John on Press Herald Post


Who owns the fish in the sea? Who owns the whales?  Who owns the habitat they live in?

You do.  We all do.  Fisheries and the marine environment are a public resource trust.

The United States has jurisdiction over 3.4 million square nautical miles of ocean – this exclusive economic zone extends 200-miles seaward from our coasts and the US island territories in the Caribbean and Pacific.  This ocean terrain, larger than the land area of all the 50 states combined, makes the United States the largest maritime nation in the world.  The resources of this vast area provide for our economy and are under our stewardship.  For more information see:

But for all the wealth at stake, governance of our ocean territories is poorly developed.

Maine is a maritime state – the fourth largest seafood producing state in the US.  We have a lot at stake in how fisheries are managed.  Living marine resources in federal waters (3 miles out to 200 miles) off New England are the responsibility National Marine Fisheries Service in close working relationship with the New England Fishery Management Council.  The Council is an appointed body of eighteen trustees, with fiduciary responsibility to the fish and to our nation.  The resources under its management are valued in the billions of dollars.