The New England Fishery Management Council Essay

The New England Fishery Management Council Essay

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Proposed by the New England Fishery Management Council in 2014, a Dedicated Habitat Research Area, or DHRA, is currently being considered in the Gulf of Maine. The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary would be the site of this proposed DHRA. A DHRA is an area that is managed with the intent to protect areas that are vulnerable to impacts from fishing and that have significance for many different species. Within this DHRA would be a Northern Reference Area. The Reference Area would prevent both recreational fishing and commercial fishing, allowing the spot to be left alone with no interruptions from fishing and provide a location for scientists to perform studies of the natural habitat. As of right now, “the plan includes proposals to close three areas off New England to recreational and charter-boat ground fishing”(Trufant 2014). The DHRA is intended to protect this area of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, however it does not take into account other factors, particularly those affecting humans.
As the captain of a charter boat, I oppose the implementation of this DHRA. Being based out of Boston, it is important that I have access to the area affected by the proposed DHRA for my business. If the proposal goes through, my business will certainly be affected, in turn impacting my standard of living. All fishermen will be impacted, leaving some unable to feed their families and having to alter their lifestyles to adapt to these changes. The fishing industry will be affected, as well as the cultural and historical significance of the area, and the economy of the areas near the DHRA and Reference Area will be heavily impacted by its institution.
The DHRA will heavily impact the fishing industry. Fishing is vitally i...


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... lost – not just by owners of charter boats but also by South Shore hotels, restaurants and other businesses from Gloucester to Plymouth and beyond”(Trufant 2014). Tourism could be affected if charter boats are unable to go out, which in turn affects the businesses that rely on the tourism brought in by recreational fishing, causing an economic downturn.
Ultimately, the proposed DHRA and Reference Area should not be passed. Commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, tourism, economies, and other factors will all be affected. People will not be able to support themselves and businesses and towns will suffer. Adapting to a situation that directly affects the lives of many will lead to many problems, some with major lasting effects. While the DHRA and Reference Area are designed to protect the areas of concern, they will have significant and devastating consequences.

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