Peter Baker joined Pew in 2007 and directs the Northeast Fisheries Program. He leads the campaign to establish science-based annual catch limits, strong monitoring programs and accountability in fisheries such as groundfish (cod, haddock, flounder), Atlantic herring, and other small schooling species that serve as food for larger fish and marine mammals. His work with elected officials, decision makers, the public, the media and the fishing industry has helped him understand the diverse constituencies that desire sustainable stocks and guide the campaign’s policy work.
Before joining Pew, Baker was campaign director of the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association. His responsibilities included campaign design and implementation, educating government officials, media relations and public speaking. In his five-year tenure, he developed the first fishery in New England to work under firm catch limits with the Georges Bank Hook Sector, a fishermen-run, community-based harvesting coop. He also led initiatives that created the Purse Seine/Fixed Gear Only Area in the Gulf of Maine for the Atlantic herring fishery, and defeated efforts to change the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to allow allocation of fish quotas to short-side processors.
Earlier, Baker held positions with the Sierra Club in North Carolina and Vermont and was its organizer for the Environmental Public Education Campaign. He was also press secretary for Sam Neill’s congressional race, managed Peter Clavelle’s campaign for mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and was field director for the Citizen Labor and Electricity Coalition.
Fisheries officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have scrapped most of an ill-considered proposal that would have allowed bottom-trawl fishing in vast sections of protected waters off New England. The decision, announced Dec. 13, keeps intact some 3,000 square miles of the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank that have long protected fish and the habitat they depend on. More
Pew expert Peter Baker responds to an Oct. 28, 2013 column published in the New Bedford (MA) Standard-Times. More
Peter Baker, director of U.S. oceans, Northeast, spoke recently to fisheries experts from around the country about ways to improve the way we manage populations of forage fish—the small prey species with an important role in the ocean food web. More
Peter Baker responds to an article published in the Carteret County (NC) News-Times about menhaden stock. More
(Boston Globe) A small silver fish, menhaden has outsized importance in the sea, serving as sustenance for many larger fish and providing vital oils for healthy human hearts. But the population of the measly menhaden has plummeted to just 8 percent of its historic levels off the East Coast as overfishing has taken its toll. More