Friday, March 7, 2014
I recently spent a long day on the water with a crew from the Maine Department of Marine Resources and National Marine Fisheries Service, getting a first-hand view of the state inshore trawl survey. I only got a little seasick, and it was a very educational day for me.
We were in Muscungus Bay looking to see what fish were around as part of a larger stock assessment for the Gulf of Maine. We saw a lot of juvenile Atlantic herring and alewives. We saw some lobster as well, but not much else.
It was encouraging to see the juvenile alewives given our river restoration efforts on the Penobscot. These small sea-run fish feed our groundfish and thus, support our commercial fisheries. The health of the whole Gulf of Maine is affected when they're not present.
But it was discouraging that we did not see many larger fish of any kind.
I've spent a lot of time over the past year speaking with fishermen and with fisheries managers. I've heard their personal stories, and I know that the situation is serious. But seeing for myself really helped to bring the immediacy of this issue to life.
Mike Tetreault leads The Nature Conservancy in Maine, where he works with partners in conservation, government and community development to identify solutions which ensure that Maine's natural resources are available for people and for nature.
He holds a degree in environmental studies from Brown and a MS from the field naturalist program at the University of Vermont, and has studied resource management in Kenya, Mexico and throughout New England.
Tetreault started his career teaching wilderness leadership and environmental education, and has worked for The Nature Conservancy since 1998. He lives in Bath with his wife, their daughter and a menagerie of pets.