Dear Senator Warren:
I’m concerned about your recent comments regarding overfishing and management of our coastal resources here in New England. I think we can do better for the fishermen and our fish by employing science-based fishery management.
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I know you are committed to making sure that our policies are guided by sound science. Unfortunately, you have recently taken positions advocating that we discount scientifically sound catch limits and allow overfishing to continue on badly depleted stocks. Poor management decisions such as these have contributed to the problems we now face.
The New England Fishery Management Council and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have wisely rejected continued overfishing. Many of our region’s fish populations are at perilously low levels. Scientists say Georges Bank cod, for example, are just 8 percent of what a sustainable stock should be.
Your work to end abuses in the financial sector has inspired people who don’t believe that private interests should write the rules for their own regulation. Let’s not allow that to happen with the fishing industry, which is eager to reverse efforts to restore and protect this resource.
We know that rebuilding fish populations results in economic improvement. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report predicted that the successful recovery of depleted fish species would be worth $31 billion to the economy and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Healthy fishing communities require a healthy ocean.