The 1999 environmental conference was co-sponsored by the Connecticut Sea Grant College Program.

The proceedings of this conference were published in December 2000 as a special issue of the journal Northeast Naturalist Vol 7, No.4. It is available for purchase from The Goodwin-Niering Center for $10.

Marine fisheries around the globe are in dramatic decline as fish are extracted at a rate faster than they can regenerate. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, nearly 70 percent of commercial fish species are either fully exploited or in serious trouble. Fishing vessels with increasingly sophisticated navigation, sonar, and fishing gear are able to efficiently harvest ever greater proportions of fish populations.

Stretching from Long Island Sound to Nova Scotia, fish populations in New England's offshore waters are also experiencing this crash, though they currently provide only about ten percent of the annual US catch. While government regulators seek to further restrict fishing in Georges Bank, the Gulf of Maine and Southern New England waters, scientists hurry to collect critical life-history and habit data upon which management must be based. Meanwhile fishermen and their families struggle with severe economic hardship and wonder if the end of their traditional means of livelihood is now in sight.

Managing fish stocks for sustainable yields is in the interest of everyone, yet there is little agreement on how best to accomplish this difficult balancing act. The only consensus is that imperiled marine resources must be safeguarded from over exploitation and the human impacts to ecosystem functions needed to sustain harvested populations must be reduced.


Lauren Allen, National Marine Fisheries Service, Gloucester, MA: Protected Species and Fishing Methods: An Overview of the Problem, Regulation, and Conservation Strategies

Peter Auster, National Undersea Research Center, Avery Point, CT: Sustaining Harvested Fish Populations and Conserving Biodiversity: The Role of Marine Protected Areas

Scott Burns, World Wildlife Federation, Washington, DC: Certified Catch: Incentives for Sustainability

Dave Crestin, National Marine Fisheries Service (retired Deputy Director): Federal Regulation of Fisheries

Joe DeAlteris, Rhode Island Sea Grant: Effects of Fishing on Biodiversity and Habitat in the NW Atlantic

Ellie Dorsey, Marine Conservation Consultant, Washington, DC: Perspectives from a Non-governmental Organization

Chris Glass
, Manomet Center for Conservation Science, Manomet, MA: Conservation of Fish Stocks through Bycatch Reduction

Trevor Kenchinton, Gadus Associates, Nova Scotia: North Atlantic Fisheries Management: The Canadian Approach

Helen Merderer, University of Rhode Island: In Their Blood: Commercial Fishing and Family Life in New England

Frank Mirarchi, a fisherman from Scituate, MA: Thirty-five Years on the Waterfront: a Fisherman's Perspectives

Steve Murawski, National Marine Fisheries Service, Woods Hole, MA: Ten Years of Groundfish History in the Northeast

Jim O'Malley, East Coast Fisheries Federation, Narragansett, RI: Finding a Balance between Economy and Environment

Michael Pol, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, Pocasset, MA: The New England Commercial Fishing Industry: Developments and Trends

Jon Sutinen, University of Rhode Island: Economic Perspectives on Fisheries Management in New England

Rich Wahle, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science, West Boothbay Harbor, ME: Fisheries in a Sea of Change: Ecology and Oceanography of New England's Fishery