Welcome to the Resilient Fisheries RI Forum. This is an online discussion space for RI’s fishing industry participants to share ideas about making our industry more resilient in the face of environmental change and other sources of uncertainty.

How to use this space:

Don’t be shy. To get started, choose a forum that interests you and click on it. Once you enter the forum, you can either participate in existing discussion threads, or you can start your own by clicking “new topic.”  Conversation is what will drive this project forward, so go for it!

This is a space for thoughtful and collaborative solutions-building. Assume the best in people: we’re all here because we care about the future of the fishing industry, even if we may differ on the particulars. Trolling and name-calling will not be tolerated.

You can “subscribe” to forums of your choice in order to receive new posts delivered to your e-mail inbox.

A list of all individuals with access to this forum can be found by clicking on “Members” below”. Keep in mind that new people are added every day. The only screening criterion is that members must be participants in RI’s commercial fishing industry, a group that includes captains, crew, dealers and their employees, fisheries support groups, lumpers, bait stringers, net makers, fuel suppliers, engine mechanics, etc.

If you would like to suggest a new forum topic – or if you experience any glitches with the forum system (this is a learning curve for the Project Coordinator), contact resilientfisheriesRI@gmail.com.

 

Resilient Fisheries RI Forum

Main Category
Posts
Topics

Shifting fish stock distributions

Many fish stocks appear to be shifting or expanding their geographic distribution and/or timing of their migrations. These changes bring both new opportunities and new challenges for RI fishermen. They can also create mismatches between our current regulatory system and emerging ecosystem. This forum is a space to discuss observations of shifting distributions as well as reflections on what they mean for our fishing industry. This discussion will be rolled into the eventual development of an Environmental Change Adaptation Blueprint for RI Fisheries, an industry consensus document that will offer robust recommendations and strategies for building an industry that thrives in a changing world.

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Ocean Acidification

Research indicates that ocean acidification is occurring in Rhode Island waters as a result of both global carbon dioxide emissions and eutrophication in coastal waters. The predicted effects may be severe for some shell-bearing species in some areas, although the timeline and distribution of impacts is unclear. Rhode Island is currently conducting a Legislative Commission on Ocean Acidification to learn more. This forum discussion is a place to exchange ideas and prepare fishermen to engage more actively and effectively in processes like the Legislative Commission. This discussion will be rolled into the eventual development of an Environmental Change Adaptation Blueprint for RI Fisheries, an industry consensus document that will offer robust recommendations and strategies for building an industry that thrives in a changing world.

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Narragansett Bay Ecosystem Change and Water Chemistry

Some Narragansett Bay fishermen are noticing unusual patterns in the bay ecosystem: things like a dramatic decline in rockweed, kelp, barnacles, hydroids (rosebuds), and other fouling organisms, along with a dramatic increase in water quality. The cause of these problems is not clear, but fishermen are speculating connections to water chemistry changes related to wastewater treatment processes. This forum is an online discussion space to engage the broader fishing industry in exchanging observations, knowledge, and strategy on this topic. This discussion will be rolled into the eventual development of an Environmental Change Adaptation Blueprint for RI Fisheries, an industry consensus document that will offer robust recommendations and strategies for building an industry that thrives in a changing world.

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Boosting Participation by Young People in RI Fisheries

Building a resilient fishing industry must include steps to cultivate the industry's social infrastructure: a diverse set of people at different stages of their careers. Providing support and training for young people entering the fisheries is not only part of planning for the next generation of fishermen, but will also help create the next generation of fisheries advocates. This forum is an online space for discussing the many needed solutions to the current problem of low participation by young people in fisheries. This discussion will be rolled into the eventual development of an Environmental Change Adaptation Blueprint for RI Fisheries, an industry consensus document that will offer robust recommendations and strategies for building an industry that thrives in a changing world.

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Changes in Seaweed

RI fishermen are observing several recent changes in the community composition, abundance, and distribution of seaweed. Recent outbreaks of the invasive Dasysiphonia japonica have plagued gill net and dragger fishermen around Block Island and in Narragansett Bay; sulfuric-acid producing Desmerestia seems to be on the rise in some places; and kelp and rockweed have been disappearing from Narragansett Bay. This forum is a space to exchange observations and brainstorm about ways to minimize negative impacts on fisheries from these changes. This discussion will be rolled into the eventual development of an Environmental Change Adaptation Blueprint for RI Fisheries, an industry consensus document that will offer robust recommendations and strategies for building an industry that thrives in a changing world.

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Squid in a Changing Climate

Squid is a big Rhode Island moneymaker and a bright spot in fisheries. But the resource is changing, and the future is unknown. This forum is a space for discussing observations and questions about the effects of environmental change on squid, and reflections about how RI's fisheries can prepare. This discussion will be rolled into the eventual development of an Environmental Change Adaptation Blueprint for RI Fisheries, an industry consensus document that will offer robust recommendations and strategies for building an industry that thrives in a changing world.

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The Black Sea Bass Explosion

Black sea bass is a poster child for what happens when ecosystems and regulations get out of synch. The current explosion in RI waters is a learnable moment that can help fishermen, scientists, and decision makers develop tools to adapt better in the future to a changing climate. This forum is an online space for discussing what we can do about, and what we can learn from, the black sea bass explosion. This discussion will be rolled into the eventual development of an Environmental Change Adaptation Blueprint for RI Fisheries, an industry consensus document that will offer robust recommendations and strategies for building an industry that thrives in a changing world.

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Diversity and Specialization

For many RI fishermen, the word "resilience" equates to flexibility to pursue a wide range of target harvests. But the trend in fisheries management has been towards creating a playing field that induces specialization. Is specialization a maladaptive action in a changing climate? This discussion will be rolled into the eventual development of an Environmental Change Adaptation Blueprint for RI Fisheries, an industry consensus document that will offer robust recommendations and strategies for building an industry that thrives in a changing world.

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