In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, February 2

A school of pollock swim through a kelp forest atop the highest peak on Cashes Ledge, Ammen Rock. Photo credit: Brian Skerry/NEOO.

  • NOAA Fisheries has approved four at-sea monitor providers for the 2019 and 2020 groundfish fishing years. Sectors will be allowed to contract with any of the approved providers to meet their at-sea monitoring requirements. The notice in the Federal Register states, “In fishing year 2018, a number of sectors have realized at-sea monitoring coverage levels below the target coverage level. We are working with the approved providers and sectors to increase coverage levels, and we have scheduled additional at-sea monitor certification trainings to increase monitor staff levels.”
  • Regional Administrator Michael Pentony said at the New England Fishery Management Council meeting this week that GARFO will be prioritizing the backlog of new fishing permit requests and renewal requests following the government shutdown reports Undercurrent News. During the shutdown, the agency was able to make progress on the in-season adjustment to herring limits because they were allowed to work on efforts related to preventing overfishing. In a memo issued on Monday, Pentony stated, “While we are thankful the shutdown is over and we’re able to get back to serving the American people, we are now coming to grips with the full effect and impact of the shutdown on the people, communities, industries, and resources we serve.” Read more in Undercurrent News here.
  • The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council rescheduled its January 29th meeting to decide whether to certify Vineyard Wind’s 84-turbine project. The meeting will now take place on February 12th. The new meeting date gives Vineyard Wind more time to reach an agreement on the project with commercial fishermen. The Providence Journal reports that the current offer from Vineyard Wind “includes $6.2 million in direct payments to fishermen and the creation of a $23-million fund for research into new gear and technology to support safe fishing in and around wind turbines.”
  • The New England Fishery Management Council covered a number of groundfish topics at this week’s meeting including recreational management issues, Amendment 23 and at-sea monitoring, and a report from the Fishery Data for Stock Assessment Working Group. Find more details in the Council’s press release.

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