For the purposes of North America's fishermen, the Northwest Atlantic includes continental shelf and slope ecoysystems along the east coast between the Labrador Sea and Cape Hatteras, where most of the waters lie within the jurisdictions of Canada and the US.
Not only do we live here, this region offers us a glimpse into how to fish and how not to fish. Although this was once known as one of the richest fishing areas of the world, the region's infamous collapse of ground fisheries gives us lessons from which to learn.
At the time of NAMA's inception, our thoughts were centered solely on the Gulf of Maine (as far south as Cape Cod). But knowing what we know about the interconnectedness of marine life, we knew it was inconceivable to manage these waters successfully without collaborating with other regions and our neighbors in Canada.
Today, although the scope of our on-the-ground work extends from Atlantic Canada to southern New England, our reach and relationships are global. With NAMA's recent transition, we are rebuilding our relationships and nurturing new ones.
As our ideas have gained strength, our area of interest has grown as well. We now focus on impact of non-fishing activities - such as toxic pollution and climate change - on rebuilding of the region's marine ecosystems.
In order to restore and enhance an enduring Northwest Atlantic marine system, it is imperative that the region's community based fishermen and coastal communities work together for the good of the whole.