Even in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its long history of fishing and fisheries science, we lack much of the critical data needed to manage fishing effectively and sustainably. For more than a decade, our research has increased the understanding of what happens when fish are incidentally captured and then released, including the impacts on the physiology, health, and survival of sharks, skates, cod, and other species.

Outcomes

In cooperation with engineers, government agencies, and the fishing industry, we have helped to translate this research into the development of science-based stock assessments, fishing regulations, and best handling practices to increase survival of animals that are discarded. Beyond the North Atlantic, we are leading an international consortium of scientists, government agencies, engineers, and wildlife managers to develop and disseminate practical fishing techniques for reducing conflicts between human activities and ocean wildlife, including marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds. Future work will focus on better understanding the full impacts of recreational fisheries in the North Atlantic and artisanal fisheries worldwide, both of which have traditionally been underestimated.

In addition, the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium plans to develop a more strategic, institutional approach to translating science results into policy.

We will advance science-based management of commercial and recreational fishing to restore and sustain key fish stocks in the North Atlantic in the face of ongoing fishing pressure and population shifts due to climate change.