Fishermen and working waterfront communities have been experiencing the impacts of climate change on the Gulf of Maine for decades. In 2016, MCFA hosted a climate change session at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum with over 350 participants. During the session, fishermen from around the world shared what they were seeing as oceans warm and told stories of the social and economic impacts of those changes.
Gerry Cushman, MCFA board member and the fisherman from Port Clyde who led the session, pointed out that in 2010, 12 million pounds of shrimp were caught in Maine but by 2013, the shrimp fishery had collapsed with climate change being one of the main culprits. Today, the fishery remains unopened and all indicators suggest it will not be reopening any time soon.
I give this example not only to show that fishermen are being impacted by climate change, but that they care deeply about the problem and want to create solutions that protect our fishing communities and the opportunity that seafood represents for Maine.
MCFA wants to see real action that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while embracing the idea that seafood and the working waterfront are part of our shared climate solution.
In June of 2019, Governor Mills and the State Legislature created the Maine Climate Council, an assembly of scientists, industry leaders, bipartisan local and state officials, and engaged citizens to develop a four-year plan to put Maine on a trajectory to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 and at least 80% by 2050.
While mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts is the ultimate goal of the council, MCFA has not seen recommendations that truly achieve these lofty goals. NOW is the time to make our voices heard and build solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while building a better future for Maine’s fishing communities.
Please let the Climate Council know that you care about Maine's fishermen and rural communities, and ask them to ensure that their work not only helps to mitigate climate change impacts but also invests in opportunities that allow fishermen to continue to feed our nation and support their communities.
Right now, you can submit comments and share your voice by completing the Coastal and Marine Working Group survey.
In MCFA’s comments, we outlined the need to:
Eat local: Our food system accounts for 37% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Eating food closer to home is an important step to reducing our individual greenhouse gas footprint.
Eat more seafood: Maine wild-caught seafood has one of the lowest carbon footprints out of ANY protein sources we eat. Investing in ways to promote seafood consumption will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Invest and protect working waterfront infrastructure that is climate-ready and adaptable.
Provide incentives and reduce barriers to fishermen investing in cleaner engines and more fuel-efficient boats.
Support flexible and adaptable fishing businesses and shoreside infrastructure to ensure fishermen can catch what is available and consumers can eat what is local.
This is just a small list of the things we identified as opportunities to help address climate change while investing in the Blue Economy. In the comments section of the survey, tell them why Maine's fishermen and Maine seafood matter to you.
You'll be happy to know that buying any and all Maine seafood supports Maine fishermen and sustainable fisheries. As a matter of fact, the United States has the most sustainable fisheries in the world. Our fisheries are highly-regulated and closely managed, and although sometimes burdensome, rules and regulations are constantly adapting to make certain that there's fish in the sea for the next generation of fishermen and to ensure a healthy Gulf of Maine ecosystem... Continue Reading
We will be placing the next order of Sea Bags next week and then we will not be ordering again until the Holidays. Make sure to get your bag order in TODAY.
Stay Away! One Fathom Shirts
Still haven't gotten your "Stay Away One Fathom" T-shirt from MCFA?
We have blue and grey shirts in stock so get in your order before t-shirt weather is behind us and this cool graphic tee is hidden under an MCFA sweatshirt.
Our mailing address is:
14 Maine Street, Box 40
Brunswick, Maine 04011
You're receiving this email because you've engaged with Maine Coast Fishermen's Association via our website, staff, conferences, or events. You can manage your newsletter subscriptions with the link below.