, Black Trumpet Bistro
Evan Mallett, Black Trumpet Bistro – Portsmouth, NH
Eventbrite - Trash Fish Dinner: The Best New England Seafood You’ve Never Tried

For more information, contact Rob Booz: 617-236-5200 or