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Lee Crockett
Lee Crockett joined Pew in June 2007 as director of Federal Fisheries Policy.

He leads Pew’s efforts to establish policies to end overfishing and promote ecosystem-based fisheries management in the United States under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the federal law that governs ocean fish management. As director, Crockett oversees all of Pew’s U.S. fisheries campaigns. These include efforts in the Northeast, South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Caribbean, and the Pacific.

Before joining Pew, Crockett was executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, the largest national coalition dedicated exclusively to promoting the sustainable management of ocean fish. Under his leadership, the campaign helped efforts to reauthorize and strengthen the MSA. Previously, he was a fishery biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service, leading agency efforts to protect essential fish habitat. He also served as a staff member of the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, working on a variety of fisheries, environmental and boating safety issues.

Crockett holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in biological oceanography from the University of Connecticut. Before college, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard. He’s also an avid angler who enjoys fishing the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.

Entries by Lee Crockett

Tracking Fish Oil Supplements to the Source

(1) Comments | Posted April 29, 2015 | 10:43 AM

Are fish oil supplements really improving our health but hurting our oceans?

That's one question New York Times bestselling author Paul Greenberg is exploring for his next book, The Omega Principle: The Health of Our Hearts, the Strength of Our Minds, and the Survival of Our Oceans All...

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Fisherman Finds a Way to Help Sea Animals Avoid Needless Death On Hooks

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 4:08 PM

Tim Palmer was the kind of kid who took apart anything his parents gave him and then tried to put it back together. Much of the time, he got it right.

Palmer never grew out of that curiosity about how things work -- or how they could be improved. So...

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The Small-Town Boy Who Charted a New Course for Our Oceans

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 9:24 AM

As a North Carolina graduate student, Bill Hogarth remembers fishermen proudly hanging giant marlin high on the wharf at Morehead City so people could admire and photograph the prized catch. But after the crowds lost interest, it was Hogarth's job to cut down the nearly half-ton behemoths and watch their...

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What's Happened to All the Striped Bass?

(1) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 1:45 PM

Some people jump out of airplanes or go rock climbing for an exhilarating time.

For me, it's chasing striped bass--big, powerful, and beautiful. I always feel a rush of excitement as my fishing line goes screaming off the reel once a large bass takes my lure, knowing that while adult...

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Giving Thanks for a Life-Changing Adventure--And More

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 2:43 PM

This Thanksgiving I'm grateful for one simple act that set my life's course.

Shortly after high school graduation, I picked up an issue of National Geographic magazine with a story about the Coast Guard. I read about dramatic rescues at sea, about making the Mississippi River safe for ships and...

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The Fish That Inspired a Woman to Help Save a Species

(2) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 9:54 AM

Shana Miller was fresh out of college in 1998 when she came face-to-face with one of the fastest fish in the sea.

She and her friends battled for three hours to haul a 154-pound bluefin tuna aboard their boat off the Maryland coast. And when she finally looked the creature...

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Congress Needs to Think Big About Fish

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2014 | 4:27 PM

When you buy a house, do you inspect only the roof? Of course not. You look at the whole structure: the foundation, insulation, plumbing, and many other aspects that indicate the overall condition of a home.

Taking a look at the big picture is wise when buying a house --...

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The ABCs of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management Part V -- 'Starting Smart'

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 5:09 PM

An old adage popularized by Benjamin Franklin says that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Many of us in the marine conservation community believe that would, indeed, be a good way to manage our nation's ocean fish. But that's not happening. Too often, fisheries begin in...

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Building on Success

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 4:04 PM

In late fall of 2006, Congress came together to strengthen the primary law that governs our nation's ocean fisheries -- the Magnuson-Stevens Act, originally passed in 1976. A push from leaders on both sides of the aisle, combined with strong support from President George W. Bush, helped overcome political differences.

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The ABCs of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management, Part IV

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 10:38 AM

Protecting Essential Fish Habitat: Homes and Nurseries

On May 29, the House Natural Resources Committee met to refine legislation reauthorizing and amending the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the primary law that governs fishing in U.S. ocean waters. This is vital work: Our oceans are one of our...

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The ABCs of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management -- Part III

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 3:05 PM

Reducing and minimizing bycatch

According to some estimates, as much as 40 percent of fish caught around the globe is discarded at sea, dead or dying. We can't afford to continue this wasteful practice. Stopping the unnecessary squandering of nontarget fish in many U.S. fisheries and reducing the...

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The ABCs of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management–Part II

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 1:04 PM

Forage Fish: The Oceans' Little Heroes

Most Americans don't think about fisheries policy when eating fish. But in fact, the supply of popular species such as cod, tuna, and salmon depends very much on how we manage them in the sea. If anglers, chefs, and diners want to continue...

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A Better Way to Protect Our Ocean Ecosystems

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 12:21 PM

Over the past 30 years, we've made tremendous scientific gains in understanding how marine ecosystems work while monitoring the impacts of fishing and other extractive activities on the health of our oceans. What's more, the application of new science, along with critical reforms of key laws and regulations, is leading...

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The Bottom Line: Protecting Real Estate for Fish

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 2:00 PM

For businesses dependent on high foot traffic, location is everything. It's much the same out on the water, where finding the right spot can make all the difference for commercial and recreational fishermen alike.

Advances in technology make it easier to target fish more quickly, in deeper water, and...

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The Bottom Line: Five Myths About Fishing

(3) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 11:18 AM

From the Chesapeake Bay to Florida's Gulf Coast, recreational fishing is big business for many communities along the Eastern Seaboard. In fact, more than one-third of America's 11.8 million saltwater anglers live in the region. I count myself among them.

This national pastime is much more than throwing a...

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The Bottom Line: Rebuilding Plans Work for U.S. Fisheries

(6) Comments | Posted September 13, 2013 | 1:53 PM

A Sept. 11 congressional hearing on the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act examined a new report from the National Academies on the law's effectiveness in rebuilding depleted fish populations. As a member of the peer-review panel for the report, I can attest to the amount of work...

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The Bottom Line: Some Promising News for Bluefin Tuna

(1) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 10:52 AM

U.S. policymakers know they need to limit the number of Atlantic bluefin tuna caught and killed by surface longlines which can stretch 40 miles with more than 750 baited hooks and float unattended for up to 18 hours. After all, the western Atlantic bluefin population is down 64...

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The Bottom Line: Time to Protect Pacific Forage Fish

(0) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 5:04 PM

I learned long ago that it pays to plan ahead before I hit the water for a day of fishing. Knowing the tides, watching the weather, and reading the fishing blogs for the latest intelligence can make all the difference.

Similarly, my time at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration...

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The Bottom Line: For New England's Fishing Fleet It's Déjà vu All Over Again

(4) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 2:39 PM

This is a special post coauthored by Lee Crockett and Peter Baker

As an editorial in the Boston Globe observed, things did not look good for the coming fishing season. Fishermen were "returning from three or four days' hauling on Georges Bank with near-empty holds." And while other regions of...

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The Bottom Line: Embracing Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 11:35 AM

Fishing for shad on the Potomac River at Fletcher's Boathouse is a spring tradition for many Washington-area anglers, including me. As a food source for larger fish, birds of prey, and other animals, shad provide a great example of the interconnectedness of nature -- which for decades hasn't received enough...

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