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Protect Ocean Habitat from Destructive Fishing Gear

This petition had 73,625 supporters


For decades, several important ocean areas off the coast of New England have been protected from destructive fishing gear—areas that are essential habitat for a variety of marine species, from cod to whales.

Right now, fisheries managers in New England are considering a plan that would dramatically reduce the overall size of these protected areas, by as much as 70 percent. This would open them to destructive fishing gear, including bottom trawls. Bottom trawling (also known as dragging) strips the ocean floor of life.

But we have a chance to prevent this from happening now.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA Fisheries) overseas New England fisheries managers and has the final say on this proposal.

Recent science shows that in the Gulf of Maine, cod—the region’s iconic fish—are currently at only 3 percent of what is considered a healthy population. 

Without safe areas to reproduce and grow, cod will never recover. Climate change is also impacting cod; as sea surface temperatures warm, the entire food web is being impacted. This makes habitat protection even more important.

Everyone has the right to breathe clean air. But we need to fight for it.

Tell NOAA Fisheries that now is not the time to roll back habitat protections for depleted fish species, marine mammals, and seabirds.



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