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

Fishermen in NCLA Video Explain the Need to Reel in NOAA’s at-Sea Monitor Rule

The New Civil Liberties Alliance released a video today outlining why it is unconstitutional to force Atlantic herring fishermen to fund government-mandated monitors at sea. It is “the equivalent of having a cop in your car who’s policing you while you drive, and you have to pay his salary out of your own pocket,” said Meghan Lapp, Fisheries Liaison & General Manager for Seafreeze, Ltd. about the rule being challenged in Relentless Inc., et al. v. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, et al. NCLA, a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group, represents these private fishing companies,,, The at-sea monitor  mandate, issued in 2018, is unlawfully “industry-funded.” >click to read< 08:50

I am not happy. Jackie Odell was not appointed to serve on the NEFMC.

About the Council Seat. I to am not happy, and am very disappointed that Jackie Odell was not chosen to serve on the NEFMC council. She is more than qualified for that position. She was passed over, as Governor Baker chose recreational fishing stakeholder Michael J. Pierdinock, instead. Is it possible that his campaign donations since 2016 to the Baker campaign, have finally paid off? We all know that money talks and bullshit walks. The New Bedford Mayor is also unhappy with the council pick. Is this another example of being not chosen, based on your expertise, but about political contributions? The system stinks, and need to be fixed. So, put up or Shut up. Sam Parisi, Gloucester. Mass. 14:04

New England Fishery Management Council pick disappoints Gloucester Mayor – feds pulling bait-and-switch

Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken on Tuesday said the June 28 decision to appoint recreational fishing stakeholder Michael J. Pierdinock of Plymouth instead of Northeast Seafood Coalition Executive Director Jackie Odell “was a serious oversight which has not gone unnoticed” by commercial fishing stakeholders. Romeo Theken did not directly criticize Baker for his recommendation to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who had final say on the council appointment. But New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell did.,,, >click to read< 12:19

New Bedford mayor unhappy with Baker pick for council pick

Plymouth resident Michael Pierdinock was named to a seat representing Massachusetts on the New England Fishery Management Council, a panel that sets rules for the fishing industry such as catch limits. It is one of eight such regional councils nationwide. Pierdinock will replace former state Rep. John Quinn, a Dartmouth resident and longtime member who had years of expertise regarding commercial fishing issues in Greater New Bedford. “When it comes to commercial fishing in Massachusetts, New Bedford should be top of mind, not an afterthought,” Mitchell added.  >click to read< 09:46

Governor Charlie Baker nominates locals for New England Fishery Management Council

The New England Fishery Management Council will lose four of its longest-serving members this summer because of term limits and two of the vacant seats could be filled by candidates from Cape Ann. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has nominated Jackie Odell,,, Baker listed recreational fishing stakeholder Mike Pierdinock as his preferred candidate,,, On their way out Quinn, Balzano, Terry Alexander, of Maine, and Matthew McKenzie, of Connecticut, will be leaving the council when their terms expire on Aug. 10. >click to read< 08:23

The Last of the Port Clyde Groundfishermen – Once robust, Maine’s groundfishery is on the ropes

When Randy Cushman was growing up in Port Clyde, some 300 trawlers were moored up and down Maine’s coast,,, Today, Cushman is 59 years old and might be Maine’s most knowledgeable commercial fishermen.,, But Cushman is barely scraping by. Prices for cod, flounder, and other groundfish have all but collapsed in Maine. The combination of rock-bottom prices, the need to protect the state’s fish stocks, and a dearth of fishing infrastructure make it harder than ever to be a fisherman here. Today, the robust Maine trawler fleet of Cushman’s youth has been reduced to around 30 boats. photos, >click to read< 14:21

Term limits bumping four members from NEFMC

The New England Fishery Management Council will assume a decidedly different composition later this year when four councilors with almost 40 years combined tenure exit because of term limits. On Aug. 10, the terms of Chairman John Quinn of Massachusetts, Matthew McKenzie of Connecticut, Chairman John Quinn of Massachusetts, Matthew McKenzie of Connecticut, Vincent Balzano and Terry Alexander, both of Maine, are set to expire. >click to read< 17:50

Qualified Applicants Sought for the New England Fishery Management Council

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is seeking qualified individuals for nomination to the upcoming open seat on the New England Fishery Management Council. Candidates, by reason of their occupational or other experience, scientific expertise, or training, must be knowledgeable and experienced in ways related to fishery resources of New England. Qualified female and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. Nomination application kits will be made available upon request and are due to DMF by the end of the day on Friday, February 5, 2021. >click to read< 13:19

A legal war, a Biden win: What’s next for Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Marine Monument?

Lobstering groups say they aren’t opposed to protecting the natural habitats that sustain their industry. But they question whether the 5,000-square-mile monument is consistent with the Antiquities Act’s provision that designations be limited to the “smallest area compatible” with protecting the rich supply of marine life and corals that populate the Atlantic site. They also questioned the Obama administration’s position, which Trump officials have defended in court,,, Blocking off industry’s access to thousands of square miles of the Atlantic Ocean should require a little more public input, the fishing groups argue. Trump instead chose to preserve the site, although he traveled this summer to Maine to announce that he would lift all fishing restrictions in the monument.,, And in a matter of weeks, President-elect Joe Biden, who was vice president when Obama created the Atlantic monument, will be sitting in the White House. >click to read< 08:05

NOAA Fisheries Approves Electronic Reporting Requirements for Mid-Atlantic and New England Commercial Vessels

NOAA Fisheries has approved a recommendation from the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils to require federally permitted commercial fishing vessels to submit vessel trip reports electronically as eVTRs within 48 hours of the end of a trip. This requirement will take effect November 10, 2021. This action affects all commercial vessels holding federal permits for any species managed by the Mid-Atlantic or New England Fishery Management Councils, >click to read< 14:59

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