Tag Archives: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approve increase in menhaden catch limits

ASMFC SidebarA multi-state regulatory board is approving higher catch limits for Atlantic menhaden, a fish that plays important roles as bait and part of the ocean food web. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Menhaden Management Board voted to raise catch limits from 170,800 metric tons per year to 187,880 metric tons per year. The limits apply this year and in 2016. Read the rest here  15:36

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Future of shrimp fishery debated at Fishermen’s Forum

maineshrimp_courtesyofC_SchmidtCommercial shrimp fishermen who already have gone two years without a harvest shared sharply divided opinions about the future of their fishery Saturday at the 40th annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum. “I think there’s too much regulation going on,” Jim Hanscom of Bar Harbor said. “Pitting fishermen against fishermen is just no good. Limited entry, it’s just cutting people out … I think it’s foolish. Maybe just leave it alone, and let it be.” Read the rest here 20:52

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Fishermen suspensions trigger Maine elver quota changes

elver eelBecause some elver fishermen are expected to have their licenses suspended this year due to outstanding fines, fishermen with active licenses will not have 5 percent of their quotas set aside as a buffer to prevent overfishing. All licensed elver fishermen, whether or not they are members of Maine’s federally recognized Indian tribes, are facing a reduction in individual quotas for the 2015 elver season because of a decision made last fall by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Read the rest here 11:39

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New Atlantic menhaden assessment to be reviewed at upcoming management meeting, reveals healthy stock and sustainable fishery

This week at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Winter Meeting in Alexandria, Va., the Menhaden Management Board will consider the just-released 2014 Atlantic Menhaden Stock Assessment and Peer Review Report for management use. The assessment’s revised models and data sources are substantially improved from previous assessments and indicate that fishery-independent causes, including environmental conditions, have the greatest impact on the otherwise healthy stock and sustainable fishery. Read the rest here 09:40

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New England Fishery Management Council reject expanded protections for herring

In a decision lauded by state regulators and decried by environmentalists, federal regulators ruled this week that a plan to extend greater conservation efforts to river herring is not necessary at this time. There is a need for more data to assess river herring and shad stocks, but the factors affecting the species include water quality and fish passage, which are difficult to address through federal management plans, said Jeff Nichols, a spokesman for the state Department of Marine Resources. Read the rest here 14:25

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The American eel’s ‘endangered’ designation isn’t backed up by the science

elver eelOver the past decade, eel fishermen in Maine and all along the Atlantic coast have been part of a responsibly managed fishery, adhering to stringent regulations developed across state, provincial and international lines.,, Despite these notable management efforts, in late 2014, the environmental group International Union for the Conservation of Nature placed American eel on its “Red List” of endangered species. Read the rest here 14:55

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Elver Eel exporters may need new license

elver eelThe Maine Department of Marine Resources is preparing legislation that would require individuals who ship the baby eels overseas to purchase a $5,000 exporter’s license. The state already licenses both elver fishermen and dealers, so DMR officials said the exporter license will ensure the state is monitoring every aspect of an industry that has drawn poachers and federal scrutiny in recent years. Read the rest here 10:45

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Report: Atlantic menhaden are in better shape than regulators thought

Environmentalists and commercial fishermen have clashed for years over Atlantic menhaden and whether there are still plenty of the little fish left in the sea. Now a draft of a  that incorporates more comprehensive data from coastal states stretching back to the 1950s, as well as alternative model scenarios, appears to indicate menhaden might not be in such bad shape after all. Read the rest here 08:00

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Fish Distribution: Warmer waters shake up Shore fishing

“Marine fish are very sensitive to a change in temperature — they can only survive in a narrow range, so they are seeking out cooler waters toward the poles and deeper in the ocean,” he said. “And deeper generally means farther from shore.” As the species shift north, fishing industries are hampered in making adjustments because federal fishing quotas that determine how much of each species can be caught are based on decades-old data. “The regulations are based on the idea that fish distributions are static. Read the rest here 11:06

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Potential closures for scallop fishery – may be affected by the New England Fishery Management Council’s Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2

mkScallopers still may be affected by the New England Fishery Management Council’s Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2 when it goes into effect next year. While lobster gear currently is not included in the list of gear potentially affected by the amendment, the possibility remains open that this could change as a result of public input and any supporting scientific information. The Council plans to work with the , NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center and the coastal states in the Northeast on this issue. Read the rest here 14:37

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Here it is! The Rundown of the 73rd Annual Meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

ASMFC SidebarFrom Atlantic Herring to Summer Flounder and everything in between! Meeting Summaries, Press Releases, and Motions. Read it here 11:58

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Feds shut down Maine shrimp season again

For the second year in a row, federal rregulatorsvoted Wednesday to cancel the shrimp season, leaving fishermen, processors and distributors without income during the tough winter months. “It’s a big blow in the winter when it’s slow for lobstering and ground fishing with our size boats and the shrimp is big. It fills a big void in the middle of the winter,” said shrimp harvester and processor Dave Osier. Video, Read the rest here  10:52

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Conservative regulations likely even though striped bass spawning stock is up

Last week the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that the 2014 juvenile index which measures striped bass spawning success in Chesapeake Bay is 11.0, nearly equal to the 61-year average which is a big improvement from recent years,,,Striped bass from the Chesapeake Bay area migrate north to Rhode Island and as far as Maine,,, Read more here 19:14

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Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission may/will shut down Maine shrimp AGAIN!

ASMFC SidebarA technical committee that advises federal regulators strongly recommends extending a moratorium that began in 2014. A draft of the committee’s report says “long-term trends in environmental conditions” are unfavorable for the shrimp. The report pins the decline of the cold-water shrimp on rising ocean temperatures. Read the rest here  13:46

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Maine elver fishing quota may be slightly reduced – Department of Marine Resources is advocating for status quo

ASMFC SidebarMaine elver fishermen will oppose the quota cut at the meeting, said Jeffrey Pierce, director of the Maine Elver Fishermen’s Association. “They can’t keep cutting it every year. Our markets need to know there is stability they can count on,” Pierce said. Read the rest here 06:58

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Regulators set to make decision on Maine eel quota

ASMFC SidebarFederal regulators will soon approve rules for next year’s Maine baby eel fishing season, which could include changes to the lucrative fishery’s quota system. The board is “considering the economic importance of the glass eel fishery, especially in Maine,” said Kate Taylor, eel fishery management plan coordinator with the fisheries commission. Read the rest here  15:54

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Northern Shrimp are on the ASFMC agenda, Will YOU be allowed to fish under Amendment 3?

maine shrimpThe Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Northern Shrimp Section will meet Wednesday, Nov. 5, in Portland to consider approval of the Public Information Document (PID) for Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Northern Shrimp for public comment. The latest amendment looks at whether ASMFC  for the northern shrimp fishery. Read the rest here  asfmc pdf here  15:25

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Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission set restrictions on New England herring

ASMFC SidebarThe Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Herring Section’s members from the three states say vessels may fish for Atlantic herring for four days weekly, from 12:01 a.m. Monday until midnight Thursday. Fishermen had previously been able to fish for herring for seven days. The restrictions apply in a section of the inshore Gulf of Maine that is heavily fished for herring. The rules apply to the end of the calendar year. Read the rest here 09:05

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Federal fisheries regulators holding LI hearings on fluke take

MAFMC SidebarASMFC SidebarRepresentatives from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council were in Montauk Tuesday night and will be in East Setauket Wednesday to solicit comments on the plan,, At the Montauk meeting, dozens of commercial fishermen blasted rules that reduce fluke quotas to 50 to 100 pounds a day and force those with federal permits to steam to faraway ports to land their fish. Read the rest here 10:34

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Hard choices for the Chesapeake

ASMFC SidebarThe current position of ASMFC for stripers is that “Projections of female SSB (spawning stock biomass) and fishing mortality suggest if the current fishing mortality rate (0.20) is maintained during 2013-2017, the probability of the stock being overfished is high and increases until 2015-2016, but declines thereafter. Read the rest here 11:31

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If you have an opinion on fluke management, now is the time to make it known.

MAFMC_logo_4The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will be holding a series of scoping hearings to collect the public’s input on a broad range of issues to be considered for the Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment. Fourteen scoping meetings have been scheduled from Virginia through Massachusetts from the end of September through the third week in October. Read the rest here  09:48

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‘If they were sensible, they’d be issuing weir permits and closing down the elver fishery’: Palmyra man, son have last eel weir in state

Whitten’s weir, located off a side street in downtown Newport, is the last one in the state. As a concession to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which has said that the population of American eels is depleted, the state last winter banned fishing for silver eels, the adult life stage of the species. Whitten and his son, Theodore “T.J.” Whitten, are the only exceptions to the ban. Read the rest here 16:40

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Maine proposes rules to manage growing black sea bass fishery. Black Sea Bass, ya say!!!!

Maine fishery officials are proposing regulations to manage black sea bass, a species that is increasing in abundance in the state’s waters. Scientists say black sea bass are increasing in Maine’s waters because of temperature increase over the past 10 years. You don’t say! Read more here 15:14

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Pound Net Watermen Prepare for Menhaden Bycatch Limits

Today, a Maryland waterman with a pound net can catch as many menhaden as he or she would like,  on Friday, that gets cut back to 6,000 pounds a day to protect the species from overfishing, Video, and Read more here 12:26

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New, more restrictive regulations sought for bass fishing

Many anglers and conservation groups are putting pressure on fish managers to tighten limits on recreational and commercial fishing of striped bass. <Read more here> 18:43

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New Measures Proposed for Federal Waters Lobster Fishery

Seeking comments on proposed changes to the federal-register for Lobster Conservation Management Areas 2, 3, 4, and 5, including trap reductions in Areas 2 and 3, and broodstock measures is Areas 2, 3, 4, and 5. The proposed measures aim to reduce fishing exploitation and reduce latent effort in the trap fishery to scale the fishery to the size of the Southern New England lobster stock.   The deadline for public comment is August 25, 2014. Read more here  ASMFC info here 11:23
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UPDATED: Maine’s shrimp fishery may face new restrictions

Federal regulators, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, may limit the number of fishermen allowed to catch northern shrimp in the Gulf of Maine once the depleted fishery reopens. Read more here (Reading between the lines, here comes Catch Shares for this fishery!) 12:51

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Elver Conservation Proposals Meet Maine Industry’s Resistance

An analysis by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission finds that American eel stocks are being depleted.  The group was in the state today, taking testimony on ways to preserve the species over the long term. But Elver fishermen and dealers say strict measures like additional quotas aren’t needed to protect eels along the eastern seaboard. Listen and read more here 19:32

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In Maine, a key day for elvers regulation

The panel deciding whether to set catch limits or even close the fishery will take comments from fishermen and state officials, and there could be tension. The hearings in Hallowell and Brewer will be held by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which has the authority to set catch limits and establish other rules governing East Coast fisheries from Maine to Florida. Read more here 07:55

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Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission proposes new rules for American eel

The commission is considering 25 options for revising regulations for commercial fishing for glass, yellow and silver eels, from keeping the status quo to permitting aquaculture with permits to new catch limits. Read more here 11:09

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Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to consider capping shrimp licenses

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission restricts the impact of fishing on northern shrimp in the Gulf of Maine by setting a cap on the total amount of shrimp that can be harvested by licensed fishermen from the three gulf states — Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Read more here 16:38

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Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to consider next Maine shrimp season

Federal regulators will hold a meeting in New Hampshire to consider whether there will be a commercial fishing season for northern shrimp in 2014-15. Read more here 12:21

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Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to consider next Maine shrimp season

Federal regulators will hold a meeting in New Hampshire to consider whether there will be a commercial fishing season for northern shrimp in 2014-15. Read more here 07:41

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Fisheries panel could limit rockfish catch in three year phase-in

Cutbacks would affect all sectors of the fishery — commercial, charter and recreational — and could include limiting the number of fish or pounds commercial fishermen could take, and jiggering the number or weight of individual fish taken by charter or recreational fishermen. Read more here 13:51

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Virginia abided by menhaden catch limit for 2013

In late 2012, Virginia and other Atlantic states adopted the first coast-wide catch limit for menhaden in a historic effort to save the “most important fish in the sea” from years of overfishing. Read more here 

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Connecticut inches toward lucrative eel industry

Days after a deal by state lawmakers , a 15-state regional agency proposed to ease rules allowing broader access to the multimillion-dollar global eel market. “Why is it so overwhelmingly concentrated in one state? If we’re going to have fisheries, let’s talk about opening it more fairly,”  Read more here  13:58

 

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New rockfish catch limits eyed

Worried by recent declines in the numbers of Maryland’s state fish, Atlantic states fisheries regulators are weighing slashing the annual striped bass catch by up to one-third next year all along the East Coast and in the Chesapeake Bay. “It’s called being regulated out of business,” said Robert T. Brown Sr., president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association. He contended that “there’s no shortage of fish.” Read more here 21:25

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Falmouth Ma. police tip foils lucrative elver eel poaching

FALMOUTH — The Falmouth Department of Marine and Environmental Services responded to a suspected case of elver poaching Saturday, saving about 35 pounds of the young and valuable eels. The department received a tip when a driver near a herring run saw two men who quickly left in a truck when the passer-by tried to engage them, department Deputy Director Chuck Martinsen said. Read more here  08:24

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Saving Striped Bass (It sounds so dramatic!)

By June, the fish will be racing through these waters on the way to coastal New England as part of their northern migration, a biological spectacle akin to the movement of salmon on the West Coast. But with the striped bass population in decline, competition for the prized catch has intensified between recreational and commercial fishermen, setting up a showdown over a fishery that generates, according to one study, several billion dollars a year. Read more here

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Different states with different rules sting SouthCoast fluke fishermen

sct logoPOINT JUDITH, R.I. — April 9 was a good day for Tony Borges, captain of the Sao Paulo. He only had to throw 100 pounds of fish overboard. That’s 100 pounds of fluke, roughly 33 individual fish, most of which were already dead. Read more here  08:55

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Maine elver eeling begins Sunday under strict quotas, monitoring

For the first time, fishermen eelers will be required to stay within individual catch quotas in response to rising concerns about the sustainability of one of only two elver fisheries in the U.S. Maine also is implementing an electronic swipe card system that will allow regulators to monitor how many eels are being caught daily and shut down individual fishermen – or the entire season – if limits are exceeded.  Read more here kennebecjournal  08:39

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Maine lobster industry encouraged to plan ahead for likely fishery decline

BDNPatrick Keliher, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, stressed that message Tuesday to a few dozen lobstermen and other people who attended an industry meeting at the local Neighborhood House.  Read more here  07:29

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Lawmakers sink Passamaquoddy bid to exempt tribal fishermen from individual elver catch quotas

BDNDue to concerns about the impact on the population of American eels from Maine’s elver fishery — the only such fishery on the East Coast that nets any significant amount of the newborn eels — Maine, for the first time ever, has imposed individual quotas on elver fishermen. Read more here  08:45

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Maine tribe resists same-rules-for-all elvers plan that caps individual catches

Under the bill, tribal fishermen would be subject to the same individual catch limits as other Maine fishermen. But the Passamaquoddies contend the tribe has made numerous other concessions, limiting itself to just one type of gear and agreeing to a decrease in its overall share of the elver harvest. Passamaquoddy officials say choosing who can fish is cultural, not just a matter of conservation. Read more here  21:35

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2013 Annual Report to Congress: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

Read the 2013  Annual Report here. 08:20

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Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission – “Sustainably Managing Atlantic Coast Fisheries”

Sustainably Managing Atlantic Coastal Fisheries – Five year strategic plan – 2014-2018  Read the report here  09:53

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Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approves Maine’s elver plan

BDNELLSWORTH, Maine — The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has agreed to allow Maine to restrict its annual elver harvest with a statewide quota, rather than by a cap on the number of licenses that can be issued throughout the state. Read more@BDN  19:46

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Catch-22 hobbles sea bass fishery – a combination of regulatory red tape, inadequate science and cautious regulators.

Black sea bass are everywhere, says charter boat captain Dorwin “Gov” Allen of Marstons Mills. They’re in Nantucket Sound, of course, but they are also in Cape Cod Bay, and 20 or more miles east of Chatham, where they were once rarely seen. They are even being caught in New Hampshire, once considered too cold, in numbers that surpass catches in North Carolina and Maryland. Read more@capecodonline  07:38

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Fluke Fight. New Jersey fights New York’s efforts to take summer flounder

New Jersey fluke fishermen claim New York is trying to take their fish. The border war of sorts has been going on for several years but appears to finally be heading toward a vote on the issue in February. New Jersey has the bulk of the quota for fluke, also known as summer flounder, on the East Coast. New York is No. 2 and wants to increase its harvest. “It’s New York looking at extra fish we have in New Jersey. It’s as simple as that,” said Tom Fote, of the Toms River-based Jersey Coast Anglers Association. Read more@pressofatlanticcity  13:17

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Mandated elver catch reduction to be discussed Jan. 2 in Brewer, Me

BDNThe purpose of the meeting is for Maine Department of Marine Resources officials to talk to elver fishermen and dealers about landings reductions that have been mandated by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The commission has told Maine that it must reduce its 2014 elver landings total by 25 to 40 percent from the 2013 harvest total. Read more@bdn  18:07

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Northern Shrimp: first casualty of New England warming water? – Tragically, the answer is maybe

untitledThe Gulf of Maine is the southernmost extent of the range for this cold water species and the water in the Gulf has been getting warmer since the 1960s (see graph). Shrimp require specific water temperature and chemistry during spawning and for larval shrimp survival. In the past, shrimp success has been lower during warm water events in the Gulf of Maine. It is possible that the warming trend in the Gulf of Maine is causing spawning events to not occur or to have very low survival rates for larval shrimp. Read more@workingwaterfront  08:36

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Maine says it must curtail the elver harvest because of declining population, but fishermen say their livelihood is being interfered with.

Industry officials supported quotas based on historical catch during the first public hearing hosted by state regulators this week in Augusta. Another hearing will be held Jan. 2 in Brewer. “We’re being led down the road by bad science. It’s a data-poor species, so the scientists would rather err on the side of caution. That’s because they get paid and we don’t. They get a check every week. We only get paid if we catch something,” said Jeffrey Pierce, executive director of the Maine Elver Fishermen’s Association. more@portlandpress  17:28

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Maine Shrimp: “We are screwed,” – Warming ocean, absence of springtime plankton surge, predation by other species, and of course the “obligatory” overfishing

untitledAn advisory council had recommended that the fishery remain open on a limited basis in 2014, from mid-February through March. Past seasons have run from December through May. Spencer Fuller, the shrimp product line manager for Cozy Harbor Seafood in Portland, said that recommendation was rejected by the commission, which represents Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He said the compromise would have kept the industry going and prevented its reputation from being damaged in world markets. “We felt the risk of any damage to the fishery based on that proposal would have been minimal,” Fuller said. “We certainly don’t agree with (the commission’s) Draconian approach.” more@portlandpress  17:50

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Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Pulls the Plug on Gulf of Maine Shrimp Fishery

“The Northern Shrimp Technical Committee has considered the Gulf of Maine northern shrimp stock to have collapsed with very little hope for recovery in the near future,” Kelly Whitmore, chairwoman of the committee, told members of a section advisory panel Tuesday morning. “There are no small shrimp around right now. It doesn’t bode well for the future.” more@BDN 16:34

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Gulf of Maine Shrimp season may be a non-starter

In a report prepared last week, the Northern Shrimp Technical Committee of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission said it will recommend a total “moratorium on fishing in 2014 to maximize spawning potential” of the Gulf of Maine shrimp population. more@GDTgdt icon 09:55

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Dr. Louis Daniel, Director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries new chairman of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

A 1995 graduate of the Ph.D. program in William & Mary’s School of Marine Science at VIMS, Daniel has served as an ASMFC Commissioner since 2007. Established in 1942, the Commission is a deliberative body of the Atlantic coastal states, coordinating the conservation and management of 25 near-shore fish species from Florida to Maine. Daniel replaces Paul J. Diodati of Massachusetts. more@vims,edu  15:33

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Changes loom for Maine elver fishery – catch limits – swipe-card monitoring of elver sales – welfare fraud prevention project

Maine’s lucrative elver fishery is facing some big changes, including smaller catch quotas and a new swipe-card monitoring system that state officials hope will help manage the resource while reducing the poaching of baby eels that fetched up to $2,000 a pound last season. more@portlandpress 12:08

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Rules on striped bass fishing could become tougher

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission announced last week that the female spawning stock biomass for Atlantic striped bass has continued to decline since 2004 and is estimated at 128 million pounds, about 31 million pounds below the target, although overfishing is not to blame. more@providencejournal.com 19:39

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“I don’t know what we’ll find here,” Enigmatic eels a focus of concern

 On a chilly morning when other watermen on the Patuxent River dredged for  oysters, Jimmy Trossbach sought more slippery quarry — American eels. Last week, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which oversees  near-shore fishing along the coast, put off a decision on catch limits until May  while one state, Maine, works to slash its commercial harvest of young “glass”  eels. more@baltimoresun  08:08

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Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission: Atlantic Striped Bass not overfished or experiencing overfishing

That’s right! After this week’s meeting we’re pleased to announce that the recent benchmark assessment indicates that the Atlantic Striped Bass resource is not overfished or experiencing overfishing relative to proposed new reference points defined in the assessment.  more@asmfc.org 12:14

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