Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Eric Schwaab, the nation's top fisheries regulator, met with Maine fishermen in Portland today to discuss the findings of a recent management review of New England fisheries.
"The way the fisheries are managed has a direct impact on the livelihood of Maine fishermen, and a report out this week raises concerns about how fisheries managers have set priorities, interact with fishermen, and utilize science in the regional fisheries management process. I'm glad to see that Eric Schwaab is committed to restoring trust in the process," Pingree said.
This week NOAA released a report finding serious issues in fisheries management in the northeast.
"Maine fishermen have enough to worry with rising fuel and bait prices, reduced quotas, and uncertain science. They shouldn't have to struggle against ineffective regulations, too. The report highlights management problems, on top of the enforcement issues that came to light last year, and collectively these issues have eroded trust with fishermen," Pingree said.
Schwaab has proposed to implement some of the recommendations to start addressing the problems identified in the report--accountability for whether regulations are working, improving the timeliness and confidence in the science, having the regulators work with and for the industry instead of against them, and improving communication with fishermen and the public.