Our policy and advocacy campaigns are where the best ideas of the small-boat fleet are debated and refined, shared with fishery managers, elected officials and scientists, then worked into sensible regulations to help fish and fishermen.
We serve as the voice of the local community at decision-making tables: Fishermen’s Alliance staff has continuously held a seat for 19 years on New England Fishery Management Council, and 21 years on Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission and 8 years on Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, representing Cape Cod’s fishermen.
We support fishermen’s participation in Advisory Panels and Take Reduction Teams, and empower the community to successfully engage in the public policy making process that is fisheries management.
Active campaigns change regularly based on fishermen’s priorities and current challenges; below is a small sample of active campaigns.
Cape Cod’s small-boat scallopers can’t safely travel as far as the big trip boats, but areas open to scalloping rotate each year. We work with the scallop fleet to secure exclusive access to inshore areas, making limited biomass of scallops last longer and support the local fleet. Local scallopers are also helping to improve scallop science: in 2022-2024 staff and fishermen will be conducting a Scallop Reproduction Study funded by Research Set-Aside Quota.
Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management
Fisheries management is moving in a new direction,where theentirety of an ecosystem -food fish, small schooling fish, predators, other marine life and humans -are taken into account, as are changing climate conditions and environmental factors. It provides opportunities to rebuild habitats and fish populations, diversify fishing businesses and address the issue of fish populations shifting northwards. New England is a national leader in developing EBFM solutions and CEO John Pappalardo chairs the region’s EBFM Committee. We are preparing the community to engage in a series of workshops to discuss options being proposed in the draft example Fisheries Ecosystem Plan. Learn more at the Council’s EBFM Outreach page
Monkfish is a valuable fishery for the local gillnet fleet. Unfortunately, the science for monkfish is far behind other species and the stock assessment relies upon the last three years of landings data. The low landings are a result of COVID impacts on the market, so fishermen see lots of monkfish while the Council is forced to significantly cut how much they can land. We’re working to provide additional data to the stock assessment to prevent these types of mistakes.