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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: 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…

The Bottom Line: Big Opportunity to Protect the Smallest Pacific Fish

  Our nation’s West Coast is known worldwide for the rich and iconic marine life that can be found off its shores. In fact, countless tourists travel there every year just for a glimpse of a pod of migrating gray whales or the chance to catch a coho or king salmon in the wild. These…

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…