Posted in New England Fisheries

John Bullard Condemns the Status Quo as NEFMC Prepares to Discuss Groundfish Monitoring

The New England Fishery Management Council completed the scoping process for Amendment 23 and will now move forward with discussions about how to change the monitoring program for New England’s groundfish fishery. Although commenters disagreed about the particulars, there is a general consensus that the current monitoring system is not working. The NOAA Regional Administrator agrees. … More Info »

Act Now to Protect Deep-Sea Corals in New England

The New England Fishery Management Council is developing the Omnibus Deep-Sea Coral Amendment. The amendment will comprise measures requiring some fishermen to take precautions in designated areas in order to protect the corals that live in those places. The Council is currently accepting comments on the amendment through June 5, 2017. … More Info »

New Groundfish Amendment Falls Far Short Of Its Goal

NOAA Fisheries unfortunately approved Amendment 18 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan at the end of April. One primary goal of the amendment had been to address concerns of fleet consolidation in the groundfish industry by limiting permit accumulation. Consolidation is worrisome because it eliminates diversity in the fleet and/or allows individuals to exercise market power. These concerns have been repeatedly raised and gone unanswered since the full catch share program was approved and implemented in 2009. At least through the early parts of the process, it seemed that Amendment 18 could remedy unintended consequences of the catch share program by helping the fishermen who had been locked out of the fishery. It does nothing of the sort. … More Info »

Northeast Squid Deserve a Summer Break

Every summer, as crowds amass on New England beaches, another gathering is underway in the waters just offshore. Millions of Atlantic longfin squid return from a winter spent in the deep cold waters off the East Coast to the ecologically rich shallower waters near Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Officials should act to stem heavy fishing of this key forage species in its spawning grounds.
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Utilizing the Ocean Plan in New England Fisheries Management

The New England Fishery Management Council is developing the Omnibus Deep-Sea Coral Amendment, which is intended to protect deep-sea corals in New England waters from certain potentially harmful fishing gear. The proposed management areas included in the draft amendment are now available in the Data Explorer section of the Northeast Ocean Data Portal. … More Info »

State of Denial: Fishermen disagree (again) with Gulf of Maine cod assessments

Fishermen and scientists have disagreed about the state of Gulf of Maine cod populations. Wanting to get to the bottom of the disagreement, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries implemented its own industry-based survey. The survey confirmed the conclusion of the federal stock assessments, but industry leaders continue to bash the science. … More Info »

Video: River Herring Runs

Last week’s unusually warm weather in New England have us looking forward to the spring and warmer months. And with the spring, come river herring runs. The runs are still a couple months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the importance of river habitat to migrating fish trying to reach their spawning grounds. If these fish aren’t caught as bycatch at sea, many of them still face a tough swim upriver.Check out these videos (courtesy of The Fish Wrap Writer) from last year’s runs on the Saugatucket River in Rhode Island. … More Info »

Council Looking to Renew Groundfish Monitoring

The New England Fishery Management Council has begun the multi-year effort of developing Amendment 23 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, also known as the groundfish monitoring amendment. … More Info »

The Cape Cod Times Supports Electronic Monitoring

Monitoring in the groundfish fishery has been somewhat of a contentious issue, especially more recently when NOAA Fisheries announced they would be transitioning the cost of the at-sea monitoring program to the industry. A recent editorial in the Cape Cod Times provides some background on at-sea monitoring, the ongoing court battle over its cost, and possible options to improve the program. … More Info »

Why for the love of river herring I went to frigid Plymouth for a sea herring meeting

On Tuesday, February 7, when wind driven snow slashed across the bay, in Plymouth the fate of a small silver fish and a fishery was being decided at a meeting of the New England Fishery Management Council’s Herring Committee. … More Info »