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Pew Charitable Trusts;
Ocean fish populations are a vital renewable resource for human populations, providing food,employment and recreation, as well as contributing to global biodiversity. Unfortunately, due to overfishing, environmental degradation, climate change and other stressors, many fish stocks worldwide are in considerable decline.
Biological overfishing occurs when fishing rates exceed population growth rates. The resulting declines in fish populations can impact the economy at large. This study analyzes one important component of the costs of overfishing: forgone revenues from lost commercial fisheries harvests due to years of continuedstock depletion, or historic overfishing. It estimates the present annual forgone revenue of overfishing for three regions in the United States: New England, the South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. These regions were chosen for analysis because they are grappling with the effects of historic overfishing and therefore have a significant number of overfished stocks. The 20 stocks included in this analysis are federally managed stocks particular to each region that are included in the Fish Stock Sustainability Index and are currently classified by the National Marine Fisheries Service as "overfished." A stock that is classified as overfished is defined as having a biomass level below a biological threshold specified in its fishery management plan.
Overfishing means fewer fish are available to catch in future years. The annual forgone revenue of historic overfishing, therefore, is an estimate of the value of lost catch in a given year due to overfishing. To arrive at the catch loss for each fishery, we first estimated the potential landings of each overfished stock as if it were at healthy levels, and compared those estimates directly to current landings values. We measured potential landings for each fish stock on the basis of optimal yield, and examined four approximations of optimal yield. Our estimates of commercial catch losses are for 2009, the most recent year for which all necessary data were available.
Based on our estimates, the aggregate catch loss summed over all three regions in 2009 was $164.2 million. Under a less-conservative approximation of optimal yield, commercial catch loss across all three regions in 2009 was estimated at $222.5 million. Across all three regions, we demonstrated that only 20 to 29 percent of potential landings in 2009 were realized in actual landings. We found the commercial catch loss ($149 million) to be greatest in New England, where there are more overfished species than in any other region in the United States. In the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic regions, where large catch allocations are apportioned to recreational fishing, and therefore not accounted for in this analysis, commercial catch losses were lower but still significant. Commercial catch loss in the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic regions were $12.3 million and $2.9 million, respectively.
Our estimates of losses resulting from historic overfishing apply to commercial landings only, and do not account for the backward-linked economic impacts of commercial harvest, nor the forward-linked economic activity that would have resulted from the processing and retail sale of these potential catches. Additionally, there are further economic losses beyond the commercial sector in other industries, such as recreational fishing, and there are costs associated with negative impacts to food security, biodiversity and other ecosystem services that are not addressed in this analysis. Commercial catch losses are onesignificant component of the total economic costs of overfishing. Estimates of commercial catch loss we find in this study provide a strong economic argument in support of maintaining healthy fish populations and avoiding delays in rebuilding stocks currently subject to overfishing and/or classified as overfished.
Pew Environment Group;
Former cod fisherman and historian Ted Ames of Stonington, Maine, says he heard about an old salt who "hauled in 25 tons in 20 minutes after steaming to a favorite fishing spot. ... He filled the net so full that it could not be brought on board without sinking the vessel. So he pulled the net behind him into port and then waited for the tide to go out so he could get the fish."
Pew Environment Group;
In 2009, commercial fishermen in the New England, South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions that targeted depleted ocean fish populations lost $164.2 million and realized just 25 percent of potential revenues because of decades of overfishing – catching fish faster than they can reproduce (for full analysis, see www.pewenvironment.org/costofoverfishing). This additional income could have been earned had these fish populations not been subject to years of overfishing that resulted in their current depleted condition. Congress recognized this costly legacy of overfishing in 2006 when it strengthened the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) with bipartisan requirements to establish science-based catch limits to end overfishing and rebuild depleted fish populations. Congress should stay the course with the MSA so that we can restore our nation's fish populations to healthy levels and put those dollars back in fishermen's wallets.
Pew Environment Group;
Because of decades of overfishing—catching fish faster than they can reproduce—in 2009, commercial fishermen in New England who targeted species such as cod, flounder, halibut and other bottom-dwelling "groundfish" lost at least $149 million and realized just 21 percent of potential revenues. This additional income could have been earned if fish populations had been at healthy levels. New analysis is discussed in a report authored by Ecotrust, one of the leading providers of marine social and economic research.
New England Foundation for the Arts;
The 2016-2017 season marks NDP's 20th anniversary. Moving Dance Forward rigorously unearths NDP's cumulative contributions to the development of the dance field. It also probes critical field trends that influence dance creation and touring today.1NEFA's objectives for this report are threefold: to document NDP's impacts, to improve NDP moving forward by gaining insights into unmet field needs and NDP's strengths and weaknesses, and to broadly share findings with the hopes that this research will inform programs and investments even beyond NEFA.
To meet the study objectives, our firm, Metris Arts Consulting, used a variety of methods and data sources. Core methods included: detailed analyses of NDP's internal records; a literature review; field-wide surveys administered to both dancemakers and presenters (nearly 800 responses); focus groups with dancemak-ers who self-identified as being largely excluded from access to resources that support contemporary dance touring; focus groups with presenters, including those who have and have not received support from NDP; interviews with dancemakers, presenters, NEFA staff, and dance ecology watchers; and an exploration of select secondary quantitative sources.
Our key findings reveal NDP's vital contributions to the development of the dance field. It has provided critical and holistic support for dance; made significant investments in both creation and touring; connected audiences and communities to dance; and increased artists' and presenters' connections, knowledge, confidence, and standing. An analysis of presenters and artists supported along several dimensions reveals strides in meeting NDP's objectives of supporting a diverse range of artists and presenters, as well as potential opportunities for improvement. Below (and to an even greater extent in the full report), we delve into the nuances of these impacts, substantiate findings, and place them in their larger context by connecting them to larger field trends.
Pew Charitable Trusts;
All animals need safe places to grow, reproduce, and find food. Marine animals are no different. In the ocean, their habitats can be the sandy bottom, a seamount rising from the ocean floor, or a deep canyon carved into the continental shelf. These places are affected by pollution and other human activities such as oil and gas drilling and commercial fishing, which research shows can have negative consequences. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is tasked with regulating ocean fishing and protecting our nation's ocean resources. Some areas of New England's waters have been closed to various types of fishing gear for decades in order to encourage the return of healthy populations of important groundfish (such as cod, haddock, and flounder), but the region does not have a plan for habitat management, as required by federal law. A plan for protecting essential fish habitat has been under development for 10 years. A variety of alternatives will be presented to the public later this year, many of which propose a reduction in the size of the area currently protected. Some of these proposals ignore established science and place the short-term interests of the commercial fishing industry above the need to protect habitat for the long-term benefit of the ecosystem, its fish populations, and the coastal communities they support.
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC);
Just 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod lie some of our country's greatest marine treasures. Hidden beneath thousands of feet of ocean, where the continental shelf drops off to the pitch-black abyss of the deep Atlantic Ocean, five massive canyons plunge down, some deeper than the Grand Canyon. Just beyond these canyons, four extinct underwater volcanoes – called seamounts – rise as high as 7,700 feet above the ocean floor, higher than any mountain east of the Rockies and the only such seamounts in U.S. Atlantic waters. The plunging walls and deep floors of the canyons and the towering slopes of the seamounts are alive with vivid coldwater corals of otherworldly beauty – some the size of small trees and centuries, if not thousands of years, old. These corals, together with other structure-forming fauna including sponges and anemones, form a foundation for vibrant deep-sea ecosystems, providing food, spawning habitat, and shelter for an array of fish and invertebrate species. The varied habitats and strong and complex currents of the canyons and seamounts also support significant and diverse concentrations of marine life throughout the water column. These deep-sea biodiversity hotspots are sites of active scientific exploration, investigations and discovery. The canyons and seamounts proposed for designation represent tremendous opportunities for further scientific exploration and education around deep-sea ecosystems. Importantly, these remote and relatively pristine areas function as a scientific reference site, giving researchers the chance to advance our understanding of undisturbed nature in a world otherwise transformed by humans. In recognition of this area's value, 141 eminent ocean scientists from 84 research institutions, along with the three major New England Aquaria and 226 accredited aquaria from around the world, have urged robust long-term protections for these "particularly outstanding examples" of New England's canyons and seamounts.