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December 13, 2012

Predator, prey balance needed in fisheries management

To the editor:

Congratulations to Matt Mullin, deputy regional director, New England Oceans Program, Environmental Defense Fund! He is the first member of the fisheries “establishment” who has publicly admitted to the need to account for the “predator and prey balance” (Letter, the Times, Nov, 14). This is a very important communication.

There is now hope that sooner or later even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its National Marine Fisheries Service will eventually look at stocks of fish as existing in a web of interrelationships with each other, rather than in linear formation as they were depicted in ancient biology books. There is now hope that overfishing will no longer be attributed to the pitiful family fishing fleet!

Just imagine a world in which NOAA and NMFS acknowledge their boundaries, a world in which they leave the family fishing fleet alone. A world in which they get up the gumption to go after the large, often subsidized, national and international corporations, at times culprits for the devastation of the fisheries. Just imagine a world in which NOAA and NMFS call for a balanced management of pelagics (mid-water fish) and bottom fish!

Carmine Gorga, Ph.D.

Middle Street,

Gloucester

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