Protect Dwindling Fish Populations

Commercial Fishing Boat

Target: New England Fishery Management Council Executive Director Thomas A. Nies

Goal: Protect local fish habitats from devastating over-fishing that could wipe out groundfish species

A plan to balance fish species protection and the desires of commercial fishing companies is currently being created by the New England Fishery Management Council. Several options are on the table, and environmentalists are concerned that the council won’t do enough to protect fish species around Rhode Island and Maine, which have already dwindled to dangerous levels due to over-fishing.

Many areas around the Northeast coast are already closed to commercial fishing due to this problem, but the council is considering options that would open them up again. The threat that fishing companies pose to the fish species in these places is so great that 138 scientists from around the world have come together to write a letter warning against a failure to instate adequate protections. The problem is that there are so few fish left of the threatened species of cod and haddock that any further allowed fishing in these areas could push them over the edge and beyond recovery, leaving them to fall into extinction.

By signing this petition, you’ll urge the New England Fishery Management Council to listen to scientists rather than ignorant and greedy fishing companies that are more concerned about short-term profits than the long term health of the fish species and overall ecosystem. If these fish are pushed into extinction, it will hurt both the environment and fishing companies. Therefore, protecting the fish now is clearly the best option.


Dear Director Nies,

I’ve learned that you are currently considering options for a fishery management plan that will balance conservation of fish species and the needs of commercial fishing companies. There is a lot of concern over whether you are going to do enough to protect the regional species of fish like cod and haddock, and to reduce the risk of wiping them out.

As you may know, many scientists are concerned that if you reopen previously closed areas to fishing, it could push threatened groups over the line to the point that they won’t be able to recover and will go extinct. If that happens, it will do serious damage to the local ecosystems as well as ultimately do greater harm to the commercial fishing companies. If you give in to the demands of these companies to satisfy their short term desires, everyone will end up worse off in the long term.

Please make sure you select a plan that will adequately protect local fish species from further population loss and potential extinction. Total loss of fish populations will have serious negative effects on both fishing companies and the stability of the entire marine ecosystem, which is fragile enough without human intervention. Do not let anyone convince you that short-term profits are worth the extinction of entire species of fish.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Allen Shimada via Wikimedia Commons

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