List the Wolffish?
The Cape Cod Times has an article today about listing the Atlantic Wolffish, Anarhichus lupus. While concerns about the population of this tasty bycatch are not unfounded, more research is needed before placing the species on the ESL creates more regulations on the already tightly-controlled trawl fleet. This stock is characterized as “data poor” by NOAA Fisheries, who has characterized it as a species of concern (pdf, sorry) in the Georges Bank/Gulf of Maine region.
The need for more knowledge about the biology and population dynamics of this species dovetails nicely with this article in the New Bedford Standard Times about the need for more marine scientists. (Hat tip to my advisor, Steve Cadrin and colleague, Dan Goethel.)
The ESA has done great things, but the wolffish is not the polar bear, and its habitat overlap with fishing grounds of the struggling groundfish fleet of New England is cause for caution. Anthropogenically-caused extinctions of marine fish are rare if non-existent. Extinction of the New England fisherman may be imminent. I think a little perspective is required.