Stories in Maine

Stimulating a Sea Change in Fishery Management

TNC works with fishermen and other partners to help this ecosystem avoid further decline and support Maine’s fishing communities.

A man on a boat throws a large fish into a bin.
Gulf Fisherman Bryan Bichrest is one of TNC's partners in our oceans work. © David Hills

The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s oceans. It is one of the most complex and productive marine environments on the planet—but it is threatened by chronic overfishing, habitat loss and the effects of a changing climate.

TNC partners with fishermen to develop more sustainable fishing practices and to collect better data about how species are adapting to a warming Gulf. This information provides the foundation for climate-ready fisheries management, built on the knowledge of the men and women who know it best. As conditions become even more unpredictable, these partnerships will help protect this vital habitat and the communities that depend on it.

What We're Doing with Fisheries

TNC works with coastal fishing communities to identify shared goals and enter into agreements with local fisherman associations and representative organizations that demonstrate a commitment from all parties to sustain the Gulf. These relationships are built on mutual trust and a shared vision for a thriving and abundant ocean. 

Explore the Map RETURN

What Success Looks Like in the Gulf of Maine

TNC partners with fishermen to help protect vital ocean habitats and the communities that depend on them. As part of our Join Maine campaign, we are working to ensure these critical successes by 2024:

  • Blue icon of a fishing boat.

    An increase from 40% to 100%

    in the percentage of groundfishing trips that are effectively monitored.

  • Blue icon of a codfish.

    Double from 4 to 8

    the number of key groundfish stocks rebuilt to healthy, sustainable levels.

A booklet with a prescribed fire fighter on the cover sits in a blue background.
Join Maine The Nature Conservancy in Maine © TNC

To achieve these goals, we are working to raise $9 million specifically for our work in this area, including $8.7 million in support from people like you and $300 thousand in market-based funding. Learn more about our conservation goals and Join Maine.

A fishing boat is lit from behind with golden sunlight.
Working Together A TNC partner fishing boat heads out into the Gulf of Maine at sunrise. © David Hills.