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Lee Crockett joined The Pew Charitable Trusts in June 2007 as director of Federal Fisheries Policy. Before that, he was executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, the largest national coalition dedicated exclusively to promoting the sustainable management of ocean fish. Previously, he was a fishery biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service, leading agency efforts to protect essential fish habitat. He also served as a staff member of the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, working on a variety of fisheries, environmental and boating safety issues. Crockett holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in biological oceanography from the University of Connecticut. Before college, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard.

The ABCs of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management—Part II

Forage Fish: The Oceans’ Little Heroes Most Americans don’t think about fisheries policy when eating fish. But in fact, the supply of popular species such as cod, tuna, and salmon depends very much on how we manage them in the sea. If anglers, chefs, and diners want to continue catching, cooking, and eating fish, we…

A Better Way to Protect Our Ocean Ecosystems

Over the past 30 years, we’ve made tremendous scientific gains in understanding how marine ecosystems work while monitoring the impacts of fishing and other extractive activities on the health of our oceans. What’s more, the application of new science, along with critical reforms of key laws and regulations, is leading to more effective policies to…

The Bottom Line: Protecting Real Estate for Fish

For businesses dependent on high foot traffic, location is everything. It’s much the same out on the water, where finding the right spot can make all the difference for commercial and recreational fishermen alike. Advances in technology make it easier to target fish more quickly, in deeper water, and more precisely than ever before. This…

The Bottom Line: Five Myths About Fishing

From the Chesapeake Bay to Florida’s Gulf Coast, recreational fishing is big business for many communities along the Eastern Seaboard. In fact, more than one-third of America’s 11.8 million saltwater anglers live in the region. I count myself among them. This national pastime is much more than throwing a line off a local pier. In…

The Bottom Line: Rebuilding Plans Work for U.S. Fisheries

A congressional hearing today on the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act examined a new report from the National Academies on the law’s effectiveness in rebuilding depleted fish populations. As a member of the peer-review panel for the report, I can attest to the amount of work that went into this study, which clearly recognizes…

The Bottom Line: Some Promising News for Bluefin Tuna

U.S. policymakers know they need to limit the number of Atlantic bluefin tuna caught and killed by surface longlines, which can stretch 40 miles with more than 750 baited hooks and float unattended for up to 18 hours. After all, the western Atlantic bluefin population is down 64 percent from its level in the 1970s,…

The Bottom Line: Time to Protect Pacific Forage Fish

I learned long ago that it pays to plan ahead before I hit the water for a day of fishing. Knowing the tides, watching the weather, and reading the fishing blogs for the latest intelligence can make all the difference. Similarly, my time at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and on Capitol Hill…

The Bottom Line: For New England’s Fishing Fleet it’s Déjà vu All Over Again

Note: This is a special post coauthored by Peter Baker and Lee Crockett As an editorial in the Boston Globe observed, things did not look good for the coming fishing season. Fishermen were “returning from three or four days’ hauling on Georges Bank with near-empty holds.” And while other regions of the country were successfully…

The Bottom Line: Embracing Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management

Fishing for shad on the Potomac River at Fletcher’s Boathouse is a spring tradition for many Washington-area anglers, including me. As a food source for larger fish, birds of prey, and other animals, shad provide a great example of the interconnectedness of nature—which for decades hasn’t received enough attention from fisheries managers. Although we’ve made…

The Bottom Line: Coming Together for Bluefin Tuna

It’s not every day that fishermen and environmentalists agree. But in a significant move, the American Bluefin Tuna Association and the International Game Fish Association are partnering with The Pew Charitable Trusts to protect bluefin tuna, one of the most amazing fish in the sea. By working together, we might be able to help ensure…

The Bottom Line: Food Fit For a King

The annual arrival of spring chinook salmon to inland rivers makes March an eagerly anticipated time of year for fishermen and seafood lovers on the Pacific Coast. Anglers wait all year for the chance to land a hulking silvery chinook, commonly known as a king salmon, and consumers enjoy eating this tasty fish. When it…

The Bottom Line: Changing Course for America’s Oldest Fishery

“The fish just aren’t there.” This simple observation from Cape Cod fisheries manager Tom Dempsey to the Associated Press sums up the challenge of decreasing cod populations. Recent scientific studies estimate that cod populations are at or near record lows. But this serious problem has not stopped the New England Fishery Management Council from proposing…

The Bottom Line: A Better Way to Manage fish

In 1996, I worked in the fisheries service at NOAA. That year, Congress passed legislation to amend the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the primary law that governs our nation’s ocean fish. The updated law established an important mandate for the agency: conserve fish. Our previous goal, decades long, was simply to promote fishing. Along with subsequent reforms…

The Bottom Line: Don’t Remove Protection When Cod Need It Most

New England is famous for cod fishing. But the industry is ailing—and the cure being proposed might be worse than the disease. Three months ago, the U.S. Commerce Department declared a “commercial fisheries disaster” off the coast of New England because populations of groundfish—cod, haddock, and flounder, among others—were still struggling to recover. Substantial cuts…

The Bottom Line: Big Turnout for Little Menhaden

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has seen a lot in its 70-year history but nothing quite like this. More than 128,000 people flooded the commission’s inboxes with postcards and emails last month, a new record for public comment. Scientists, small business owners, nature lovers, and anglers sent letters and spoke out at public…