Case Study On New England Fisheries

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The 1800’s the George’s Banks off the coast of New England was very generous to the fisherman who fished the sea for a living. There was a balance between what the fisherman took and what the sea could provide. By the mid-1900 that balances began greatly to shift. Technology developed during the 1950s allowed fishermen to take in much more fish than previous years. Through continued over fishing and lack of controls in place at the time, the fish stock depleted to the point the George’s Banks could no longer support the fisherman.
As early as 1914, the Government was receiving reports from the U.S. Commissioner of Fisheries on the potential impact to unregulated fishing. By 1931, serious questions were being asked about
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Scientific Research
Numerous research and scientific studies were performed on the impact of the extensive fishing along the U.S. coastline. In 1871, National Marine Fisheries Service was launched. Their mission as stated on their website,, “…devoted to the protection, study, management, and restoration of fish.” (, 2004) While the organization contributed significantly to the study of the fish and the region, the organization was completely ineffectual in any manner in protecting the fish from over fishing and unable to get passed any effective policies to control fishing. Their biocentric view allowed the organization to study fish in a manner that many groups at the time had no concern with due to the mindset of the endless capacity of the sea. The value of many of these studies while questionable at the seriousness at the time they were taken, when looking back through the history and learning from the impact that man has on our environment. In particular, this example there is good data that supports the early thoughts of a bountiful sea of fish. As the years, progress data that clearly shows the decline of various fish species as fishing continues onward. Newton, Dillingham and Choly reported (2006), “The take of Atlantic cod, crucial to the New England economy, had peaked in 1968 at 3.9 million tons; by 1992, it was down to 1.2 million tons— a

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