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Susan Farady interviewed by Bloomberg Green about climate change’s impact on federal fishing regulations

Susan Farady, assistant professor of marine affairs in UNE's School of Marine Programs
Susan Farady, assistant professor of marine affairs in UNE's School of Marine Programs

February 20, 2020

Susan Farady, J.D., assistant professor of marine affairs, provided background information for and was quoted in an article in Bloomberg Green about the impact of warming waters on federal fishing regulations.

Bloomberg Media launched Bloomberg Green in January in an effort to ramp up the frequency and depth of its environmental coverage. It includes a print magazine made of recycled paper and a daily newsletter.

The article, “Climate Change Is Reshaping Atlantic Fisheries and Sending This Fluke Fight to Court,” is about a lawsuit filed by the state of New York against the U.S. Department of Commerce to allow the state’s fishermen to take a greater share of fluke, also known as flounder, from its waters.

The quotas, which are meant to prevent a species from being fished out of existence, are based on patterns of where the fish were brought in to docks in the 1980s. Back then, flounder were clustered off Cape Hatteras.

But warming waters have been pushing them north in recent years, making them more available to fishermen in New York.

It is the first lawsuit about fish allocation to be sparked by climate change, and, according to Farady, it could have a profound impact on a $212 billion national industry.

“We’ve got this management system that was developed for relatively stable geographic distribution of fish,” Farady told Bloomberg Green. “It’s a delicate glass slipper mold, and it’s just not a good fit anymore.”

The lawsuit is being watched closely because it introduces a new factor into the decades-old quota system: the impact of climate change.

Farady says the lawsuit essentially challenges the rigidity at the heart of the current system.

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