Fishermen are on the front lines of climate change and sea-level rise, experiencing first-hand their impacts. The Gulf of Maine, a place that is warming faster than any other body of water, is seeing new species arrive and some of the usual species migrate outside of traditional fishing grounds; ocean acidification; an increasing number of predators in the water; and rapidly changing weather patterns. Fishermen are all too familiar with how things are shifting. Their input, perspectives, and stories are important to consider when planning for changes on Portland and South Portland’s waterfront.
The mission of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association is to identifies and fosters ways to restore the fisheries of the Gulf of Maine and sustain Maine's fishing communities for future generations. No small feat, this mission often compels us to find a delicate balance between what’s best for the ocean and the future of the fishing industry. Climate change and fisheries management are not mutually exclusive, and we believe that we can create change now that will benefit fishermen and our environment in the future. Collaboration between scientists, fishermen, and fisheries managers; educating the public about sustainable seafood, and green energy both on land and on boats, will help us all work towards our goals for a healthy environment and prosperous fishing industry.
Fishermen and their businesses are greatly impacted by climate change -- and it’s important to remember that fishermen and their businesses can also provide and execute valuable solutions; the fishing industry is one of our greatest assets, but it is also an industry most vulnerable to climate change. Any loss to the fishing industry, because of climate change, sea-level rise, or ocean acidification, is a loss to Maine and our culture and way of life. But, if we act now and plan for adaptation and change that includes a thriving fishing industry, Maine can continue to enjoy healthy seafood and unique and wonderful way of life.
Lastly, we should also remember that as consumers, eating seafood is one of the healthiest things that you can do for your mind, body, and planet. So, eat a diet full of Maine’s wonderful, sustainable, and diverse seafood options.
The cities of Portland and South Portland are embarking on an 18 month process to develop a joint climate action & adaptation plan called One Climate Future.
Through this comprehensive effort, they will actively engage community members in both cities to help confirm priorities, develop goals, and identify and prioritize actions to ensure our communities are even stronger tomorrow than we are today.
Maine Coast Fishermen's Association is thrilled as this plan is actively engaging the fishing industry, as well as other businesses and community members, for help and insight as they embark on this journey.
Learn more at www.oneclimatefuture.org and take their survey to make your voice and opinion heard.