My work at the Marine Fish Conservation Network includes hosting a live stream series and podcast called Waterside Chat. The series connects people who depend on healthy oceans and fisheries with the issues that directly affect them and their communities. In each episode my guests and I talk about ocean policy and fisheries management topics and what policy decisions mean for people’s livelihoods, communities, recreation and coastal ways of life.
If you are interested, you can sign up for the Network’s email list to learn about future Waterside Chats. You can see past episodes on the Network’s website.
We usually do one episode a month but because of a glitch in the matrix last month, we wound up with a two-fer in April.
My first guest of the Waterside Chat was Bob Rees of the Northwest Guides and Anglers Association. Rees and I had a conversation about salmon, steelhead and conservation in the Pacific Northwest. We covered a variety of topics including:
How climate change and forest-clearing have raised water temperatures in many streams to the point that juvenile salmonids cannot thrive and often can’t survive at all. Fish are a forest product, like timber, and forest management needs to take their survival into account.
How the Snake River Dams have damaged or destroyed salmon runs that local communities have relied on for many years.
How fishing guides and others whose livelihoods depend on healthy stocks of salmon and steelhead are working together to change public policy around fisheries and conservation.
Why even an email or a letter to a legislator or the Board of Forestry can make a difference.
Tips for fishing in Oregon waters this year.
Here are the links to items mentioned in this episode:
My second guest this month was Eric Brazer, deputy director of the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders' Alliance. Brazer is a member of the Network’s Policy Council, and a voice on behalf of science-based management of Gulf Red Snapper and other species. Brazer and I talked about:
How despite years of fisheries conservation successes, the Gulf is telling us it's in trouble. Populations of fish such as gag grouper have declined to their lowest level on record, prompting huge cuts in fishing quotas.
The need for ecosystem management rather than managing individual species in isolation.
The need for fisheries managers to have experience in fisheries management or on the water. The Gulf management council has more people named "Bob" serving on it right now than it does actual commercial fishermen.
How the Alliance's Quota Bank that helps reduce red snapper discards in the eastern Gulf by holding participants to a high standard of accountability in a market-based system.
The Alliance's policy work to support good science and data, to educate regional and federal regulators, and to play an active role in shaping our commercial fishing regulations.
Their work with the Gulf Wild brand program, supporting a seafood traceability program built by fishermen for fishermen.
How the Alliance fosters the next generation of conservation-minded fishermen.
The complex effects of climate change on Gulf fish populations.
The Alliance’s Quota Bank
The Gulf Wild program