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Helping Fishermen, Scientists and Managers Sustain Wild Fisheries

New Hampshire commercial and recreational fishermen are struggling to stay on the water while conserving marine resources as required by fisheries management. The UNH Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Program supports these efforts by partnering with fishermen, scientists and managers in projects that improve fishermen’s ability to:

  • catch abundant species while avoiding overfished stocks
  • sell what they can catch at a fair price
  • improve fisheries science and management strategies.


For more information contact Erik Chapman (

Community Supported Fisheries: the basics

Saving New England Fisheries: a Documentary

N.H. Sea Grant (NHSG) partnered with N.H. Public Television to produce a documentary highlighting efforts to improve sustainable fishing practices in the Gulf of Maine. The program aims to inform and educate so that people are prepared to engage in action to support sustainable fishing in the Gulf of Maine and beyond.


Barotrauma Release Cage

Barotrauma, or physiological stress resulting when groundfish are brought to the surface from great depths, leads to high rates of mortality for many species captured in the Gulf of Maine recreational fishery. In this project, we partner with Captain Mark Godfroy from Eastman's Fishing Fleet and Blue Water Concepts, a marine engineering business in Eliot, Maine, to develop a system that will safely return captured fish to depth. This project is funded through a N.H. Sea Grant Development Grant.

Raised Gillnet Project

We are partnering with The Nature Conservancy to build and provide raised gillnets to Gulf of Maine fishermen in four communities: Chatham, Mass., Scituate, Mass., the N.H. Seacoast and Mid-coast Maine. Testing will continue through 2016 and 2017. The project is funded through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation


Effects of Ocean Temperature on Fish Availability

With rising ocean temperatures and the myriad of changes it brings, it is critical for fishermen to know how this impacts the availability of various species of fish. We work closely with fishermen to understand what changes global warming brings. The project also connects N.H. fishermen with ocean climate scientists who need bottom-temperature data to validate their models. This project is funded by The Nature Conservancy

Gulf of Maine Cod Sub-population Structure and Management

While management has been effective in controlling fishing pressure, cod stocks have suffered in part due to an inadequate understanding of cod population structure and dynamics. In this project funded by N.H. Sea Grant we work with UNH, UMass, and Gulf of Maine research scientists to improve our understanding of cod sub-population structure and groundfish management.



Atlantic Haddock Tagging Program

Improving our understanding of discard mortality in the recreational groundfish fishery is cirtical to improving fisheries management in the Gulf of Maine. We are working with Eastman's Fishing Fleet in Seabrook, N.H., to study discard mortality using standard tagging methods. The project is funded by the New England Fisheries Management Council through the Northeast Consortium at UNH.


Marketing Local Seafood with Sustainable Practices

Traditional seafood markets often do not return a living wage to fishermen for what they are able to catch. At the same time, consumers want to know where their seafood is coming from and are interested in supporting sustainable fishing practices and their local fishermen. We help support local businesses that are working to solve both of these problems through alternative markets by supporting the N.H. Fresh and Local Seafood brand and with technical assistance.