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

Despite sector shuffle, New Bedford fishermen will still be…

Whispers filled the convention room at the Hilton Wednesday as the dozens in attendance attempted to count the raised hands, which signified votes of the New England Fishery Management Council. The three attempts to accurately tally the votes only added to the drama of a discussion that involved a groundfishing ban that’s affected New Bedford since November. In the end, the vote didn’t provide a resolution for those fishermen out of work and the shoreside business affected by the ban. <click to read<18:27

New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Mystic, Ct. April 17 — 19, 2018

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting in Mystic, CT Hilton Hotel, 20 Coogan Boulevard, April 17 — 19, 2018.  To read the final agenda, >click here< Register for webinar >click here< to listen live 11:09

New England Fishery Management Council to hear Sector IX’s post-Rafael plans

The New England Fishery Management Council will be updated on the groundfish crisis involving several New Bedford-based fishing sectors when it convenes for three days of meetings next week in Mystic, Connecticut. The groundfish presentation by staff from the Gloucester-based Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office will be the centerpiece of the groundfish report on Wednesday and is designed to provide “an overview of (Northeast Fishing) Sector IX’s steps to address its shortcomings, as well as a summary of Sector IX’s operations plan,” according to the agenda for the meetings. >click to read<19:26

Fishermen hope for long-term solution to At-Sea Monitoring costs

The federal budget bill approved last month includes millions of dollars to pay for workers who are required to join fishing trips off New England’s shores. But it’s a temporary fix. And for the few groundfishermen left, the cost could be too much to take on themselves. David Goethel has been groundfishing off Hampton’s coast for 51 years and says a lot has changed. “We’ve lost in New Hampshire about 95 percent of our active fishermen in the last 17 years,”,, >click to read<11:24

WEATHER UPDATE: NEFMC Program Review, Tuesday, March 13 modifications, to accommodate remote public comments

Due to the incoming winter storm, the New England Fishery Management Council will provide an opportunity for members of the public to speak remotely via webinar during scheduled public comment periods on Tuesday, March 13 during the first day of the Council Program Review. Here’s what you need to know.,, Panel members will be arriving in advance of the storm, and the review meeting will proceed on schedule.,,, Therefore, the New England Council is expanding the webinar option to accommodate remote public comments during the storm. At present, this option will be available only on Tuesday, March 13. Register for the webinar >click to register/listen/comment<>click to read the updated info< 12:35

Hitting the Trail: NOAA’s GARFO leader looks to cultivate culture of collaboration

As debuts go, Mike Pentony’s first day on the job as the regional director for NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office was a corker. The federal government marked his ascension on Jan. 22 as only the federal government can — shutting down all but the most essential government services as a consequence of the usual congressional mumbley-peg. “My first action was to come in and proceed with the orderly shutdown of government operations,” Pentony said recently during an interview in the corner office on the uppermost floor of GARFO headquarters in Gloucester’s Blackburn Industrial Park. The respite was short-lived. The shutdown lasted a day. >click to read< 23:52

Don Cuddy – SMAST codfish counting innovation looks promising

Last December the New England Fishery Management Council voted to increase the amount of cod available to commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Maine by 39% for the 2018 fishing year. This is welcome news. New England fishermen have endured some lean years since 2013 when the cod quota was slashed by 78 percent after new data incorporated into the 2011 assessment indicated that the stock was lower than previously estimated-obviously a great deal lower. Estimating how many codfish might be out there at any given time is the greatest challenge facing fishery managers and the numbers have been subject of much controversy, with fishermen continually decrying the “best available science” as inadequate. >click to read< 19:25

Education key to electronic reporting, monitoring systems

In a perfect world, Steve Kennelly sees the New England Fishery transitioning to electronic reporting within the next year. “There’s no reason why that group can’t be formed pretty soon,” the director of IC Independent Consulting said. The next step would be implementing electronic monitoring within 3 to 4 years. “It’s silly to talk anywhere beyond five years out” because of how fast technology continues to evolve, Kennelly said. The New England Fishery Management Council, which concluded two days of meetings on Wednesday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, resides in an imperfect world, though. >click here to read< 18:34 

Feds vote to protect more corals in Atlantic Ocean

Federal fishing regulators on Tuesday approved a compromise they said would expand the amount of coral habitat preserved in the Atlantic Ocean while also protecting fishing interests. The New England Fishery Management Council voted on coral protections in an area south of Georges Bank, which is one of the most important commercial fishing areas in the Northeast. The decision came about seven months after the council approved protections in another key New England fishing area, the Gulf of Maine, in June. >click here to read< 17:50 

New England Fishery Management Council meeting January 30-31, 2018 in Portsmouth, NH

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at the Sheraton Harborside, Portsmouth, NH . To read the final agenda, click here Register for webinar click here to listen live 14:34

John Bullard: SectorIX board’s failure to act stopped its fishing

For New Englanders, Atlantic cod is not just another fish. The Sacred Cod that hangs in the Massachusetts State House is a testament to the cod’s place in our culture and history. For centuries, we fished for cod, as we watched the stock decline, we tried various ways to protect the resource this is considered as much a birthright as a commodity. In 2009, the New England Fishery Management Council under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, agreed to try a system called “catch shares” which worked well on the West Coast. click here to read the op-ed 20:52 

“Groundbreaking” Fish Protection Plan in Place

On Wednesday, January 3, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), also known as NOAA Fisheries, informed the New England Fishery Management Council that it had “approved the majority” of the Council’s Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2 (OHA2). The approved provisions include two actions that have a direct impact on Framework Adjustment 29 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, which, among other measures, contains 2018 fishing year specifications and 2019 default specifications for the scallop fishery. click here to read the press release 17:35

“Groundbreaking” Fish Protection Plan in Placeclick here to read the story

PFD’s: Fishing is a deadly business, but many fishermen won’t wear life preservers

One rogue wave or false step, an ankle caught in a line, is all it takes to cast a fisherman overboard. But those risks have never been enough to convince Rick Beal that it’s worth wearing a life preserver. Even though he has never learned how to swim. Commercial fishing ranks among the most dangerous professions, but fishermen — fiercely independent and resistant to regulations — have long shunned life preservers, often dismissing the flotation devices as inconvenient and constraining. click here to read the story 14:46 

Officials: Whales, After Deadly Year, Could Become Extinct

Officials with the federal government say it’s time to consider the possibility that endangered right whales could become extinct unless new steps are taken to protect them.,,,  The situation is so dire that American and Canadian regulators need to consider the possibility that the population won’t recover without action soon, said John Bullard, the Northeast Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries.  click here to read the story 09:39

Fisheries council boosts Gulf of Maine quotas for cod, haddock, pollock

The New England Fishery Management Council voted to increase cod and pollock quotas for 2018, a move that is expected to benefit New England’s fishing industry. The council passed a rule Thursday that sets new quotas and has a number of other groundfish adjustments. The species with substantial quota increases are Georges Bank cod, Gulf of Maine cod, Gulf of Maine haddock and pollock. The redfish quota will rise by 5 percent. click here to read the story 10:03

Big changes could be coming to East Coast herring fishery

Federal fishing regulators are considering changing the way they manage one of the largest fisheries on the East Coast to better account for its impact on the environment and other industries. The regulatory New England Fishery Management Council has released a group of alternatives for how it could change management of Atlantic herring. The small, schooling fish are harvested from Maine to Florida and are used for fish oil, food for humans and bait for fishermen and lobstermen. click here to read the story 20:22

Atlantic Herring: Council Votes to Send Draft Amendment 8 Out to Public Hearing With No Preferred Alternatives

The New England Fishery Management Council today voted to send Draft Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan out to public hearing without selecting any “preferred” alternatives. Given the wide range of opinions expressed by many stakeholders about this action, the Council is expecting a large degree of public engagement during the hearings, which will be held in early 2018. The Council will make final decisions later in the year after considering all public comments. The amendment is divided into two major components. ABC Control Rule, and Potential Localized Depletion and User Conflicts click here to read the press release 19:19

New England Fishery Management Council Meeting December 5-7, 2017 in Newport, RI

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at the Hotel Viking, 1 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840. To read the final agenda, click here Register click here to listen live 16:57

Fishermen to managers: Our voices are ignored

The New England Fishery Management Council sent its program review roadshow to Gloucester on Tuesday night to gather opinions on the council’s performance and the fishery managers were not spared the lash. The comments delivered Tuesday night at the sparsely attended meeting at the state Division of Marine Fisheries Annisquam Station facility certainly were not new, at least not to anyone who has spent any time speaking with local fishermen about life under the regulatory gaze of the council. They revolved around a strong belief among local fishermen that management decisions affecting the fishery are made well before the council convenes its public meetings and the scientific data and on-the-water-expertise of local fishermen are ignored or demeaned when it comes to forming policy. click here to read the story 21:37

NEFMC Undertakes Independent Review to Assess Past Performance and Solicit Suggestions for Improvement

The New England Fishery Management Council is undergoing an independent review to: (1) assess past performance; (2) gather feedback on strengths and weaknesses of the Council process and operations; and (3) identify potential areas for improvements. Stakeholder input is critical to this review. The Council is encouraging commercial and recreational fishermen, industry leaders, fishery managers, members of non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to participate in the effort. ONLINE SURVEY – Port meetings from Maine to New Jersey click here to read the information 21:30

Little hope in latest evaluations of codfish – NEFMC SSC Meeting, October 23-24, 2017, Live Streaming Information

The completed operational assessments to help determine 2018-2020 groundfish quotas do not appear to be any more optimistic about the state of Gulf of Maine cod than those that effectively shuttered the fishery in the fall of 2014. The New England Fishery Management Council’s science and statistical committee is set to meet Monday and Tuesday in Boston to review the assessments for 19 groundfish species and finalize its catch recommendations to the full council.   click here to read the story 07:31

NEFMC SSC Meeting, October 23-24, 2017, Live Streaming Information –  Meeting materials (click here) Online access to the meeting (click here)

NEFMC commitee votes to protect corals in Gulf of Maine

Federal regulars have decided to protect two areas in the Gulf of Maine that are home to slow-growing corals. The protected areas encompass almost 40 square miles and are called Outer Schoodic Ridge and Mt. Desert Rock. The areas would still be open to lobster fishing but not to bottom trawling. A committee of the New England Fishery Management Council voted on the protections on Thursday. click here to read the story 14:43

Many fishermen believe Stokesbury saved the scallop industry

Well, I guess that I had better start writing some of this stuff down, as it seems that my memory is getting fuzzier by the day. Not an uncommon affliction for an old fisherman, who has been put ashore, but who still has enough recall to remember some things that are just too important to allow to fade into obscurity! I had been a scalloper out of New Bedford for 32 years, both as a deckhand, and as a captain of several high-line scalloper vessels. Over all those years there were several trips that stay relatively fresh in my mind’s eye, but one of the most important and fulfilling ones actually occurred after I came ashore. By Jim Kendall click here to read the story 21:55

Gloucester Fishermen to council: Trust in data needed

One by one, the Gloucester fishermen settled in front of the microphone for those with something to say to the New England Fishery Management Council and, one by one, they delivered their thoughts. Some of the remarks, such as those from Tom Orrell of Yankee Fleet and Paul Vitale, captain of the Angela & Rose, were short and to the point. Orell wanted to know why the for-hire boats faced so many restrictions in the Gulf of Maine and Vitale simply wants more fish quota. Now. Joe Orlando of the Santo Pio talked science and cod, while longtime fishermen Al Cottone and Rick Beal (powerful comment) adopted more philosophical tones, speaking to the council on the need for a two-lane channel of trust and truth. click here to read the story 20:59

Atlantic Herring: Council Discusses Amendment 8 ABC control Rules; Passes on Picking“Preferred Alternative”

The New England Fishery Management Council yesterday discussed the list of potential acceptable biological catch (ABC) control rules outlined in Draft Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. The document contains nine new control rule alternatives plus the standard “no action.” After considerable debate and a review of the varying impacts of each option, the Council declined to pick a “preferred alternative.” Instead, the Council intends to wait to hear the full range of public comments during future public hearings before indicating any preferences. ABC control rules define how catch or fishing mortality changes with stock size. Click here to read the story 16:51

Amendment 22: Lack of action on whiting pleases most local fishermen

The New England Fishery Management Council on Tuesday didn’t appear to have much interest in limiting future access to the whiting fishery that includes Ipswich Bay. “It’s a victory of sorts,” said longtime Gloucester fisherman Al Cottone, who also is the executive director of the city’s Fisheries Commission. “It showed that the council really has no appetite for limiting access to the whiting fishery.” The proposal, developed by the council’s whiting committee during the formation of proposed Amendment 22, still will include the option of limiting access when it goes out to public comment at some point this winter.,, Cottone, along with fellow Gloucester fishermen Joe Orlando and Russell Sherman, spoke in opposition to limiting access to the fishery,, click here to read the story 09:15

New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Gloucester, Sept. 26th thru 28th

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at the Beauport Hotel in Gloucester. To read the final agenda, click here  Register click here to listen live via webinar. 17:40

Something fishy in the quotas?

The clatter reverberated in the refrigerated cold as workers offloaded fish and wheeled full bins into a storage area on Fisherman’s Wharf. The catch was sorted, weighed, labeled, and eventually loaded onto large trucks headed for New York. It was a big haul, but not a big payday for Tom Testaverde Jr., captain of the Midnight Sun. “Our season’s been good. We caught a lot of fish, but the prices have been killing us all year,” Testaverde said. He pointed to imports that drive prices down, and regulations that limit what kinds of fish he can catch. Those federal limits on some species — particularly groundfish such as cod and flounder — are at odds with what commercial fishermen say they are seeing in the ocean. click here to read the story 14:34

Conservation Law Foundation submits victim impact statement in Carlos Rafael case

Within the past 10 days, the Conservation Law Foundation sent three letters to various individuals involved — either directly or indirectly — with the Carlos Rafael case. The foundation doesn’t represent any party directly, but its goal is to “use the law, science and the market to create solutions that preserve our natural resources, build healthy communities, and sustain a vibrant economy,” according to its website. CLF sees Rafael’s guilty plea in March to illegal fishing as infringing on its principles. click here to read the story 21:18

New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Portland, Me. June 20 thru 22, 2017

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, ME., June 20, 2017 –
June 22, 2017  To read the final agenda, click here  Register click here to listen live via webinar. 16:52