Tag Archives: David Pierce

State unreceptive to squid-fishing petition

David Pierce, director of the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries, started yesterday’s public hearing on whether to bar trawlers from fishing for squid within three miles of Nantucket by listing the reasons he does not support a local petition to keep them away from the island from May 1 to Oct. 31. By the end of the four-hour meeting, attended by an overflow crowd at the Public Safety Facility, Nantucket charter captain and former commercial fisherman Pete Kaizer hoped Pierce had changed his mind on at least one thing: that trawlers disrupt what are called squid mops in a way that kills squid eggs and affects spawning. subscription site, more info to follow as it becomes available. 09:46

Mass DMF gets an earful from conch fishermen, David Pierce mentions squid trawling

Officials from the Division of Marine Fisheries on their annual rounds to inform fishermen of proposed regulations for 2017 held a public hearing at the Katharine Cornell Theater in Tisbury on Wednesday morning. A lengthy agenda cast a wide net on changes in proposed limits to finfish and shellfish, but the most spirited debate by far was over a proposed increase to the minimum size of channel whelk and knob whelk, often referred to as “conch,” for this year. DMF director David Pierce and deputy director Dan McKiernan moderated the discussion. Local fishermen portended dire economic circumstances if the current minimum size, measured at the shell’s widest point, is increased from 3 inches to 3 3⁄16 inches. DMF officials countered that without the increase, the future of the conch fishery, the most valuable fishery on Martha’s Vineyard, will be in serious jeopardy in a matter of years. Prior to the start of the public hearing, DMF director David Pierce said that while on vacation on Martha’s Vineyard last year, he picked up a copy of The MV Times and read the Sept. 7 story, “Squid trawlers leave a wake of death south of Martha’s Vineyard” that described the miles of dead by-catch — mostly squid and scup — left behind by squid trawlers operating just outside the three-mile state limit south of Martha’s Vineyard. Read the story here 17:04

Cape Cod: Summing up the seals

When David Pierce seated himself at the table at the Nantucket Seal Symposium last month, one image came to mind: private pilot Aaron Knight’s video from last April showing miles of gray seals – a dozen deep, cheek by jowl, banding the Monomoy shoreline. Recently appointed as director of the state Division of Marine Fisheries, Pierce is a veteran of decades of fisheries negotiations as former director Paul Diodati’s proxy on the New England Fishery Management Council. Fishery managers live and die by population estimates, known as stock assessments, that help set sustainable catch levels for commercial fishermen, so it was disconcerting to hear that the same level of science had not been applied to the predators who eat them. “The determination of population size is extremely important, especially in the context of ecosystem management in New England,” Pierce said. “If they (gray seals) are out there in large numbers foraging, what might their impact be on the Georges Bank ecosystem?” The answer will not be coming any time soon, according to federal fisheries officials at the symposium. Read the story here 09:43

Federal ocean planning effort met with skepticism in New Bedford

george_carlin_dont_trust_government_memeNo commercial fishermen attended a Wednesday meeting about a new ocean planning initiative, and a local port leader warned that mistrust of the government — widespread on the waterfront — could be spurring skepticism about the federal effort to gather and utilize public input. State and federal officials including Betsy Nicholson of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) led the event, which drew about 20 people to a third-floor room in New Bedford’s downtown library. The intent was to hear public comment on the draft Northeast Regional Ocean Plan. The plan culminates a four-year effort to compile input from numerous marine industries, environmental groups, public and private officials, tribal entities and others, across all six New England states, for a document that could guide future ocean planning. Read the rest here 18:19