Recently I had the honor of being asked to write for a national publication called Fishery News. The Southern New England edition — there are eight editions nationally — has the goal of being the “essential monthly guide to ever changing regulations” in the fishery industry.
Now those of you who have followed me over the years through my “On the Docks” articles may find it a bit strange that I might be asked to write for what is essentially a commercial fishing publication. To be honest, when I was first contacted, I also thought it was very strange. When we had our first meeting, it became apparent to me the publication was far more than a “commercial fishing interest” publication. Its goal is the education of the public with facts about the changing regulations, and to make sure everyone has a voice and understanding of what’s going on in the fisheries industry. After I understood its mission, I was on board.
The writing staff is largely made up of scientist, oceanology professors and a few old salts like yours truly. The broad range of topics covered in the first publication includes U.S. seafood import status, a special report on lobster stocks, new regulations on Atlantic herring, how the Magnuson-Stevens Act keeps tuna swimming, and updates on recreational fishing regulations. In short, a wide range of both commercial and recreational articles that I found very interesting to read.
As we began the process of discussing subjects for my “On the Docks” articles for the publication, the one subject that seemed to hit home with the staff was the subject of artificial reefs. As I began to tell the Fishery News editors of my research and progress on the subject of getting artificial reefs placed off our New England shores, the questions soon began streaming in. The conclusion was the subject was perfect, and will be the focus of my monthly articles for the publication.
There is actually a method to my madness as it relates to the overall goal of getting artificial reefs off of our coast. Turns out the commercial fishing fleets are not big fans of the idea, only because they do not understand what it will mean to them (which is sustainable fishing stocks!). So the opportunity to write for the Southern New England Fishery News will provide me an avenue to reach out to commercial fishermen and educate the industry on the pros of the ARP (artificial reef programs).
If you are interested in learning more about ARPs, contact the Department of Environmental Conversation or Google “Artificial Reef Programs” for a detailed list of states that are involved. Don’t forget to pick up the latest copy of Southern New England Fishery News at West Marine or your local marine store, or copies can be contacted at usfishlaw.com. One other note, the publication is non-subsidized, which means it answers to no one, be it commercial or recreational interests.
Capt. Fred DeGrooth, a native to the area, has more than 30 years’ experience navigating and fishing off the waters off our coast, and is a local charter captain. Capt. Fred can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.