As I write, in the aftermath of the Blizzard of 2015, wondering if that thing called bombogenesis actually happened the other day, I find myself thinking not about the drifting heaps of snow I'm still shoveling, but about the cost of climate change. 


Maybe it's the increased frequency of these monster storms, or the unpredictability of seasonal changes these days, but the need to adapt to climate change - in fisheries and beyond - gets more urgent every day. 


We hear from friends and allies in fisheries all over the country about the ways that warming waters are affecting their livelihoods. In the Gulf of Maine, waters are warming at an even faster clip than almost all of the bodies of salt water in the world, causing a host of problems in our fisheries that we'll need to adapt to as a community. In southern New England, fishermen are catching species they've never seen before, and have to consult guidebooks from the Carolinas to find out what they are.

Fishermen are increasingly stuck paying the costs of societal dependence on oil, coal, and natural gas. They bear those costs in the extra fuel they have to burn to follow the fish to colder or deeper waters; or every time they have to switch gear or learn to catch new species because their usual quarry has moved North; and in their increasing uncertainty about whether the fishing this year will be the same as last year - or totally different from anything they've experienced before.

But, ever resourceful, fishermen and their allies are findings ways to adapt. Localized seafood supply chains are a key part of this: with closer connections between boat and consumer, communities can support local fishermen - whatever they happen to catch, whether that's Gulf of Maine cod, squid - or, maybe someday, Gulf of Maine grouper. Our work to help create market alternatives for fishermen will serve us well as fishing becomes ever more uncertain. 

In the coming months, we invite you to join with us as we elevate the voices of fishermen in the national climate change conversation and integrate climate change considerations into our federal fisheries management legislation. Our values, including transparency, accountability, and collaboration, are among the tools we need to face these issues. 

We hope you'll join us in these efforts!




Sarah Schumann

NAMA friend and supporter

(That's me in the middle, at the People's Climate March in New York last fall.)

We'd like to share:

Building community
Remembering our friends Kim Libby and Paul Metivier

NAMA lost two friends in January. Paul Metiviera commercial fisherman from Newbury, MA, passed away earlier this month. His boat Debra Ann II was a small trawler that fished out of Gloucester. Paul and his wife Debra were one of the first fishing families on the north shore that took part in Cape Ann Fresh Catch CSF.

The F/V Debra Ann II

Kim Libby was a visionary, a rabble-rouser, and the co-founder of the country's first CSF.  Her sudden death was a shock to her family and broader community, who lost an important ally in the efforts to build strong local markets for community-based fishermen. Thank you Kim and Paul. We'll miss you. 

Influencing policy
Weighing in on NOAA's Greater Atlantic region's strategic plan

NOAA's Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) recently released a draft of their five-year strategic plan. FLC leaders initiated a letter to GARFO signed by over 65 members (representing 40+ organizations). GARFO's draft plan highlights many of the policies and practices we've been advocating for for a long time, and the time is ripe for collaboration! 

Our analysis of the unintended consequences of catch shares and ocean privatization was also reflected in a U.S. News and World Report titled "The Right Catch of the Day." It's good to see our narrative taking hold in the media and at NOAA. 

Transforming markets
Building up Boat-to-School

The boat-to-school (and other institutions) is really on the move - we're hearing of new initiatives all the time in places like Sitka, Alaska; Monterey, California; and Portland, Maine. Check out the new Facebook page  to keep up with these growing efforts and get inspired to start one in your community! In other market-shifting news, our pals at Dock to Dish launched a new CSF in Key WestFlorida's first! 

What we're reading
It's all about the climate

This sea turtle is mad about climate change, too. 
Warming waters are wreaking havoc on fisheries. Scientists and fishermen are recognizing that management practices will have to adaptAnd we need to
start now. We can resolve climate changebut it won't be easy. 

Thank you for all that you do. Catch you next month!