Tag Archives: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

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

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

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

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

2013 Annual Report to Congress: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

Read the 2013  Annual Report here. 08:20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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

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

UPDATED: Maine’s elver-fishing industry could be affected by new regulations – harvest to be cut by 25% in 2014

The American Eel Management Board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is meeting Wednesday in Georgia to discuss and possibly vote on new regulations. Options range from maintaining the status quo to imposing quotas to closing the fishery. more@kennebecjournal 12:12  new info here

Maryland Department of Natural Resources responds to watermen lawsuit

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has responded to a lawsuit filed against it on Oct. 18, alleging that menhaden limits were set illegally after not following proper implementation procedure. more@stardem.com

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission – fishermen disagree on shrimp stocks

There is, it seems, more bad news coming out of the ocean than fish. In yet another blow to local commercial fishermen who work the Gulf of Maine winter shrimp season, it appears the 2013-14 shrimping season may be even more dismal than last year’s abbreviated and paltry campaign. more@GDT 02:13

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Roll’s Out New Wesite!

Check it out. Eye appealing and functional. http://www.asmfc.org/  14:52

Locals reflect on dying industry as Sound closes to fall lobster harvesting

T0912_Lobster_cover_CM_C.jpgA third-generation lobsterman, Matt DeMaula has patrolled Long Island Sound alongside his father and uncles for more than two decades. When he thinks back to his early days in the profession, the Mattituck native can recall some remarkable fall seasons. A combination of rising water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen, pesticide runoff and nitrogen loading proved too much for the crustaceans, causing an extreme die-off in 1999, said Emerson Hasbrouck, senior marine environmental issues educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. more@thesuffolktimes  10:47

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission sinks Connecticut lobster industry

“We have been beaten to death around the clock,” said Frate at his seafood store on Darien’s Post Road last week. Since the die-off that began in September 1999 when lobstermen in the western Sound started pulling dead and dying lobsters up in their traps, Frate says the state’s lobstermen have been subjected to a series of gauge increases — continually increasing the size of legal lobsters — and gate size increases on the traps which have allowed bigger and bigger lobsters to escape capture. more@newstimes  09:37

Connecticut: Crustaceous canary? Prevailing lack of confidence that this sacrifice will do much of anything

lob_thumbThe state’s lobstermen seem to be stoically and inexorably accepting the first-ever ban on lobster gathering in Long Island Sound. What is most distressing, however, is the prevailing lack of confidence that this sacrifice will do much of anything to restore the struggling fishery.,,  A third theory is that lobsters are suffering because other species are flourishing. Striped bass, scup and other predatory fish like to make a meal of young lobsters. more@theday  07:43

Maine fisheries scientist Maggie Hunter is honored for her work

PORTLAND — A fisheries scientist from Maine has been recognized by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission for her years of contributions to fisheries science and management. more@portlandpressherald

UPDATED: Regulators delay decision on quotas for baby eels – elver fishermen will have to wait six more months

Maine’s elver fishermen will have to wait six more months or more to find out whether regulators will impose quotas or other restrictions on the highly profitable industry for baby eels. @morningsentinal

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission considering quotas for Maine eels

Regulators from East Coast states are  considering possible new regulations that could place an annual quota  on Maine’s lucrative eel fishery. @kennebecjournal

The debate over catch limits and quotas for elvers in Maine and other Atlantic states

The board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Wednesday in Virginia to decide whether to move ahead on its working group’s recommendations or incorporate details not included in the most recent management plan. At stake is a fishery that’s worth tens of millions of dollars a year in Maine alone, with baby eels often selling for $2,000 a pound or more. @kennebecjournal

NYS Assembly kills bill extending striped bass season – would have ensured that quotas can be reached even if affected by natural causes.”

Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, said the bill would have helped fishermen meet their quotas, even if stormy weather or other conditions prevented them from getting out to fish. The regulations were put in place to protect the bass when their population plummeted in the 1980s. Now the stock has been rebuilt, Ms. Brady said. “It’d be nice if the regulations would come into the 21st century like the fishermen have,” she said. continued@shelterislandreporter

Hammerhead shark protection debated – National Marine Fisheries Service pushed by WildEarth Guardians and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

A proposal to protect the great hammerhead shark has sparked a debate over whether federal protection is necessary to conserve a majestic ocean predator or whether this would just impose an unnecessary burden on the fishing industry. continued@sunsentinal

Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Lobster Fishery – Proposed Rule; Request For Comments.

American Lobster Fishery; Fishing Effort Control Measures To Complement Interstate Lobster Management Recommendations by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. NMFS proposes new Federal American lobster regulations that would control lobster trap fishing effort by limiting access into the lobster trap fishery in Lobster Conservation Management Area 2 (Federal nearshore waters in Southern New England; Area 2), and in the Outer Cape Cod Lobster Conservation Management Area (Federal nearshore waters east of Cape Cod, MA; Outer Cape Area). continued@federal register

Proposed Measures to Limit Lobster Trap Fishing Effort in Federal Waters — DEADLINE FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS IS JULY 29

At the request of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which has the lead for American lobster management, NOAA Fisheries NMFS today announced proposed measures to control trap fishing effort in Area 2 (Federal inshore waters–Southern New England) and the Outer Cape Area (Federal inshore waters east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts) and to provide a way for lobster fishermen to scale their businesses to optimum efficiency through the purchase and sale of lobster trap allocations. Click here for more information. To view the federal register notice, click here and then on tab that says June.

State Senate acts to protect bunker fishing in New Jersey

pressofAtlanticCity.com - New Jersey menhaden fishermen already face a big cut in catches this year, but the state Senate on Monday adopted legislation that would at least prevent boats from other states from poaching the Garden State’s quota. continued

Saving Mehaden.org Analysis – Wild Ocean article “Menhaden Science Supports Conservation,”

Early in 2013, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Menhaden Technical Committee determined that there is too much uncertaintysmf  in the most recent stock assessment results to determine whether or not menhaden are currently overfished. Despite this development, Ken Hinman, in his Wild Ocean article “Menhaden Science Supports Conservation,” asserts that continued

Seven major Commercial Fisheries cleared by NOAA of harming or posing a threat to the iconic sturgeon

fishnewsseu.com – A DRAFT Biological Opinion released by US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today, found that seven existing commercial fisheries in New Jersey pose “no jeopardy” for Atlantic sturgeon. This determination, formalised by a Section 7 Consultation required under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), applies to the northeast multispecies, monkfish, spiny dogfish, Atlantic bluefish, northeast skate, squid/mackerel/butterfish, and summer flounder/scup/black sea bass fisheries. continued

Maine’s elver industry could be shut down in August

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An interstate fisheries commission postponed a decision Tuesday on whether to scale back or even shut down the highly profitable baby eel fishery in Maine and South Carolina after members decided they needed more time to weigh options. continued

New Jersey has chance to use other states’ unused flounder quotas

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, a compact of East Coast states that regulates migratory fish, has proposed an addendum to the summer flounder plan that allows states to give unused quota to states that need it. New Jersey and New York, which both overfished their 2012 quota and face reductions, both need it. The commission is making the proposal partly to help New Jersey and New York. continued

Eel hearings to be held in Augusta

AUGUSTA, Maine — Three Maine hearings on interstate management measures for the American eel have been consolidated into one. continued

With the Menhaden Stock Status Still Unknown, Industry Leaders Request Better Science

WASHINGTON — April 1, 2013 — In the wake of a deeply flawed 2012 stock assessment that has prevented the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) from determining the status of Atlantic menhaden, members of the bait and reduction fisheries have written to the ASMFC calling for updated science and better data collection for the menhaden assessment.  continued  For more information on the stock status see: “Menhaden are Overfished” Reports Turn Out Premature

heating up – Passamaquoddys to hold press conference on elver fishing controversy

The press conference is being held in response to a statement Friday by Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher that the tribe had put the state out of compliance with fishing restrictions imposed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission by issuing more than twice the number of elver licenses it should have. Keliher said that by issuing 575, the tribe has put Maine out of compliance with elver regulations. continued

Officials: Elver eel season stunted by low temperatures, prices – Fishery in the government crosshairs!

ELLSWORTH, Maine — The 2013 elver fishing season in Maine has begun with cooler temperatures and cooler prices, according to a state official. “They’re a little bit on the spotty side,” Separate from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission process, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is considering listing American eels under the federal Endangered Species Act, which could result in a ban on all American eel fishing. continue reading

Hearings next month on eel fishery rules – Three Maine hearings will be held in April on proposed catch regulations.

The proposed regulations are the result of a stock assessment that concluded the American eel population is technically depleted, likely due to a combination of overfishing, habitat loss, predation, environmental changes, disease, toxins and contaminants, food web alterations and turbine mortality. continue reading

Northern Shrimp Shrimping hours expanded, season end date set for April 12, 2013

Due to low catches of northern shrimp, which officials say may be a result of relatively warm water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine, hours in the fishery are being expanded, according to officials. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission also set a season end date of April 12 and, for the trap fishery, decided to remove the daily limit of 500 pounds, the Maine Department of Marine Resources said. Read more

Maine’s shrimp fishing days and limit expanded

untitledMaine’s shrimp fishing will be expanded to seven days a week until April 12 due to the low catch rates so far this season, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission said on Friday. Read more

New Jersey may get some reprieve on reduced flounder catch

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, a compact of East Coast states that regulates migratory fish, is considering an addendum to the fishery management plan to allow sharing between states. Such a management technique has been used on commercial fisheries but never for the recreational sector, said Interstate Fisheries Management Plan Director Toni Kerns of the ASMFC.  Read more

Maine’s shrimp fishing days increased

untitledThe number of days for shrimp harvesting was doubled to four days a week due to the weak catch since the season started last month. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Northern Shrimp Season voted to double the fishing days on Thursday afternoon. Read more here

Reminder — Gillnet Bycatch Workshop in Ocean City, Maryland — on January 22 and 23 — You can join via webinar!

NOAA Fisheries (NMFS) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission are hosting a workshop  to discuss protected species bycatch in mid-Atlantic gillnet fisheries. While gillnet fisheries interact with several species protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act  and the Endangered Species Act, this workshop will focus specifically on sea turtles and Atlantic sturgeon. The objective of the workshop is to generate ideas for technological solutions through a collaborative process that involves the fishing industry, conservation community, species experts/researchers, managers, and other interested parties.
 Those unable to attend the workshop in person will be able to listen to the discussions via webinar.
 Click here to view the agenda
 For more information, contact Ellen Keane at ellen.keane@noaa.gov
 This Webinar is held on the following dates:
Jan 22, 2013 12:30 PM – 6:00 PM EST
Jan 23, 2013 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM EST
Register Now at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/127363126

Rhode Island PolitiFact Meter Shows The Pew Environment Group “Facts” are MOSTLY FALSE!

liars-all-arounds“In recent years, menhaden numbers along our coast have plummeted by 90 percent.”

Pew Environment Group on Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 in a newspaper advertisement

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is scheduled to vote today, Dec. 14, on whether to cut the catch limit for Atlantic menhaden.

Environmentalists say the menhaden population, a crucial part of the Atlantic ecosystem, has dropped to dangerous levels. Menhaden are an important food source for tuna, cod, striped bass, whales, dolphins, ospreys and eagles.

“Governor Chafee: When this little fish disappears we’re in big trouble.”

Our ruling

The Pew Environment Group said that “in recent years, menhaden numbers along our coasts have plummeted by 90 percent,” a very specific number. It says overfishing must be halted to rebuild the population.

The estimated number of menhaden is clearly well below the estimated population for the late 1980s. But it’s currently at levels seen in the 1960s.

If you want to claim a 90-percent drop, you have to compare the 2008 population to a very specific — and very exceptional — year, 1982.

We don’t consider a 30-year-old benchmark to be “recent.”

Because the statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, we rate it Mostly False.

http://www.politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2012/dec/14/pew-environment-group/pew-environment-group-says-atlantic-menhaden-popul/  About PolitiFact Rhode Island