Everyone talks about poachers, recs keeping too many, comms netting etc.
But the dirty secret root to many problems with fish stocks along our coasts and the greatest threat to fishing is the loss of coastal wetlands.
New Jersey led the way in destroying habitat back in the 50's and 60s when our coastal nurseries were dredged, cleared, filled and destroyed.
It has slowed down and thankfully many advocates along the coast have helped curtail even more development but still too much goes on unchecked, especially where politicians get their pockets greased by developers.
Status and Trends of Wetlands in Coastal Watersheds
NOAA has co-authored a report with the Fish and Wildlife Service documenting the current status and trends of wetlands loss along the coastal watersheds of the United States
. According to the report's findings, from 2004-2009, coastal watersheds lost wetlands at the alarming rate of 80,000 acres per year--a 25 percent increase over the last six year period reported. In the upper reaches of coastal watersheds, stressors associated with development--both residential and infrastructure--were key factors in wetlands loss.
The loss of these valuable wetlands threatens not only our nation's sustainable fisheries and protected species, but our supply of clean water, and the stability of shorelines in the face of climate change.
Through the Habitat Blueprint
, NOAA Fisheries is working across programs and with partner organizations to address the growing challenge of coastal and marine habitat loss and degradation.
Down south, the push to developer former rural fishing communities threatens coastal stocks. Don't think for a minute what happens in the gulf has no impact on us... it's all interconnected.