Essay on Case Study On New England Fisheries

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The 1800’s the George’s Banks off the coast of New England was very generous to the fisherman who fished the sea for a living. There was a balance between what the fisherman took and what the sea could provide. By the mid-1900 that balances began greatly to shift. Technology developed during the 1950s allowed fishermen to take in much more fish than previous years. Through continued over fishing and lack of controls in place at the time, the fish stock depleted to the point the George’s Banks could no longer support the fisherman.
As early as 1914, the Government was receiving reports from the U.S. Commissioner of Fisheries on the potential impact to unregulated fishing. By 1931, serious questions were being asked about the ability of the fish to be able to continue to meet the demands and ever-increasing fishing that was occurring in the area. By the 1980s, the fishing in the George’s Banks has almost become unprofitable. (, 2004)

New England Fisheries
The fishing off the coast of New England provided jobs for many people in the New England area. The fisherman and those that worked in the canneries were first and foremost the beneficiaries of the plentiful fishing. These people were very independent group and were passionately against any form of regulation by the U.S. Government. It was recognized very early that over fishing was going to be a problem in a 1930 report done by Harvard University. A recommendation was to increase the mesh size of the net then however; it was not until 1953 that regulations occur. (, 2004) History shows 23 years to make a decision was too little to late. The fishermen took a very anthropocentric view of the entire situation. ...

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...nd many businesses suffered due to the lack for foresight by the companies to implement self regulation and lack of willingness by the Government to implement any solid measures for protecting this natural resource until it was almost too late.

Natural Resources Defense Council. (2003). Recovery in Georges Bank through the
use of closed areas. Retrieved June 16, 2007 from
Newton, L., Dillingham, C. & Choly, J. (2006). Ten cases in environmental ethics.
Wathersheds 4. Skunked: Crisis in the New England Fisheries. Thomson Wadsworth
Northeast Fisheries Science Center. (2004). Brief history of the groundfishing industry
of New England. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration website. Retrieved June 16, 2007 from

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