Peter Baker directs Pew’s ocean conservation work in New England. 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.
Recent WorkView All
A recent move by New England ocean fisheries management officials to suspend monitoring of commercial fishing vessels is the latest sign of disarray in a program meant to provide reliable, independent information about fishing. A good monitoring system tracks the amount and types of fish taken from the water and also gathers information about the "bycatch," or nontarget animals killed by fishing.... Read More
The New England Fishery Management Council dealt a serious blow June 16 to the region’s ocean health with a vote to sharply reduce the amount of seafloor set aside to protect marine habitat for fish. If approved, the measure would remove protections for more than 5,400 square miles—an area the size of Connecticut—thus opening the habitat to damaging forms of bottom trawl fishing... Read More
Federal fisheries officials in the Mid-Atlantic voted on June 10 to create the largest protected area in U.S. Atlantic waters, a roughly 38,000 square-mile region where scientists have found an abundance of deep-sea corals. For comparison, that's almost the size of the state of Virginia. Read More