Billed as "the magazine of the American landowner, The Land Report says the largest 100 landowners in the nation acquired an additional 2 million acres during 2017, an area larger than Delaware. All told, the 100 largest private land holders own 40.2 million acres, equivalent to the land mass of the New England states with Vermont excluded, said the Washington Post.
Criminals don't come more colorful than Carlos Rafael, once the most powerful fisherman in the nation’s most valuable seafood port. Rafael, who was the subject of a FERN story published earlier this year with Mother Jones, was known widely as the Codfather. He conquered the fishing industry in New Bedford, Mass., through a combination of guile and rule-bending; he famously described himself as a pirate, and told regulators it was their job to catch him. On Monday, the law finally caught up to the Codfather: A federal judge sentenced Rafael to 46 months in prison for masterminding one of the biggest fisheries frauds in American history. (No paywall)
A sweeping study of 78 fisheries concludes that market-based “catch share” programs help alleviate a vexing problem: the panicky “race to fish” that shortens seasons, harms fish populations, and imperils the safety of commercial anglers. The study was published in Nature, as Congress considers whether to limit these programs’ expansion.
With lucrative species like clams and lobsters moving northward to find cooler waters, climate change could be the final blow for East Coast fishermen, says The Associated Press. The industry has already been battered by overfishing, pollution, regulations, and foreign competition, but climate change is another level of challenge altogether.