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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 Bottom Line: A Historic Milestone for America’s Ocean Fish

I recently wrote about some good news from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service regarding improvements in the health of U.S. ocean fish populations. In a little publicized but very important milestone, NOAA fisheries and the regional fishery management councils have completed a task set out by Congress in 2006: establishing enforceable, science-based annual catch limits (ACLs)…

The Bottom Line: Fatter Snapper Put Fishermen on a Diet

Note: Holly Binns, director of Pew’s Southeast and U.S. Caribbean Fish Conservation campaigns, is my guest author today. She is going to provide some important information regarding the recreational fishing of red snapper. Recreational fishermen heading to the Gulf of Mexico face a conundrum if they want to hook a red snapper. Fishery managers have increased the total weight…

The Bottom Line: Bluefin Tuna Need You Now

In the Gulf of Mexico, surface longlines intended to catch yellowfin tuna and swordfish indiscriminately catch and kill more than 80 other species of ocean wildlife, including severely depleted western Atlantic bluefin tuna. This species is particularly at risk: Scientific studies have identified it as a distinct population (as compared to eastern Atlantic bluefin) that reproduces…

The Bottom Line: A Small ‘Catch’ in Recent Fisheries Coverage

Last week, the New York Times published a blog and an editorial recognizing the progress made in the management of U.S. ocean fisheries. Overall, more than 100 newspapers across the country have covered a promising new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that I discussed in my most recent blog post. I want to follow up to make an…

The Bottom Line: A Short Season for Big Fish

This year’s purse-seine fishing for bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea kicked off this week, but don’t blink or you might miss it. On Tuesday, May 15, large commercial purse-seine vessels with massive nets set out to catch literally tons of tuna by encircling entire schools of breeding bluefin. The season officially ends June 15,…

The Bottom Line: Even Fish Need Yearly Checkups

Health care is a controversial topic these days, but one thing we can all agree on is the importance of annual checkups. Every year, millions of Americans visit their doctors as a proactive measure to stay healthy, identify any underlying conditions, and check for common problems—all in an effort to promote long-term health. What makes…

The Bottom Line: Little Fish Do Matter

Small fish such as sardines and anchovies don’t get much love. But these little fish provide essential food for all the marine life that we like to catch, eat or watch. Unfortunately, most fisheries managers haven’t thought too much about these prey fish, either—until now, that is. On the West Coast, the Pacific Fishery Management Council will…

The Bottom Line: Bluefin Tuna Up Close and Personal

Read the full “The Bottom Line” series here. Rick Rosenthal has seen things that most ocean lovers only dream about. For the past 25 years, this filmmaker has had front-row seats to baitball feeding frenzies—when small schooling fish swarm together to defend against hungry predators—sleeping sperm whales, and mating right whales. During a career that includes…

The Bottom Line: Fishing for Giants

The newest reality TV stars aren’t college kids thrown together in a group house, or a couple who race around the world to win a million dollars. They are the men, and occasionally the women, who do the jobs that many of us didn’t even know existed: the axmen from the Pacific Northwest, the ice-road…

The Bottom Line: Little Fish, Big Fishery

Within the next few weeks, alewife and blueback herring, collectively known as river herring, will begin their annual migration from coastal waters to their native rivers. The platinum-colored fish spend most of the year in the ocean, migrating to rivers to spawn each spring before returning to sea. River herring were once plentiful in Northeast…

The Bottom Line: How Investing in Our Fisheries Pays Off

Sometimes, an idea comes forward in Washington that actually brings together people who normally disagree. The Fisheries Investment and Regulatory Relief Act (FIRRA) of 2012 does that and more. This bipartisan bill would provide financial support to fishermen and improve management of our oceans. Restoring our depleted fish populations would create jobs, protect existing ones,…

The Bottom Line: Tracking Tuna in the Cloud

Several months ago, I wrote about a study showing that Atlantic bluefin tuna were being caught at a rate much higher than scientists recommended and regulations allowed. Furthermore, fishermen were not reporting their catches to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), the body that manages tuna in the Atlantic Ocean. This underreporting undermines measures designed…

The Bottom Line: An Inconvenient Truth About Gulf of Maine Cod

Jud Crawford, science and policy manager of the Pew Environment Group’s Northeast Fisheries Program, is my guest author today. He is going to provide some important perspectives about the recent scientific assessment of Gulf of Maine cod. Many in New England were recently stunned by the news that the region’s prized codfish are in much deeper trouble than…

Putting Fish Over Politics

Remarkable things can happen when key stakeholders and leaders in Washington find common ground for a common good. An excellent case in point is the congressional effort to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, a landmark conservation measure signed into law by President George W. Bush five years ago this January. In the mid-2000s, we…

The Bottom Line: Historic Anniversary for Fishing in America’s Oceans

It’s hard to get politicians to agree on anything these days. But five years ago this month, President George W. Bush, flanked by Republican and Democratic members of Congress, signed the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). This moment of bipartisanship was good news for our nation’s marine species and those…