Vol. 6, No. 10  October 2001    News & Comment for and by the Fishermen of Maine          SUBSCRIBE NOW!!
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by Paul Molyneaux

In 1969, the Congressionally authorized Stratton Commission submitted a report that changed the way America managed its marine resources. The Stratton Commission led to the creation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and passage of the Magnuson Stevens Fisheries Conservation Act and the Coastal Zone Management Act, all of which have had a profound effect on how we do business on and around the water.
Stratton managed to articulate American's changing view of the oceans at a time when Russian traw-lers could sometimes be seen from mid-Atlantic beaches, and Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring, described how toxins such as PCBs disrupted the reproductive capacity of birds and fish. For three decades Stratton has guided regulatory policy, even the Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA) of 1996, which set standards for fisheries management. But implementation of SFA focused on unobtainable biological goals and devolved into endless allocation battles that are being settled in the courts.

Now, for the first time in over thirty years, not one, but two high level commissions hope to replicate Stratton's formulation of a cohesive view on marine resource management, but in a way that addresses current problems. The first com-mission was established through the Oceans Act of 2000. Passed at the end of Clinton's term, the

legislation called for the formation of a President's Commission on Ocean Policy. In late 2000 however, when the passage of the act seemed in doubt, the Pew Charitable Trusts established its own commission with a 4.5 million dollar endowment. The Pew Commission had already held five of seven scheduled meetings,     continue

by Mike Crowe

The Atlantic salmon has not been a commercial fish for so long that many people today may not be aware it ever was. Its range, from the Connecticut River, up the Maine coast, through Labrador over and down into northwestern Europe, made it widely known. Very visible when they poured into northern rivers to spawn, they put on a show leaping over high waterfalls and were easy to catch in crowded shallow pools. The Atlantic salmon was to England in the middle ages almost what the cod was to New England by the 1700s.     continue

Four salmon cars being towed by a steamer on the Penobscot circa 1890's.


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