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US Postage Paid Permit, #65 Brunswick, ME 04011


Lobster boats at James H. Rich Boat Yard in West Tremont just waiting for the spring to arrive.

ASMFC Bluefish Board Approves Coastwide Sampling Program to Improve Data Used in Stock Assessments ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Commission’s Bluefish Management Board approved Ad- dendum I to Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Blue- fish. The Addendum establishes a coastwide sampling program to improve the quantity and quality of information available for use in future bluefish stock assessments. The ap- proved sampling program is in direct re- sponse to the recommendations of both the Commission’s Bluefish Technical Committee and the peer review panel from the latest bluefish benchmark assessment. The last peer-reviewed stock assess- ment, conducted in 2005, supported the find- ing that the bluefish stock was rebuilt and not experiencing overfishing. However, the peer review panel expressed concern regarding the level of uncertainty in the assessment, particularly with regards to bluefish ageing data. It noted discrepancies in ageing proto- cols (e.g. the use of scales versus otoliths), gaps in the age-length keys from a lack of samples, and samples being geographically limited to Virginia and North Carolina. Age information is an important component of stock assessments because it is the basis for determining growth rates, the lifespan of a species, and size-at-age to evaluate stock structure. The panel recommended that age- ing practices be standardized and sampling

expanded to overcome these deficiencies in the assessment.

In May 2011, the Commission’s Bluefish Technical Committee conducted a workshop to review current bluefish ageing data, estab- lish consistent ageing techniques, and ex- plore opportunities to make aging efforts more cost-effective. A primary workshop rec- ommendation was the establishment of a coastwide sampling program for bluefish. This recommendation was the basis for Ad- dendum I.

The Addendum will be available on the Commission’s website ( un- der Breaking News or by contacting the Com- mission at 703.842.0740. For more informa- tion, please contact Michael Waine, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at or 703.842.0740.

Members of Congress Seek to Preserve Historic Gulf of Maine Cod Fishery WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan, bicam- eral group of 19 New England lawmakers today wrote to Secretary of Commerce John Bryson urging his department’s help in pre- venting the collapse of the region’s historic cod fishing industry. Specifically, the mem- bers of Congress requested that the Secre- tary use his authority to set 2012 catch levels for Gulf of Maine cod at “a level that would allow the industry to survive,” should the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) request interim measures during

the Council’s meeting tomorrow in Ports- mouth, NH.

In the letter, Senators Olympia J. Snowe, John F. Kerry, Scott P. Brown, and Kelly Ayotte, as well as Representative John Tierney and others also praised the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for working in a collaborative man- ner with critical stakeholders to reach a solu- tion that both boosts New England’s fishing industry and rebuild the cod stock to sustain- able levels.

“The groundfish industry has been liv- ing within its means according to the best available science until, through no fault of its own, the best available science changed,” said Senator Snowe, Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmo- sphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard. “I urge the Commerce Department to explore all pos- sible options to find latitude within the exist- ing law, allow an extension of the rebuilding period, and to be responsive to the New England Fishery Management Council should they request an interim action tomor- row. The Magnuson-Stevens Act expressly authorizes the Secretary to set catch levels that will provide for the continued existence of our historic and diverse fleet, and I hope that there will be support from the Secretary for catch levels that can support the commer- cial as well as the recreational fleet.” “We know that you can’t plunk down a reduction in catch limits without data and

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Publisher's Note Calendar of Events

The Red Boutilier Collection

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Giffy Full on Boatbuilders, Part II 6 View from the Pilothouse

7 Waterfront News MMA News

Lobster Boat Race Preseason Tug & Barge Transites Penobscot Classic Boating Website Museum News

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Sail Maine 420 Fleet DELA News

Commercial Fishing News

Misc. Commercial Fishing News Boat Yard News Help Save KATE

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Seventies Memories - The 46 Wreck of MELISSA ANN Classified Ads

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information that people can trust and without an economic plan to make sure people aren’t getting hurt,” said Senator Kerry. “We’ve got to take steps now to ensure the health and long term stability of our fishery, and I’m gearing up to make sure that any decision goes hand in hand with economic help. We do it for farmers, you have to do the same for fishermen.”

“I hope that with clear support from Congress, the Council and NOAA will adopt a plan for Gulf of Maine cod that ensures our fishermen stay fishing,” said Senator Brown. “No one understands the condition of that stock better than the fishermen who are out there every day. When they say that they believe the NOAA cod assessment is based on flawed data, I believe NOAA ought to listen to them and make sure they get the science right. I will continue working with all stakeholders to fix the assessment process and improve accountability.”

“Restricting the Gulf of Maine cod catch limit would disproportionately impact New Hampshire’s fishermen – reducing our state’s quota by 90%,” said Senator Ayotte, a member of the Senate Commerce Commit- tee. “This would bar New Hampshire’s tradi- tionally small-boat fleet from inshore fishing, effectively forcing our fishermen out of busi- ness. New Hampshire’s fishing industry has already been hard hit by flawed catch share

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