Steneck Quoted in Press Herald Article on Protected Gulf of Maine Fishing Ground

Robert Steneck, a marine scientist at the University of Maine, was interviewed by the Portland Press Herald for an article about the conflict over efforts to reopen part of Cashes Ledge, a protected Gulf of Maine fishing ground. Fishermen say access to the area will help them survive tight groundfishing regulations, while conservationists say the rare ecosystem should be left alone, according to the article. Steneck, who traveled to Cashes Ledge annually in the 1980s and 1990s, said he was amazed by the amount of fish in the area, but has witnessed a significant decline in abundance during that time because fishermen began targeting the area, the article states. Steneck told the Press Herald that Cashes Ledge is as an example of “an ecosystem past” that is largely gone from New England after centuries of commercial fishing. “These local stocks are very fragile and I think we have extirpated most of them along the Gulf of Maine,” he said.