Fishermen have been suffering from the consequences of overfishing for decades leading to what they perceive as ill-conceived regulations limiting their catches. The rising temperature of the oceans is now accelerating their problems as fish flee north and local populations of fish, mollusks, and other marine animals are disappearing at twice the rate of land-based species. In the ocean there are simply fewer places to duck the heat. 

The implications of this migration are great: almost half of 36 northwest Atlantic species have moved northward in the last 40 years as water temperatures have warmed. 

The economic effect on fishermen is profound. According to a study released in December, 2019, climate change was responsible for removing 16 percent of jobs in New England’s most afflicted fishing communities. 

Looking forward, a recently released U.S. National Climate Assessment warned that by mid-century, if greenhouse gas emissions continue at a high rate, 86% of U.S. marine ecosystems will experience combinations of temperature and acidity that have never before been experienced by modern species. 

In addition to migration, global warming is also affecting the ability of fish to reproduce. Atlantic cod populations, for example, could drop by as much as 60%And, in a study done in 2008 and released in 2010, a coalition of hunting and fishing organizations outlined the consequences of climate change on fish and wildlife in the US, with a strong focus on fish like trout and salmon in our rivers as they become drier and hotter.


California Salmon Stocks Are Crashing. A Fishing Ban Looks Certain

By Catrin Einhorn 04/03/23
This week, officials are expected to shut down all commercial and recreational salmon fishing off California for 2023. Much will be canceled off neighboring Oregon, too.
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When wild dolphins help humans fish, both benefit

By Alissa Greenberg 02/04/23
Along the coast of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil, fishing is a way of life. But not just any kind of fishing. For the last 150 years, the fishers of the city of Laguna have…
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Overfishing, Conservation, Sustainability, and Farmed Fish

By Coty Perry 12/21/22
As with many other aspects of government policy, overfishing and other fishing-related environmental issues are a real problem, but it’s not clear that government intervention is the solution. Indeed, it might be one of the…
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Indigenous ‘sea gardens’ could protect shellfish in an acidifying ocean

By Jen Schmidt 12/08/22
It’s low tide in Bodega Bay, north of San Francisco, California, and Hannah Hensel is squishing through thick mud, on the hunt for clams. The hinged mollusks are everywhere, burrowed into the sediment, filtering seawater…
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The Missing Mammal That May Have Shaped California’s Kelp Forests

By Oliver Whang 12/05/22
Researchers claim that the behavior of a massive extinct herbivore, the Steller’s sea cow, might inform conservation efforts of threatened ecosystems today....
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New milestone in battle against illegal, unregulated fishing

The Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) is the first internationally binding instrument specifically designed to prevent, deter, and eliminate IUU fishing by denying port access to foreign vessels that engage in or support such…
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Connecticut’s Shellfish Population Gets a Boost With State’s First Restoration Guide

By Aaron Kornbluth and Others 08/11/22
Over the past century, populations of shellfish on the East Coast—particularly of the native Eastern oyster—have declined to a fraction of their previous numbers due to overharvesting, water pollution, disease, and habitat destruction. But there…
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Major New Zealand salmon producer shuts farms as warming waters cause mass die-offs

By Tess McClure 05/26/22
New Zealand’s biggest king salmon farmer says it is shutting some of its farms after warming seas prompted mass die-offs of fish, warning that it is a “canary in the coalmine” for climate change.
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Can Small Seaweed Farms Help Kelp Scale Up?

By Lynn Fantom 03/16/22
While some farms plan to grow massive quantities of kelp, Atlantic Sea Farms is counting on Maine’s small-scale fishermen to expand the industry and distribute ownership.
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New ‘Guide to Permitting Marine Aquaculture in the United States’ Outlines Federal Process

This guide was created to assist individuals with navigating the federal permitting process for marine aquaculture for finfish, shellfish, invertebrates, and seaweed. It outlines the key requirements necessary to obtain federal permits to conduct commercial…
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Mercury in Fish: How Did It Get There and What To Do About It?

By Coty Perry 01/31/22
Over the past several decades there has been a growing awareness of mercury in commercially available fish. In fact, mercury levels have climbed 30 percent in the last 20 years in the Northern Pacific alone.…
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As waters warm and the lobster population booms off Canada, tensions rise between Indigenous and commercial fishermen

By David Abe 01/21/22
Under the close watch of federal officers on surrounding patrol vessels, Robert Sack navigated his old boat toward his clandestine traps in the cold waters that his people have fished for centuries, expecting to be…
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2022 is the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture

The Lexicon and GSSI are launching a global call to action. Through a storytelling lab comprised of training modules and mentorship, we’re here to celebrate the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 (IYAFA…

Stories from the Sea: Fishermen Confront Climate Change

Fishermen in the North Pacific intimately understand the ocean, and they've noticed that once-reliable stalwarts like seasonal patterns and fish migration routes are changing alongside a warming climate. The Nature Conservancy in Alaska gathered their…

What Is The Environmental Impact Of The Fishing Industry?

Oceans of the world may be fishless by 2048, and unmonitored and irresponsible fishing practices are being held as one of the major culprits behind this potential disaster.

The Dangers of Industrial Ocean Fish Farming

The seafood business is booming. It comprises over 16% of the protein we eat worldwide, the majority of which is farmed. In the last 30 years, global fish farm production increased from 5 million to…

The Smart Seafood Buying Guide

Five ways to ensure the fish you eat is healthy for you and for the environment.

James Beard Foundation Smart Catch

Smart Catch is an educational sustainable seafood program created by chefs for chefs with the purpose of increasing the sustainability of the seafood supply chain. With more than 90 percent of the world's fisheries either…

World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers

World Forum of Fish Harvesters & Fish Workers (WFF) is an international organization that brings together small scale fisher organization for the establishment and upholding of fundamental human rights,social justice and culture of artisanal /small…

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOAA provides timely and reliable information based on sound science to communities and businesses every day. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce,…

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The ocean sustains all life on Earth. From the air we breathe to the seafood we eat, our very survival depends on healthy seas. The Aquarium's Conservation & Science programs are tackling some of the…

Marine Fish Conservation Network

For the last two decades, the Marine Fish Conservation Network has united fishermen, conservationists, scientists and citizens around a shared mission: conserving and revitalizing wild ocean fisheries.

Aquaculture Stewardship Council

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an international nonprofit organization recognizing and promoting responsible fish farming practices through their certification program. In collaboration with scientists, conservation groups, aquaculture producers, seafood processors, and retail companies, ASC…

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

The Foundation is a leading voice for U.S. protected waters, working with communities to conserve and expand those special places for a healthy ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. Working together, we safeguard species and the…


After 15 years of experimentation, we have developed a new method of ocean farming designed to restore ocean ecosystems, mitigate climate change, and create blue-green jobs for fishermen — while providing healthy, local food for…


High court keeps limits on lobster fishing to protect whales

By Patrick Whittle   12/03/21  
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday against Maine lobster fishermen who sought to block new fishing restrictions that are designed to protect rare whales...
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Humans Have Broken a Fundamental Law of the Ocean

By Matt Reynolds   11/23/21  
ON NOVEMBER 19, 1969, the CSS Hudson slipped through the frigid waters of Halifax Harbour in Nova Scotia and out into the open ocean. The research vessel was embarking on what many of the marine…
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Ready to Kelp: How the ‘Kelp Bill’ Unlocked a Potential Game Changer in the Climate Fight

By Scarlett Buckley   11/09/21  
Kelp, a species of seaweed sometimes called “the rainforest of the sea,” could be a powerful weapon in the fight against climate change. Despite this, the commercial cultivation of kelp in Long Island, New York…
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The most comprehensive study ever reveals which are the greenest ‘blue foods’

By Emma Bryce   10/08/21  
What is the role of fish in a sustainable food future? Compared to other food groups, we have limited knowledge about the environmental impact of blue foods when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions and…
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U.S. Fishermen Are Making Their Last Stand Against Offshore Wind

By Alejandro de la Garza   09/30/21  
A few hundred yards south of the fishing boat docks at the Port of New Bedford in southeastern Massachusetts, workers will soon start offloading gigantic turbine components onto a wide expanse of gravel. Local trawlers…
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A California fisherman sails the choppy waters of climate change and drought

By Hailey Branson-Potts   09/01/21  
Not everyone believed in Captain Dan. Other fishermen chuckled when he started giving boat tours of Noyo Harbor. Who would pay for a ride in a busy port, with its foul-mouthed sailors, its harbor seals…
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Seaweed Farming: Could This Carbon-Negative Crop Help Restore Our Oceans?

By Katherine Gallagher   08/09/21  
China has been cultivating seaweed for about 1,700 years. Coastal populations harvested a wide variety of the algae first as a source of food and animal feed, but later for industrial purposes and nutritional supplements…
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Climate change: Oceans are in a ‘death spiral’ with world leaders ‘dragging their feet’, Greenpeace warns

By Thomas Moore   06/08/21  
The oceans are in a "death spiral" from climate change and destructive fishing, with world leaders doing little to stop it, an environmental pressure group has warned. Greenpeace says the chemistry of the water is…
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4 seaweed startups combating food insecurity and climate change

By Walé Azeez   06/08/21  
We’re all familiar with the role forests play when it comes to providing a sustainable source of food, energy and raw materials, and locking away CO2 emissions. But perhaps we’re less knowledgeable about the potential…
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Genetically modified salmon head to US dinner plates

By Casey Smith Associated Pres   05/28/21  
NDIANAPOLIS -- The inaugural harvest of genetically modified salmon began this week after the pandemic delayed the sale of the first such altered animal to be cleared for human consumption in the United States, company…
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U.S. urges change in fishing practices to save endangered whales

U.S. commercial fishing practices must change to prevent the extinction of North Atlantic right whales, the administration of President Joe Biden said on Thursday, as it prepares a list of new regulations to prevent whale…
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Farmed Atlantic Salmon Likely Passed Virus to Wild Pacific Salmon

By Abby Olena   05/27/21  
Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) are important to the fishing industry, Indigenous peoples, and endangered local populations of killer whales (Orcinus orca), but several salmon species have declined to the point of near extinction. To meet the…
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Dutch Harbor is nation’s top fishing port for 23rd straight year

By Hope McKenney and KUCB - Unalaska   05/27/21  
Dutch Harbor has been named the nation’s top fishing port by volume of seafood landed for the 23rd consecutive year. The Aleutians East Borough — including Akutan, False Pass, Sand Point and King Cove —…
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Global Fishing Watch opens doors on new MPA management portal, transshipment data

By Mark Godfrey   05/27/21  
Global Fishing Watch, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the sustainability of our ocean through increased transparency of human activity at sea, is seeking to improve science-based management of marine protected areas with a…
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Ending harmful fisheries subsidies would improve the health of our ocean. This is why

By Maria Damanaki   05/25/21  
More than one-third of all fish stocks are fished at unsustainable levels, degrading biodiversity, and devastating the future of fisheries and fishermen. Despite this, many governments around the world continue to spend taxpayer money to…
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Fish ‘not as carbon friendly’ as previously thought

By Darin Graham   05/24/21  
Previous research indicated that seafood has a smaller carbon footprint than other animal proteins, because fishing doesn't require farmland or the care of livestock. But a new study claims that catching fish using heavy nets…
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What is the most sustainable seafood to eat in the UK?

By Sustainable Food Trust Staff   05/24/21  
The recent release of Seaspiracy (see a review) has had a huge impact on what we think we can and cannot eat in terms of seafood. The rising awareness it has triggered around the desperate state of our…
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Commercial fishermen say they are being ignored on wind power projects

By Joe Wojtas   05/22/21  
Stonington — For the past three decades, Town Dock fishermen and their counterparts across the Northeast have struggled to stay afloat in the face of strict regulations designed to rebuild depleted stocks of cod, flounder and other species.
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Study finds protecting key ocean areas could boost total catch, fight climate change

By Chris Chase   05/19/21  
A new study published in Nature has found that protecting key areas of the ocean would increase overall catch, help reduce carbon emissions, and protect biodiversity. The study, “Protecting the global ocean for biodiversity, food…
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Technology to deliver sustainable fisheries

What gets measured, gets managed. That’s why the widespread application of remote electronic monitoring (REM) will be key to delivering the EU’s Green Deal. Although the necessary technological solutions already exist or are being developed,…
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Reduced fish abundance possible due to climate change warming deep waters in Lake Michigan

By Max White   05/10/21  
Climate change is warming Lake Michigan's surface, but also its deep waters, which could have a significant impact on the lake's ecosystem and mixing process. A long-term study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association,…
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The four fish I would still eat – even after watching Seaspiracy

By Paul Greenberg   05/10/21  
Seaspiracy, the buzzy, frenetic, slick, sloppy, confused and gripping documentary that premiered on Netflix in March, is often wrong but mostly right. Led by Ali Tabrizi, and produced by the maker of Cowspiracy, Kip Andersen,…
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“How do we manage fisheries in the midst of climate change?” Q&A with EDF’s Eric Schwaab

By Rhett A. Butler   05/03/21  
It’s no secret that humanity is abusing the world’s oceans. We’re overfishing at all levels of marine food chains, we’re annihilating critical habitats from mangroves to coral reefs, and we’re polluting global seas with plastic,…
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Climate change challenges trout industry in North Carolina

By Emma Johnson   05/01/21  
Raising trout in Western North Carolina is a time — and labor — intensive process, and the growing threat of climate change only worsens the situation, creating difficulties for hatcheries and recreational fisherman. Producing trout…
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California drought forces 15m salmon to take unusual route to Pacific: by road

By AP   04/30/21  
California officials will truck more than 15 million young salmon raised at fish hatcheries in the state’s Central Valley agricultural region to the Pacific Ocean because projected river conditions show that the waterways the fish…
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Growing U.S. kelp farming industry boosts economies, captures carbon

Seaweed has long been a delicacy in Asia, but now scientists see nutritional, economic and environmental benefits to building a robust kelp farming industry here in the United States. Ben Tracy reports.
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Seaspiracy shows why we must treat fish not as seafood, but as wildlife

By George Monbiot   04/07/21  
When the BBC made a film about the crisis in our oceans, it somehow managed to avoid naming the greatest cause of their ecological destruction: the fishing industry. The only significant sequence on fishing in 2017’s Blue…
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Marine Patrol Directed To Remove Gear From Path Of Wind Power Survey If Fishermen Won’t

By Fred Bever   03/24/21  
The state is telling Monhegan Island-area lobstermen to remove fishing gear from the path of a survey vessel — or the Marine Patrol will. That’s after the Department of Marine Resources determined that there is…
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Trawling for Fish May Unleash as Much Carbon as Air Travel, Study Says

By Catrin Einhorn   03/17/21  
For the first time, scientists have calculated how much planet-warming carbon dioxide is released into the ocean by bottom trawling, the practice of dragging enormous nets along the ocean floor to catch shrimp, whiting, cod…
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The slowing down of ocean currents could have a devastating effect on our climate

By Jackson Dill and Brandon Miller   03/16/21  
Well, new research reveals Earth's major ocean currents are slowing down, and though the consequences will not be as immediate or dramatic as in the Hollywood fiction, there are real-world impacts for global weather patterns…
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Healthy People, Healthy Ocean: How Conscious Consumers Are Helping Build a More Sustainable Seafood Sector

By Jackie Marks   03/06/21  
Recent research shows that people’s awareness of the link between their personal wellness and that of the environment has increased. How can simple solutions make a big impact? When it comes to food, we need…
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The Unintended Consequences of Driftnets

By Senator Dianne Feinstein   03/04/21  
The California coastline is the most beautiful in the country. Its waters are ecologically rich, home to majestic marine animals like sea turtles, dolphins, and whales. The federal waters off California’s coast are also one…
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Tuna’s Last Stand

By Christopher Pollon   03/02/21  
On the western fringes of Tuna Alley, the skipjack are about to fly. As a fishing boat moves through the Molucca Sea, off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, two crewmen fling shovelfuls…
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The road to sustainable, mass-produced cellular seafood

By Ben Halpern   03/02/21  
Researchers have mapped out the events required for cell-based seafood to deliver environmental benefits. The team from the University of California, Santa Barbara, found nine distinct steps that need to be achieved for the novel…
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Stressed-out young oysters may grow less meat on their shells

By Kristen Minogue and Smithsonian   03/02/21  
Early exposure to tough conditions—particularly warmer waters and nightly swings of low oxygen—could leave lasting scars on oysters' ability to grow meaty tissue. A team of biologists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) reported…
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MSC aims to increase activity and drive sustainable fishing in Mexico

By Christian Molinari   02/25/21  
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) plans to increase its presence and activities in Mexico, rolling out a strategic plan for the creation of a community of producers and commercial partners, while also implementing a communications…
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Climate Change is Weakening the Ocean Currents That Shape Weather on Both Sides of the Atlantic

By Bob Berwyn   02/25/21  
Since the end of the last ice age, a swirling system of ocean-spanning currents has churned consistently in the Atlantic, distributing heat energy along the ocean surface from the tropics toward the poles, with heavy,…
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Post-pandemic seafood could be more sustainable. Here’s how tech is driving the change

By Virginia Gewin   02/23/21  
Workdays can begin hours before dawn in Guaymas, Mexico, where a small cohort of locals launch modest fiberglass-and-wood boats from the rocky shore into waters that will gleam azure at sunrise. From their pangas, crafts…
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Future ocean warming boosts tropical rainfall extremes

Climate models predict that the difference between El Niño and La Niña related tropical rainfall will increase over the next 80 years, even though the temperature difference between El Niño and La Niña may change…
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Sustainable fisheries are the secret ingredient in seafood’s future

By Paal Skogrand   02/19/21  
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Commission reports that intensive fishing has already compromised the survival of 33.1 percent of commercial species of fish. This overexploitation poses a threat to both marine life and future…
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Mapping hotspots of undersized fish and crustaceans may aid sustainable fishing practices

A new study in Frontiers in Marine Science provides a first-of-its-kind evaluation of which regions of southern European seas are in the most need of fishing restrictions. These areas have persistently shown high numbers of…
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Shark Populations Are Crashing, With a ‘Very Small Window’ to Avert Disaster

By Catrin Einhorn   01/27/21  
In just the last half-century, humans have caused a staggering, worldwide drop in the number of sharks and rays that swim the open oceans, scientists have found in the first global assessment of its kind,…
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Guide Shows Gulf of Mexico Fishery Managers How to Take Big-Picture Approach

By Holly Binns   01/06/21  
Successful football coaches don’t call plays in a vacuum. They consider a host of factors, including the score, field position, time on the clock, and how well their team is playing at the time. Successfully…
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How Scientists Tracked Down a Mass Killer (of Salmon)

By Catrin Einhorn   12/03/20  
Something was decimating the salmon that had been restored to creeks around Puget Sound.
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‘We won’: Indigenous group in Canada scoops up billion dollar seafood firm

By Leyland Cecco   11/12/20  
For generations, Indigenous peoples in Canada have watched, often in frustration, as commercial industries profit from the land and waters their ancestors once harvested. This week, however, excitement replaced irritation as a group of First…
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A Farewell To Ice Fishing? Climate Change Leads To Less Lake Ice

By Barbara Moran   10/08/20  
Max Holmes grew up near the shores of Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay. He recalled playing on the frozen lake as a kid — ice skating, which he hated, and ice fishing with his family, which…
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Trispot Darter Fish Gains Protected Critical Habitat in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today designated just over 175 river miles, including 9,924 acres, as protected critical habitat for the threatened trispot darter in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.  
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Gone In A Generation

By Zoeann Murphy and Chris Mooney   09/26/20  
There’s stark evidence of the problem near the town of Truth or Consequences, about 100 miles north of the Mexican border. The century-old Elephant Butte Dam was constructed along the Rio Grande to provide power…
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In Major Policy Shift, Fisheries Commission Recognizes Value of Menhaden to East Coast Ecosystems

By Joseph Gordon   08/05/20  
Menhaden make an outsize contribution to marine ecosystems, and these small fish have long needed more sustainable management. Today, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission addressed that need by unanimously adopting a system under which…
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Trump lifts limits on commercial fishing at ocean sanctuary off New England

By Dino Grandoni   06/05/20  
Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is the first in the Atlantic. Trump said a prohibition against fishing hurt Maine’s commercial fishing industry.
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