Lauren Owens Lambert
Lauren Owens Lambert
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The Farmer And The Fisherman

Exploring the changing livelihoods and cultural identities of coastal fishing communities at the forefront of climate change and shifting economies. With 400 years of commercial fishing history in the North East wild fish stocks are some of the most stressed in the Nation and climate change is hurting the industry with rising sea levels, intense coastal storms, ocean acidity and rising sea temperatures changing fish behavior and location. This makes accurate monitoring and appropriate policy making a challenge leading to an increase in tensions between fishermen, scientists, regulators and the rising aquaculture industry. Fishermen are losing their jobs and are being forced to think about how to adapt or move on. Shellfish, seaweed and fish farming are becoming more popular in New England and with the increase of aquaculture, both for food and conservation, some traditional fishermen are trading in their boats for pens while others are working on restoring ecosystems and gathering data to support the increase of wild fish stocks.

 

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Shellfish Aquaculture

Shellfish Aquaculture

The crew of Merry Oysters loads the boat of crates full of fresh hand-picked oysters in Duxbury bay, Massachusetts. Although Climate Change poses its challenges such as ocean acidification and increasing costal storm intensity, the shellfish industry in Massachusetts is one of the fastest growing in the state. Shellfish such as oysters, scallops and mussels is not only a good source for local food but because they are filter feeders they also help clean the ocean.

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Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon

The Gulf of Maine Atlantic salmon are a federally endangered species in the U.S. with the last wild populations found in only eight rivers in the state of Maine they are considered extinct throughout the rest of New England. Conservation efforts include the removal of dams and the opening of waterways, restoring riparian and increasing buffer zones along the rivers and hatcheries, which release thousands of fry each season. Maine is launching a new program to help pay for conservation work that benefits Atlantic salmon with money from fees for road and bridge projects. Maine's most active location for salmon is the Penobscot River, which is home to America's largest remaining run of the fish. The number of salmon returning to the river every year is closely monitored and has mostly wavered between a few hundred and 2,000 over the past 10 years.

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