Thursday, January 31, 2013

Devastating News For New England Fishing Communities

The news is not good at all, with huge decreases in the allowable catch on everything other than red-fish, winter flounder, pollock and halibut. To sum it up, the highly anticipated second stock assessment found the same results as the first one, confirming the dire situation of our local ground fish stocks. Because of this assessment significant cuts have been recommended which will be devastating to New England fishing communities, especially New Hampshire

Now More Than Ever We NEED TO SUPPORT the promotion of underutilized species in our local waters to help save our fishing communities. 

Please read the Following Press Release for detailed information
  New England Fishery Management Council
News Release
Newburyport, MA 1/31/2013 Contact: Patricia M. Fiorelli
For Immediate Release 978/465.0492, ext.106
Portsmouth, NH Following a review of the available scientific information, advice from
its Scientific and Statistical Committee and testimony by fishermen, the New England Fishery
Management Council approved major cuts to the region’s cod stocks yesterday. Despite that
catches of Gulf of Maine cod and Georges Bank cod are already restrictive, the Council took the
action out of concern over the poor condition of both stocks and worry that the situation could
worsen without additional protection.

The Council’s 18 voting members approved the cuts by wide margins. For fishing years
2013 through 2015, the Council agreed to decrease the overall quota for Gulf of Maine cod by
77 percent. Fishermen’s allocation will be reduced from 6,700 metric tons in 2012 to 1,550
metric tons, beginning on May 1 this year. Georges Bank cod is shared with the Canadians and
that quota is set annually under an agreement between the two countries. In 2013, the U.S.
share will be set at 2,002 metric tons, a 61 percent drop from the 2012 quota of 5,013 metric

Wednesday’s day-long deliberations were well-attended by New England fishermen who
were unequivocal about their concerns over the cuts. In turn, many Council members
expressed their awareness about the serious negative economic impacts that will undoubtedly
occur and affect the small inshore boat fleet in New England most significantly. Many
fishermen in this group have been historically dependent on cod and have already seen the
impacts of decreased catches.

The Council’s sentiments were clearly pointed out by Chairman Rip Cunningham. “The
Council was faced with very difficult decisions concerning Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank
cod. In the final analysis there were no goods choices,” he said.
The New England Council develops rules for both large and small-scale commercial and
recreational fisheries that operate between three and 200 miles off the coastlines of Maine, New
Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
# # #
New England Fishery Management Council | 50 Water Street, Mill 2 | Newburyport, MA 01950
Tel 978.465.0492 | Fax 978.465.3116 |

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