Publications


Resource Sharing: The Berkeley CriterionResource sharing w border
 When we fish, we join the ocean world as predators. That is what we are, by nature, and have been since early times. But unlike other predators, we are limited only by the limits we set for ourselves. Or so we’d like to think. We are subject to all the same natural laws as other predators, yet we behave as if we were not – as though we could fish without regard for fishing’s impact on the ecosystems we share.

All creatures share an evolutionary drive to selfishly advance their own species. But in our case, a narrow view of “sustainable” fishing, a lack of regard for sustaining other forms of life in the sea, and “a power over the natural world we can no longer afford to use” all work to our collective disadvantage, irreparably harming the environment that supports all of us.

In this paper, Wild Oceans president Ken Hinman suggests a more balanced, more natural and far wiser approach to managing marine fisheries, grounded in policies that sustain fishing in a way that protects the broader ecosystem and its living communities. It is, quite simply, Resource Sharing – a novel concept that is nevertheless essential to our co-existence with wild oceans. The future of fishing, we believe, lies in the balance. Available as a PDF 1.95 MB


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Preserving the Northeast Forage Base This report presents an overview of forage fisheries managed by the New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils as well as the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Red flags are raised as to the state of the Northeast forage base as a whole, with declines cited in a number of important forage populations, including menhaden, mackerel, shad and river herring. Recommendations for advancing ecosystem-based approaches to forage fish management are included. Authored by Ken Hinman and Pam Lyons Gromen, published December 2010. Available only as a PDF file; 4.5 MB.


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Taking the Bait: Are America’s Fisheries Out-Competing Predators for Their Prey? This NCMC report covers the basics of forage fish and why they are important. It investigates why protecting key forage species is a logical starting point to begin the progression to ecosystem-based management (considering how fishing affects predator-prey interactions). We analyze 3 federal fishery management plans for prey species and make specific suggestions for changes, many of which can be implemented within the current management structure and without a lengthy and costly amendment process. Authored by Pam Lyons Gromen, published August 2006. Available as a PDF file


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Ocean Roulette: Conserving Sharks, Swordfish and other Pelagic Fish in Longline-Infested Waters A first-ever, comprehensive report based on a study of the destructive practice of fishing with drift longlines. The report reviews available options for minimizing bykill in the Atlantic longline fisheries, as well as status of the stocks for those fish primarily caught on longlines, such as swordfish and tuna, and the effectiveness of current regulations. It concludes with specific recommendations for curtailing the adverse impacts of drift longlines. Authored by Ken Hinman, published February 1998, 108 pp. OUT OF PRINT. Download PDF file that contains title page, preface, table of contents, executive summary, and recommendations; 92 KB.


Wild Oceans Briefing Papers

Performance Criteria for Alternative Gear Research

“In order for the public to have confidence in management decisions based on [alternative gear] research, the precise aims and objectives against which those results will be assessed must be developed through a transparent process and then clearly spelled out.”


Wild Oceans and the Future of Fishing

“Fishing is our oldest and our most intimate connection to the sea. And how we envision the future of fishing may, more than anything else, determine the future of the ocean and all its creatures, and not least of all, its ability to sustain us.”


Best Fishing Practices for Bluewater Fisheries (Atlantic)

“Best fishing practices for conserving and managing big ocean fish require transitioning fisheries away from the large-scale use of indiscriminate, ecologically-harmful fishing gears to more selective, sustainable fishing methods that provide an economically-feasible, low-bycatch alternative. Fortunately, those alternative methods exist.”


Best Fishing Practices for West Coast Fisheries

“The use of pelagic drift nets should not be an option for sustainable commercial fisheries because of the irresolvable bycatch problems associated with this indiscriminate gear. Fortunately, there are economically-viable alternatives.”


Ecological Reference Points for Forage Species

“Considerable effort has been devoted over the past two decades to finding a practicable approach to establishing ecological reference points for forage species. In fact, a remarkable consensus has emerged in the scientific literature around just what those targets and limits should be, based on the ecological importance of forage species, the impacts of fishing on predator-prey relationships, and the precautionary principle.”


Forage Status Indicator

“The status of individual species should be considered in the context of monitoring and protecting the forage base as a whole, since the broad field of predators depends on availability of prey, a diversity of prey and an abundance of diversity.”


Billfish Conservation Act: Intent and the Law

“NOAA Fisheries’ current interpretation of the Billfish Conservation Act of 2012, a complete prohibition on possession and sale of billfish in the continental United States, is the right one. The written record makes the intent of Congress unmistakable.”


The Consequences of Allowing Sale of HI-Caught Marlin on the U.S. Mainland

“The Billfish Conservation Act, if interpreted to allow sale of U.S.-caught billfish landed in Hawaii and the PIA on the mainland, would have predictable consequences, and the bad would heavily outweigh any good that might result from such an interpretation.”


Billfish Conservation Act: Intent and the Law

“NOAA Fisheries’ current interpretation of the Billfish Conservation Act of 2012, a complete prohibition on possession and sale of billfish in the continental United States, is the right one. The written record makes the intent of Congress unmistakable.”
The Consequences of Allowing Sale of HI-Caught Marlin on the U.S. Mainland “The Billfish Conservation Act, if interpreted to allow sale of U.S.-caught billfish landed in Hawaii and the PIA on the mainland, would have predictable consequences, and the bad would heavily outweigh any good that might result from such an interpretation.”

 

Fish Files Fact Sheets

Salmon

Sargassum

Shark


Articles written by Wild Oceans president Ken Hinman

Salt Water Sportsman magazine:

“Time to Separate Fishery Science From Allocation”

“International Effort Needed to Halt Marlin Decline”

“Menhaden Netters Threaten Chesapeake”

“A New Plan for Fisheries Management: Thinking about fish as more than just a harvest”

“Food Fish vs. Fish Food”

“Swordfishing: Back to the Future”

“An Open Letter to PETA”

“Boosting Public Awareness of Fish”


Photography Bill Boyce, Marine Wildlife Photographer BoyceImage.com The Wild Oceans website features the underwater photography of Bill Boyce, who also serves on the Board of Directors. Bill is an internationally recognized photo journalist. His articles and images are seen monthly in publications such as Marlin magazine, Sport Fishing, Salt Water Sportsman, Big Game Journal, Pacific Coast Sportfishing, and Australia’s Blue Water magazine. Bill is also a familiar face on the World Fishing Network where he hosts the popular fishing show, IGFA Angler’s Digest.