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

Editorial: Cost of at-sea monitors is unfair, cost prohibitive.

Imagine trying to run a Main Street business, a restaurant or gift shop, maybe during the pandemic. A cratered economy and the threat of disease make each day a challenge and the future uncertain. Now imagine the government dropping another $700 in fees on you every time you open your doors. There’s no way your mom-and-pop operation could survive. The New England Fishery Management Council, which essentially sets the rules for commercial fishing in the region, will meet next week to decide how often monitors will be required on fishing vessels. Early indications are that councilors will require a monitor on every trip, with the average cost of $700 to be borne by fishermen. >click to read< 08:42

New England Fishery Management Council chooses 100% monitoring option on all groundfish trips

The council, which expects to take final action on the amendment at its meeting in late September and early October, has selected putting monitors on 100% of all groundfish trips as its preferred alternative for accomplishing the goal of the amendment — improving catch accountability, maximizing the value of collected data and minimizing costs. 0% monitoring levels and flatly proclaiming that forcing the industry to pay for 100% monitoring would bring an end to the historic commercial fishery. “The numbers you have up there make no sense to me,” said David Leveille,,  “This will accelerate the expiration date of the fishery,” said Al Cottone, longtime Gloucester fisherman and the city’s fisheries director. “Once the federal money (which currently pays for at-sea monitoring) runs out, it’s over.” >click to read< 09:59

Fishing industry leaders voice offshore wind farm concerns to Trump interior secretary

Industry representatives voiced a raft of concerns with offshore wind, including the safety of commercial and recreational boaters navigating the waters, issues towing fishing nets through the farms and the potential for disrupting marine life.,, “In the West, we do wind. You know where we don’t put a windmill? In the middle of a highway,” Bernhardt said. “I need a development program that is done in a way that is sustainable for everybody.”    Members of New England’s commercial fishing industry who feel they’ve been cast aside in the rush toward offshore wind took their concerns straight to the top of the Trump administration Tuesday in a Seaport sit-down with Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. >click to read< 12:57

Family Fishermen Move to Block Industry-Killing At-Sea Monitoring Rule

Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute) today filed a motion for summary judgement on behalf of a group of New Jersey fishermen, asking a D.C. Federal Court to vacate job-killing fisheries regulations called the “Omnibus Amendment.” CoA Institute filed suit in February to challenge the industry-killing rule, which requires certain boats in the Atlantic herring fishery to carry “at-sea monitors” at their own cost. The Omnibus Amendment—designed by the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) and finalized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Commerce—is expected to cost fishermen upwards of $700 a day, leading to a projected 20% drop in returns-to-owner (profit). Not only is this industry already overregulated, but the agencies are forcing this unlawful rule upon fisherman without any statutory authority to do so. >click to read< 15:25

Scallops: NEFMC Approves Amendment 21 Range of Alternatives; Requests Emergency Action on Coronavirus

The New England Fishery Management Council covered several important scallop-related issues during its April 14-15, 2020 meeting, which was held by webinar. Current COVID-19 restrictions on travel and public gatherings prevented the Council from meeting in person. Here’s a recap of the scallop highlights. The Council agreed that the COVID-19 situation qualified as “unforeseen.” Over the course of its discussion, the Council did weigh the possibility of immediately initiating a framework adjustment to address the pandemic’s impacts on the scallop fishery, but the move did not garner enough support. >click to read< 14:18

Council delays vote on at-sea monitoring

Meeting solely via webinar, council members voted 12-5 to postpone final action on Amendment 23 beyond its June meeting, when it expected initially to vote. The amendment will set at-sea monitoring levels in the Northeast Multispecies groundfish fishery. Many of those voting for the postponement expressed concern that fishermen have enough on their plate managing the economic and social impacts of the pandemic without having to deal with the complexities of the amendment and the need to develop public comment. “My day job is working with commercial groundfishermen and I can assure all of you, when I’m on the phone with them, it’s COVID-19 related, not Amendment 23-related,” said council member Libby Etrie. >click to read< 16:10

New England Fishery Management Council Webinar Meeting, April 14th-15th, 2020

Due to federal and state travel restrictions and updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the new coronavirus, COVID-19, the April Council meeting will be conducted by webinar. Please continue to monitor this webpage for additional information. >click here< The New England Fishery Management Council will hold a two-day meeting by webinar on Tuesday, April 14 and Wednesday, April 15, 2020. The public is invited to listen live and provide input during designated opportunities for public comment. IMPORTANT: This notice contains more information than usual. Please read carefully and especially take note for details, >click to read< 13:11

NCLA Sues Commerce, NOAA, NMFS over Its Unlawful New at-Sea Monitor Mandate

The New Civil Liberties Alliance today filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Rhode Island,,, The suit challenges the agencies’ unconstitutional and statutorily unauthorized effort to force fishing companies to pay for a new agency enforcement program. NCLA represents Relentless Inc., Huntress Inc., and their related company, Seafreeze Fleet LLC,,,  The at-sea monitor mandate for the nation’s Atlantic herring fleet violates the U.S. Constitution’s Article I, and the agencies have exceeded the bounds of their statutory authority because Congress never allowed these agencies to create or to require the industry to finance at-sea monitors or an at-sea monitoring program in the Atlantic herring fishery. more >click to read< 15:07

NOAA calls for monitors on all groundfish trips, calls for Public Comments on proposal

The draft amendment to set at-sea monitoring coverages aboard all Northeast groundfish vessels has led an adventurous existence in the three years the New England Fishery Management Council has dedicated to developing the contentious measure. There was last year’s partial shutdown of the federal government that delayed the rule-setting process. The council, in March 2018, also chose to tap the brakes on the development of the measure known as Amendment 23, >click to read< 20:28

NOAA Announces 2020 At-Sea Monitoring Coverage Levels for Groundfish Sector Fishery

NOAA announces that for fishing year 2020, the total target at-sea monitoring coverage level is 40 percent of all groundfish sector trips subject to the at-sea monitoring program. For more information, please read our letter to the New England Fishery Management Council and the Summary of Analysis Conducted to Determine At-Sea Monitoring Requirements for Multispecies Sectors FY 2020. >click to read< 15:27

New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Portsmouth, N.H. January 28-30. 2020

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at the Portsmouth Event Center, 100 Deer Street at 22 Portwalk Place, Portsmouth, N.H.  To read the final agenda, >click here< Register for webinar >click here< to listen live. 12:48

Cod could choke catch of other fish

The New England Fishery Management Council approved the management framework that sets Northeast multispecies groundfish catch limits for 2020-2022 earlier this month. And local groundfishermen are looking at significant increases in several flounder stocks, American plaice and haddock. But the state of the cod fishery in the Gulf of Maine and on Georges Bank remains a point of contention. >click to read< 09:06

Scallops: NEFMC Approves Framework 32 for 2020 Fishing Year

On December 5 during its meeting in Newport, RI, the New England Fishery Management Council approved Framework Adjustment 32 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan. The framework includes specifications for the 2020 fishing year, default specifications for 2021, and measures to mitigate impacts on Georges Bank yellowtail flounder and northern windowpane flounder. The new specifications are expected to result in roughly 52 million pounds of projected landings in 2020 with an estimated ex-vessel value of close to $487 million. Landings of this magnitude, while lower than the 2019 projection of roughly 62.5 million pounds, will remain well above the historical average. >click to read< 16:31

IMORTANT UPDATE: New England Fishery Management Council Meeting in Newport, RI December 3-5, 2019

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at Hotel Viking, 1 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840 . To read the final agenda, revised,  >click here< Register for webinar >click here< to listen live. 09:57 IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to the winter storm that is impacting the region, the Council will begin the meeting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 3 instead of 9 a.m. as originally scheduled in order to allow for additional travel time. 17:05

Gillnet Fishermen: Update on Closed Area 1 and Nantucket Lightship Closure Areas

On October 28, 2019, Federal District Court Judge James E. Boasberg issued an Order and Opinion on a lawsuit challenging a portion of the New England Fishery Management Council’s Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2. The Order prohibits NOAA Fisheries from allowing gillnet fishing in the former Nantucket Lightship Groundfish and Closed Area I Groundfish Closure Areas, until such time as NOAA Fisheries has fully complied with requirements of the Endangered Species Act,,, >click to read< 14:29

Final stretch for herring protections

“After 10 years of debate, the New England Fishery Management Council has finally accepted the proposals favored by Cape communities and what would keep midwater trawls off our coast year round. It will have benefits for all our commercial and recreational fisheries and the nearshore ecosystem,” said John Pappalardo, chief executive officer of the Chatham-based Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, which has worked to advance the rules. “This is it,” said Pappalardo. “We need people to speak out for herring one more time to make sure these important rules become a reality.” >click to read< 19:55

New England Fishery Management Council Meeting in Gloucester, September 23-26, 2019

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at Beauport Hotel, 55 Commercial Street, Gloucester, MA 01930. To read the final agenda, >click here< Register for the webinar >click here< to listen to the meeting, live. 18:12

Does Pew win the Forage fish war for the enviro’s? Final Opportunity to Comment on Herring Protections

“After 10 years of debate, the New England Fishery Management Council has finally accepted the proposals favored by Cape communities and what would keep midwater trawls off our coast year round. It will have benefits for all our commercial and recreational fisheries and the nearshore ecosystem,” said John Pappalardo, chief executive officer of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. The protections were vetted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and were recently published on the Federal Register for final comment. “This is it,” said Pappalardo. >click to read< 15:55

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