While the New England Council has, indeed, had controls on the development of new small mesh fisheries in New England since 1994 through the Northeast Multispecies FMP, the focus on those fisheries has been on ensuring that there were not unacceptable levels of bycatch of other regulated species--“exemption programs must have demonstrated that incidental catch
New England does not lag behind. Under existing regulations, small mesh fisheries are prohibited unless they receive an exemption under the Northeast Multispecies FMP. No one can start a legal fishery for sand lance or any other forage fishery without that exemption. This provision has been in place for decades.
What and how many other nations have restricted this gear type?