Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment
The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment is partnership made up of many organizations and groups bordering the Gulf of Maine (GOM). The Council’s main focus is to protect the environment and ecosystem of the Gulf of Maine along with its watershed and to promote the well-being of the surrounding communities and people. Consisting of members from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, the Council is made up several committees, organizations, departments, foundations, and governmental agencies at the local, state, and federal levels.
The council focuses on ecosystem-based management, striving to be a forum where all stakeholders can exchange information, ideas, and lessons learned about ecological issues relating to the Gulf of Maine. The council holds several conferences and workshops in areas around the GOM to ensure transparency between the scientists, policy makers, and community members. The council is also in charge of data collection and synthesis, environmental monitoring, policy analyses, and providing grants.
The Gulf of Maine Council’s “action plan” has three main goals for the period from 2012 to 2017:
Goal 1- Stop ecosystem damage and start restoration.
Protecting the health and productivity of the GOM and its surrounding watershed from threats such as pollution and overfishing. Subgoals include:
- Water quality protection
- Habitat restoration
- Habitat conservation
Goal 2- Maintain and monitor environment
Keep track of changes to conditions that could potentially affect the GOM ecosystem, and then change adjust plans and policies accordingly.
- Up to date and comprehensive monitoring
- Climate adaptation
Goal 3- Community
Keep the community involved and on the same page as the scientists and policy makers.
- Understand how people use the Gulf of Maine
- Community outreach and spreading of knowledge/issues.
The GOM Council on the Marine Environment is a major player in ensuring the future of the GOM cod population. Through careful monitoring of several changing conditions, such as rising sea temperatures, they are able to get a clearer picture of how these multiple factors affect cod populations. Better fishing policies can then be enacted to ensure the sustainability of the cod in the the GOM.
Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment website: http://www.gulfofmaine.org/2/