Human beings have not always been good stewards of our oceans. We have overexploited their natural gifts, polluted their waves with garbage, acidified them with carbon dioxide, and threatened their shores with offshore drilling.
Thankfully, there is bipartisan support in Washington to take action. We come from different regions, backgrounds, and political parties. Yet we are united by our passion for keeping our coasts and oceans healthy.
In New England, our fishing heritage has long been tied to cod. When the cod fishery collapsed under the weight of foreign fleets, industrialized trawlers, and warming waters, fishermen struggled to sustain themselves. We still have lobster, squid, groundfish, and scallop fisheries, but changing ocean conditions threaten them as well. Warming waters already force lobster and other valuable species to move offshore and northward in search of cooler waters.
In the Gulf of Mexico, fishing supports businesses and recreation, but climate change and human activities threaten the sustainability of these ecosystems. Intensive fishing pressure on red snapper has led to short seasons, the need to rebuild the fishery, and competition ... Read more