New England Fishery Management Council’s Groundfish Oversight Committee want emergency measures to conserve cod

nefmc logoThe federal New England Fishery Management Council’s Groundfish Oversight Committee recommended a battery of changes, including one restriction that would prohibit fishing by private recreational and charter boats in the spawning closure areas. The committee also recommended new prohibitions on some commercial groundfishing vessels, and requested a review of the extent of cod bycatch in the lobster fishery. Read the rest here 22:53

  • Ec Newell Man

    Now isn’t this just dandy:

    “NEFMC Groundfish Oversight Committee recommended a battery of changes, including one restriction that would prohibit fishing by private recreational and charter boats in the
    spawning closure areas.”

    Talk about having to eat and swallow a chit-sandwich without the tasty-bread.

    First…. the latest spring 2014 bottom trawl survey data indicating the SSB is at 3%….hello, there are few spawning cod in the GOM so what are we talking about here in spawning market, steaker and cow cod here?

    Second…Sectors (yes that nasty little bugaboo from Janie’s Catch Share Program) allowed the commercial trip boats to fish essentially “no limits” on the most concentrated cod (pre- spawing) on till their quota was filled, then they just bought more quota when they had to, which effectively allowed them to sit on and around Stellwagon, etc. in the winter and fish till the stacked up till the cod were gone. And that’s why there are no more large cod within a reasonable distance from a northern New England fishing port.

    Third…just after the Whaleback was closed during the spring spawning period, it seemed that a privileged few were allowed to tow through the area, one being the infamous “skate study”:

    From 2011 from someone who had witnessed this in early July:

    “Over the last few days ten’s of thousands of pounds of cod have come off the SW Hump, part of the whaleback closure. Waiting to see the landings in Boston and Gloucester but expect scary numbers. Plenty of poaching going on too. I personally saw a dragger today unload. It would have made you sick. More large cod that I have seen on my boat in the last 25 years. Reports of dead floating discards too. Great job with this closure, it accomplished little. Hopefully the spawn was a good one because those fish that did it are gone.”

    That was a spawning area cod closure….now another report from a different fisherman:

    “At least those fish MAY have spawned, the large cod taken last month during the “skate study” surely didn’t. I heard 4k lbs of large in one twenty minute tow , and off to market they went to pay for more corrupt science.”

    I had a pic of someone’s pickup loaded up with spawning size steaker and cow cod at that time. I wish I can find that picture!

    C’mon, cod bycatch in the lobster fishery….over the decades I have seen lobster bycatch when dragging. Which do you think happens more often?

    Codfish discards….Do we have to dig into this wasteful practice?

    Guys, stop grasping for straws here. It is embarrassing and you get to the point where the wizards on the NE council have put the cod fishery in the current death spiral…and personally I doubt it will ever recover in my lifetime.

    Maybe those guys should go back and read this in the Federal Register on March 1, 1994….

    “It is essential that fishing mortality be reduced ASAP so that rebuilding can occur……..”

    http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sfd/multifr/59FR9872.pdf

    Too late now…right?

    We are at the point where there is no credibility here with this council…any other fishery would of been shutdown a long time ago, but the slow bleed was allowed to continue right up on till the ISIS-like head cutting of the New England Catch Shares program put the final kibosh the cod in New England.

    Someone is going to have to be an adult and say just like in Rambo, “It’s only Johnny…it’s over……….”