Another Senseless Regulation! Northern Red Hake possession limit slashed to 400 Lbs per trip

To the Regulators. Northern  Red  Hake (known to fishermen as Mud Hake) is not a targeted specie of our fishermen, who mainly target Silver Hake (known as Whiting), which share the same ocean bottom. Red Hake live down in the mud, but Silver Hake do not live in the mud. Whiting are found in the upper water. All Gulf of Maine Fishermen must use a raised-foot rope net when fishing for Silver Hake. This net fishes 42 inches off the and up to 10 feet to avoid catching Red Hake if used responsibly by a knowledgeable Captain. Wondering what boats are catching all these Red Hake? Maybe they need help to regulate their fishing gear to leave the Red Hake in the mud! Red Hake, when caught in a net usually get the Bends as the net reaches the surface during the haul back, and die. This discarded dead Red Hake is perfect for lobster bait which is in high demand because of scarcity of other baits. The 400 lb Red Hake limit is a waste, and a disgrace to our ocean resources. In 2015, Fishermen targeting Silver Hake went over the Red Hake quota, so the NOAA decides to give Gulf of Maine Fishermen a little payback! I wonder if payback is mentioned in the Federal Register! Regulators, and managers, our ocean and fish stocks are changing. When will you guys change?!!! Captain Salvatore Novello, Gloucester, Ma.
RED HAKE:  Due to a landings overage in 2015, NMFS has reduced the northern red hake possession limit adjustment trigger for fishing year 2017 from 62.5% to 37.9% as required by Amendment 19 for small-mesh multispecies.  This means the possession limit for northern red hake will be reduced from 3,000 pounds per trip to the incidental limit of 400 pounds once the fleet in is projected to have landed 37.9% of total allowable landings, equivalent to 45.5 metric tons, in 2017.  NMFS also reinstated regulatory text that previously was omitted describing raised-footrope trawl gear specifications as required in certain small-mesh exemption areas.  Full details are available at red hake and final rule.

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