While Sandy may already be old news for much of the country, our fishermen in the Northeast join an overwhelming number of small businesses and food producers trudging forward on the long road to recovery.
These species and a host of other Pacific marine predators need to eat plenty of small fish to survive and thrive. In fact, to understand the well-being of an ocean ecosystem, one of the first steps is to measure the food supply upon which other larger species depend.
It may seem counter-intuitive for an environmentalist to say this, but what we've learned is that giving fishermen a stake in protecting the oceans is by far the most effective away to turn declining fisheries around."
Commercial fishing remains the deadliest job in America, according to data released by the Department of Labor. New statistics about on-the-job deaths in 2011 show that fishermen continue to have a higher chance of dying while working compared with those in other occupations.
Any doctor would point out that this year's report wasn't a clean bill of health: Thirty six of America's most commercially and recreationally important ocean fish populations are still subject to overfishing, and 45 have been depleted to unhealthy levels.
President Obama, we get that you're concerned about the US losing its competitive advantage in relation to new powerhouses such as China, Brazil and India, but how can you look us in the eye and say that any level of poverty is okay?
Giving river herring the protection they require and implementing appropriate management practices can ensure that populations of alewives and bluebacks, and the ecosystems they support, will remain healthy for generations.
Some people get rich by creating good things, and they support many people. But some people -- they used to be called robber barons -- succeed at others' expense. So just as wealth isn't necessarily bad, "efficiency" isn't necessarily good.
Toxic chemicals, oil, and waste contaminate our beaches and coastal waters, hurting the tourism industry and creating dead zones like that in the Gulf of Mexico, which covered an area the size of New Jersey in 2010.