Exploring Sustainable Fisheries on America's Working Waterfront | Working Waterfronts

March 31, 2022

Kicking off a series on America's sustainable fisheries!

The United States is a leader in sustainable seafood due to its reliance on strong science, responsive management and enforced compliance. The three concepts of fishery management work together to ensure that this industry is thriving and that stocks are available for future generations. A litany of disturbances and global threats have challenged this system and forced many in the industry to seek alternative solutions in order to maintain a living and avoid collapsing the delicate balance of fresh and saltwater fisheries. This episode is the first in a series that will focus on Sustainable and Resilient Fisheries. For the next handful of episodes we are going to explore:

  • What sustainable fisheries are and what specifically makes a fishery sustainable?
  • We will learn about the current state of the Nation’s working waterfronts; and, what it means for our fisheries?
  • And, we will meet several key players from across the fishing industry, from regulators and scientists, to fishermen and activists.

Up first, I am talking with  Monique Coombs, the Director of Community Programs from the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association. She has a long history living and working on the coast and directly engages with commercial fishermen to protect and preserve the working waterfront. This conversation will help set the stage for this series by providing a high level overview of the commercial fishing industry, obstacles fishermen are facing and how consumers can support the industry to ensure longevity.

Show Transcription
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Ashley Bennis

Ashley Bennis is a Michigan native that grew up in Metro Detroit and received her Bacherlors of Art from Wayne State University. Bennis began volunteering with nonprofits in the city and became very involved in the community revitalization happening there through coordinated public outreach and education efforts. She earned her master’s degree in Urban Design and Planning with a specialty in Environmental Planning from the University of Washington in 2016. While there she worked as a Research Assistant with the Institute for Hazard Mitigation, Planning and Research, an interdisciplinary team focused on helping communities plan for hazard events. The purpose of her project was to improve visual representations of FEMA’s revised floodplain maps to help with their usefulness and effectiveness for residents in flood prone areas. In the winter of 2018, she joined Texas Sea Grant as a planning specialist with the Community Resilience Collaborative, a partnership of Texas Sea Grant and the Texas Target Communities program in Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture. Her primary responsibility is to provide technical assistance to Coastal Bend and Rio Grande Valley coastal communities in land use planning and hazard mitigation.