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Re-Thinking Current Policy, Data Analysis
Recent headlines about Carlos Rafael, the New Jersey fluke rule, and growing questions around whether cod have recovered in the Gulf of Maine again shine a spotlight on what many call a flawed management system. Stock status data takes up to two years or more to collect, collate, analyze and finalize for publication in the current top-down management model. By the time National Marine Fisheries Services sets policy based on the data and management council recommendations, the dynamics have already changed. We're consistently two steps behind climate change and many fishermen continue to be frustrated by policy that seems to run counter to what they see on the water every day. Many fishermen claim they can't get away from cod, which creates problems in terms of quota.
So what if we could turn the current management system on its head? What if we were to incorporate a more localized management approach that brings fishermen further into the data collection, assessment and policy process, and create data analysis methods that react more nimbly to fast-changing marine ecosystems. If this sounds far-fetched, that's because we've been mired in the current model for several years, and the distrust between fishermen, scientists and policy makers continues to grow.
This Webinar won't attempt to address every challenge with current policy. But it will address one fundamental question: How to improve fish stock assessments and strengthen collaborative efforts between fishermen, scientists, and managers. The hope is this panel discussion, followed by a Webinar audience Q&A will create a framework for further discussions that could eventually lead to meaningful change. It won't happen unless we address these issues collectively and constructively, one conversation at a time.
Panelists for the discussion will include University of Maine Professor of Oceanography, Marine Biology and Marine Policy, Bob Steneck; Longtime fisherman and former New England Fisheries Management Council member David Goethel; and New England Regional Coordinator for Health Care Without Harm's Healthy Food in Health Care Program, John Stoddard.
We encourage you to listen in and join the Q&A.
Featured image courtesy of Shelburne Orchards.