View Full Version : Reasoning behind creating Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary?

01-16-2004, 09:38 AM
If anyone has any first hand knowledge regarding the creation/intent of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, then please contact me ( These meetings would have taken place in the late '80s and early '90s.

Particularly it would be helpful if there were any meeting minutes, news clippings or audio tape available that described what the premise was for creating the sanctuary as well as any assurances made to stakeholders at the time.

Thanks In Advance,
Mike Flaherty
Vice President
Massachusetts Striped Bass Association

02-04-2004, 08:55 AM
Note the last paragraph included below. Is there any doubt that permanent fishing closures are a forgone conclusion for Stellwagen Bank? If anyone has any fist hand knowledge of this promise then please contact me at

Excerpts follow and the full text may be found at...



A promise is a promise, fishermen say: They say closing more of the Stellwagen Bank would break agreement made more than 10 years ago

South Shore fishermen who supported the creation of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary say closing more of the area to commercial fishing would break promises made to them more than 10 years ago.

The sanctuary, an 842-square-mile area of ocean between Cape Ann and Cape Cod, was formally recognized by the federal government in 1992.

A management plan for the sanctuary was released in 1993 and has been in effect ever since. But a new plan is in the works, one that may include closing more of the sanctuary to commercial fishing.

‘‘When Stellwagen Bank was proposed and they were looking for industry support, fishermen were told point blank, in no uncertain terms, that the sanctuary would never consider bringing in additional fishing regulations,'' said Ed Barrett of Marshfield, president of the Massachusetts Bay Inshore Commercial Groundfishermen's Association. ‘‘And now, we are finding out that may not be the case.''


Craig MacDonald, the Stellwagen superintendent, acknowledged that a recommendation of at least partial closure to fishing could be included in the sanctuary's final management plan proposal. About 110 square miles of the sanctuary are permanently closed to commercial fishermen as part of the western Gulf of Maine closure area that overlaps Stellwagen Bank. Additional rolling closures in the sanctuary affect all fishermen four months a year.

‘‘We are taking fishermen's concerns seriously. But they are only one of a dozen stake-holding groups that attach value to sanctuary resources,'' MacDonald said.

He said sanctuary officials have attempted to find documentation of the promise that the fishermen say was given them a decade ago. So far, they've found nothing. Even if such documentation exists, MacDonald said, ‘‘things change. It might not alter what we believe is necessary now.''

Fly Rod
02-04-2004, 10:27 AM
Promises ! Promises !! from the government:eek: :eek:

Quote from The Peoples Court ; Dug Lu Allen

:rolleyes: "When you make an agreement ALWAYS get it in WRITING":smash: :smash:

Fly Rod
02-04-2004, 10:29 AM
Promises ! Promises !! from the government:eek: :eek:

Quote from The Peoples Court ; Dug Lu Allen

:rolleyes: "When you make an agreement ALWAYS get it in WRITING":smash: :smash:

Verbal agreements just don't hold up in court.

Fly Rod
02-05-2004, 09:16 AM
I can vagly remember that the main reason for making it a sanctuary at that time was to keep the oil companies from doing explortory drilling for gas and or oil on Stellwagon Bank.