Tag Archives: new-england-fishery-management-council

The 2020-2021 Scallop RSA Competition is underway; the Project Proposal Deadline is September 20th!

The federal competition for 2020-2021 awards through the Scallop Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program is now open. The deadline for submitting full proposals is Friday, September 20, 2019 at 5 p.m. The New England Fishery Management Council established the Scallop RSA Program under the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan. The Council sets research priorities for this program, while the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS/NOAA Fisheries) administers the RSA competition, oversees award projects, and monitors set-aside harvest activities through the Northeast Fisheries Science Center and Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO). >click to read< 16:27

New England Fishery Management Council Update, meetings lined up between now and mid-September

July 22, 2019 The New England Fishery Management Council has a number of meetings lined up between now and mid-September. Here’s a rundown of what’s currently posted on the Council’s calendar, along with a few highlights of related activities. One item, ENFORCEMENT: The Enforcement Committee and Enforcement Advisory Panel (AP) will be meeting jointly to discuss the enforcement aspects of a number of groundfish actions, including Monitoring Amendment 23 and the Groundfish Catch Share Program Review. The joint meeting will be held on Thursday, July 25 in Portsmouth, NH. >click to read<08:10

Canadian company wins approval for new lobster bait fish

The blackbelly rosefish is an abundant species that ranges from Canada to South America. Cooke Aquaculture, a New Brunswick, Canada-based company, requested Maine’s approval to sell rosefish as bait, and the company announced plans to harvest the fish off Uruguay. “We believe this is a solution to address concerns from the lobster fishery on the challenges they are currently facing on account of bait shortages,” said Glenn Cooke, chief executive officer of Cooke Inc., which includes Cooke Aquaculture.>click to read< 22:22

How the blackbelly rosefish from South America could help Maine lobstermen who are short on bait

The state for the first time has approved using fish raised off the coast of Uruguay as lobster bait to help offset a bait shortage that could increase lobster prices. Cook e Aquaculture USA of Machiasport announced the Maine Department of Marine Resources’ decision on Wednesday, saying it could help lobstermen weather a drop in the population of their primary bait source, herring, off the Maine coast. The New England Fishery Management Council in June cut the amount of herring fishermen can catch off the New England coast in 2020 and 2021. >click to read< 21:44

Atlantic Herring: Council Conducts “Debrief” on MSE Process for ABC Control Rule; Tell Us How You Think it Went!

The New England Fishery Management Council is seeking public comment on the Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) process that was used to develop and analyze alternatives for a new acceptable biological catch (ABC) control rule in Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The MSE process involved more public input through workshops and technical analysis earlier in the amendment development process than normal. Comments on the processare welcome until 8 a.m. on August 9, 2019. >click to read<08:49

Groundfishermen not hooked by monitoring alternatives

For more than two years, the New England Fishery Management Council has worked on an intricate groundfish monitoring amendment that could have wide-scale economic and regulatory consequences for groundfishermen. It has been a thorny, winding path that involves a host of groundfish committees, plan development teams and assorted staff within the far-flung fisheries regulatory landscape. Now a group of groundfishermen are weighing in. And they are not pleased. >click to read<07:53

Atlantic Herring: Council Approves Framework 6, 2019-2021 Specs included, Revised Overfishing Definition

The New England Fishery Management Council has approved Framework Adjustment 6 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP), which contains 2019-2021 specifications for the fishery and a new overfishing definition for herring that is more consistent with the 2018 benchmark stock assessment. The Council took several stepsduring its April meeting that helped guide the development of Framework 6. Here at its June meeting in So. Portland, ME, the Council made three additional decisions to complete the package: >click to read<15:34

New England Fishery Management Council meeting June 11-13, 2019 in So. Portland, ME

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at DoubleTree by Hilton, So. Portland, ME. June 11-13, 2019. To read the final agenda, >click here< Register for webinar >click here< to listen live. 16:23

Atlantic Herring: Fishermen face another quota cut, could hit lobster prices

Regulators on the East Coast are contending with a drop in the population of herring, a key forage fish species that has been used as lobster bait for generations.,, A fishery management board is due to make a decision about the 2020 catch limits in early June.,, “I’ve heard from other fishermen up and down the coast, from Maine to Massachusetts. It’s going to be survival of the fittest,” Casoni said. “Every year is challenging, and every year just gets a little more.” >click to read<11:16

NOAA/NMS Announces 2019-2021 Spiny Dogfish Specifications

We are approving and implementing the final 2019 and projected 2020-2021 specifications for the spiny dogfish fishery, as recommended by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils. The specifications for the 2019 spiny dogfish fishery are a 46-percent reduction from fishing year 2018 to,,, >click to read<11:22

N.E. Fishery Management Council Hosts Offshore Wind Session; Discusses EBFM, Commercial eVTRs, and Research Set-Aside Program Review

Council Hosts Offshore Wind Special Session; The Council reaffirmed its commitment to stay engaged in tracking ongoing offshore wind developments and will continue to provide comments during appropriate opportunities along the way. All presentations and documents are available – Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management (EBFM), Commercial Electronic Vessel Trip Reporting (eVTR), ResearchSet-Aside (RSA) Program Review, lots of links! >Click to read the various details of these issues.<13:18

NEFMC Public Hearing Sessions for Limiting Entry to Federal For-Hire Groundfish Fishery

The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) has scheduled a series of public listening sessions throughout New England. The purpose of the sessions is to have preliminary public discussions on the possibility of developing an amendment to the Northeast Multispecies Groundfish FMP to establish a limited access program for the party and charter boat fishery. >click to read dates, time, and place< 15:55

New England Fishery Management Council explores monitoring alternatives

The New England Fishery Management Council continues to work on an amendment to improve monitoring within the groundfish fishery, with a particular emphasis on generating more options within the dockside monitoring alternatives. Meeting for three days this week in Mystic, Connecticut, the council approved several additions and modifications to the original range of groundfish monitoring alternatives, with an eye toward completing a draft environmental impact statement in time to schedule public hearings later this year. The council also requested its Groundfish Committee “expand the number of options,,, >click to read<08:26

This summer crisis could take the steam

This year federal authorities are imposing a steep reduction, and a few regions of the East Coast are restricted to fishing, months prior to the lobster season gets rolling. East Coast herring fishermen brought over 200 million pounds of these fish to docks lately as 2014, but the catch of this year will be limited to less than a fifth of that total. The cut scrambling for fresh lure sources, is leaving with herring for generations in Maine lobstermen, who have baited traps and concerned about their capacity to find lobster. >click to read< 12:40

Late post! New England Fishery Management Council meeting April 16-18, 2019 in Mystic, CT

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at Hilton Hotel, Mystic, CT, Newport, RI, December 4, 2018 –, To read the final agenda, >click here< Register for webinar >click here< to listen live. Our apologies for being late, and Wednesday, April 17, 2019 Kicks Off @8:30 a.m. Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management (EBFM) Committee Report, Atlantic Herring @11:30!

Cod fishery plummets to least valuable year since 1960s

Maine’s cod fishery, once one of the most lucrative in the Northeast, has declined to the point that it had its least valuable year in more than a half-century in 2018. The state’s industry harvesting the fish-and-chips staple goes back centuries, and it once brought millions of pounds of the fish to land year after year. But data from the state Department of Marine Resources indicate the state’s cod were worth just over $200,000 at the docks last year — less than the median price of a single-family home in Maine. >click to read<09:56

Scallops: NEFMC to Hold 10 Scoping Meetings on Northern Gulf of Maine, Limited Access General Category Amendment

The New England Fishery Management Council has scheduled 10 scoping meetings from Maine to Virginia to gather public input on the development of Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan. This amendment is being developed to address three primary issues: • Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Management Area measures; • Limited Access General Category (LAGC) individual fishing quota (IFQ) possession limits; and • The ability for Limited Access vessels with LAGC IFQ to transfer their quota to vessels that onlyhold LAGC IFQ permits.  >Click here for time schedules, locations, and other information<16:03

Our surf clam fishery is headed for disaster

When it comes to fishery management controversy never seems to be too far away. Last month you may have read about the dubious nature of a decision by the New England Fishery Management Council to close a large area of Nantucket Shoals to fishermen who harvest surf clams there, ostensibly to protect fish habitat. Questionable actions such as these undermine industry confidence in fishery regulators and serve only to alienate, and embitter, fishermen and the many others on the waterfront whose livelihoods are threatened by such draconian measures.  >click to read<20:47

Walter Kumiega reflects on eight years in the House

Deer Isle carpenter Walter Kumiega represented District 134—Deer Isle, Stonington, Isle au Haut and eight other communities—for eight years in the state legislature before becoming ineligible for re-election under state term limits for legislators.,, With commercial fishing communities “still the most important economic driver in my district,” Kumiega immediately joined the Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources, chairing it for his final three terms. Throughout his tenure, he worked to initiate changes in lobster licensing regulations and sponsored legislation creating the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, funding for which was recently renewed for a second three-year span. >click to read<15:07

LETTER: Clam fishermen put forth proposal that protects the resource

Last week, the New England Fishery Management Council voted to kick Massachusetts surf clam fishermen off of 80 percent of our historic Nantucket Shoals fishing grounds. Our fishery in these treacherous local waters grosses $10 million per year to the dozen or so boats and their crews, and multiples more to the South Coast fishing economy. Our catch is hand-shucked for a higher value. New Bedford, Fall River, Gloucester, and Bristol, R.I. families stand to lose hundreds of jobs. While the council’s decision was based on habitat considerations, it rejected an option that would have allowed us to fish on about 80 percent of the available surf clam resource while allowing access to less than 20 percent of the overall habitat zone. >click to read<19:45

NOAA’s treatment of wind industry called into question after closure of clamming areas

Offshore wind development appeared on Tuesday’s agenda at a New England Fishery Management Council meeting, however, it wasn’t expected to pop up during discussion on closures affecting the clamming industry. Peter Hughes, a liaison for the Atlantic Council, couldn’t digest the fact that an offshore wind leasing area identified in a similar region extends upwards of 1,400 square miles, while the clamming industry, which sought less than 300 square miles off of Nantucket Shoals, couldn’t receive approval. >click to read<09:34

NEFMC votes against limiting access to whiting fishery

New England Fishery Management Council members have shown little collective enthusiasm for limiting access to the Northeast small-mesh whiting fishery and the great majority followed through on that sentiment Tuesday. Convening in Newport, Rhode Island, in the first of its three days of meetings, the council took final action on the measure known as Amendment 22 by voting 13-1 with one abstention to sustain the small-mesh fishery’s status quo as an open fishery. The vote defeated a proposal to establish requirements for limiting the access to the small-mesh multispecies fishery that has grown in popularity among local groundfishermen as other stocks have become less abundant or been subject to stricter management policies. >click to read<16:10

New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Newport, RI., December 4 thru 6 2018

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at Hotel Viking, Newport, RI, December 4, 2018 –
December 6, 2018. To read the final agenda, >click here< Register for webinar >click here< to listen live. 08:16

Fishermen backing surf clammers in fight over harvest area

Groundfish stakeholders are supporting the surf clam industry’s efforts to retain fishing rights in pockets of the Great South Channel of the Nantucket Shoals as long as the approved management policy does not prompt “mitigations or further habitat restrictions on the groundfish fishery.”,,, On Tuesday, the New England Fishery Management Council, meeting in Newport, Rhode Island, is expected to decide whether one of the more lucrative fishing grounds for the surf clam fishery — 10 to 20 miles east and southeast of Nantucket — will remain open to surf clamming or restricted or closed as part of a protectionist effort to designate the full area as an essential fish habitat that would be off limits to surf clamming dredging gear. >click to read<06:55

Clam controversy – There is much at stake, like a lot of jobs.

In June, at the Intershell dock on Commercial Street, owners Monte and Yibing Gao Rome launched their new 55-foot surf clam boat, F/V Bing Bing, amid the hoopla and happiness associated with a new Gloucester boat going into the water. But on Tuesday,  Intershell and the other major surf clammers along the Northeast will find out if they still have a surf clam fishery to call home in the lucrative and historically rich Great South Channel of the Nantucket Shoals. The New England Fishery Management Council, in a trailing action to its Omnibus 2 Essential Fish Habitat Amendment, will decide if a large swath of the current surf clam fishery, 10 to 20 miles east and southeast of Nantucket, will remain open to surf clamming or possibly be closed as part of a protectionist move to designate the full area as an essential fish habitat. >click to read<22:45

Drastic cut to herring quota puts Maine lobstermen over the bait barrel

The New England Fishery Management Council voted last month to set the 2019 herring quota at 3.2 million pounds – about 78 million pounds less than what the East Coast herring fleet is permitted to catch this year – to help the population recover from a record-low number of juvenile herring. To put the cut in context, that is about 2,000 tractor-trailer trucks of the industry’s favorite bait that won’t be showing up in New England lobster ports next year. >click to read<06:58

US fishermen lose quota in new fishing pact with Canada

American fishermen are losing thousands of pounds of valuable fishing quota under a new catch share agreement with Canada. Fishermen from the U.S. and Canada seek haddock, cod and flounder on Georges Bank, which is a critical fishing ground east of New England, The two countries craft a catch share agreement every year. Under the latest agreement, the U.S.’s eastern Georges Bank cod quota is falling by more than 25 per cent to about 415,000 pounds and the eastern Georges Bank haddock quota is falling by about 4 per cent to about 33 million pounds. The loss in quota will present a hardship for New England fishermen, who are already coping with low cod quotas and the collapse of the cod stock, said Terry Alexander,,, >click to read<16:40

New England Fishery Management Council scale back Atlantic herring catch

The New England Fishery Management Council unanimously approved a new management approach that will dramatically cut the catch limits for herring over the next three years, but the regulatory board stopped short of temporarily shutting down the fishery, as one option on the table would have required. The new rules adopted by the council, which put in place a formula for setting annual catch limits, were applauded by some environmental advocates as recognition of the fish’s key role in the larger ocean ecosystem. But the decision was made over the objections of groups representing commercial fishing boats that catch herring and lobstermen who use the fish as bait. >click to read<08:02

Fishermen facing cuts to Georges Bank stocks, Council considering catch limits for yellowtail, cod, haddock

The New England Fishery Management Council is expected to vote this week on the 2019 total allowable catch limits for three Georges Bank groundfish stocks the United States shares with Canada, with significant reductions expected for each stock. The council, set to meet Monday through Thursday in Plymouth, will discuss total allowable catch, or TAC, recommendations by both the science-based Transboundary Resource Assessment Committee and the management-based Transboundary Management Guidance Committee. The latter, however, is expected to hold more sway in developing the 2019 limits. The U.S. and Canada already have negotiated the catch limits within the TMGC recommendations for Georges Bank yellowtail flounder, Eastern Georges Bank haddock and Eastern Georges Bank cod. >click to read<21:42

New England Fishery Management Council meeting September 24-27, 2018 in Plymouth, MA.

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at Hotel 1620, 180 Water Street, Plymouth Harbor, MA. September 24, 2018 – September 27, 2018. To read the final agenda, >click here< Register for webinar >click here< to listen live. 19:42