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Steve Murawski Overfishing Ended

Steve Murawski Overfishing Ended - For the first time in at least a century, U.S. fishermen won't take too much of any species from the sea, one of the nation's top fishery scientists says.

The projected end of overfishing comes during a turbulent fishing year that's seen New England fishermen switch to a radically new management system. But scientist Steve Murawski said that for the first time in written fishing history, which goes back to 1900, "As far as we know, we've hit the right levels, which is a milestone."

"And this isn't just a decadal milestone, this is a century phenomenon," said Murawski, who retired last week as chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service.

Steve Murawski Overfishing Ended

Murawski said it's more than a dramatic benchmark — it also signals the coming of increasingly healthy stocks and better days for fishermen who've suffered financially. In New England, the fleet has deteriorated since the mid-1990s from 1,200 boats to only about 580, but Murawski believes fishermen may have already endured their worst times.

"I honestly think that's true, and that's why I think it's a newsworthy event," said Murawski, now a professor at the University of South Florida.

But fishermen and their advocates say ending overfishing came at an unnecessarily high cost. Dave Marciano fished out of Gloucester, an hour's drive northeast of Boston, for three decades until he was forced to sell his fishing permit in June. He said the new system made it too costly to catch enough fish to stay in business.

"It ruined me," said Marciano, 45. "We could have ended overfishing and had a lot more consideration for the human side of the fishery."

Steve Murawski Overfishing Ended

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