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Maine Coastal News FREE Fishing Stocks Rebuilding - Other Commercial Fishing News

Just launched, Julie Eaton's CAT SASS, a Crowley 28. Photo: Sam Murfi tt.

U.S. fi sheries continue to rebuild; number of overfi shed stocks remains near all-time low

Total number of rebuilt U.S. marine fi sh stocks since 2000 rises to 39

The number of domestic fi sh stocks listed as overfi shed or subject to overfi shing remain near all-time lows, according to the 2015 Status of U.S. Fisheries report to Congress. The 2015 report highlights the United

States’ continued progress towards manag- ing fi sh stocks sustainably. This is a result of the combined eff orts of NOAA Fisheries, commercial and recreational fi shermen, the regional fi shery management councils, states, and other partners. “It’s fi tting that this report aligns with

the 40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Ste- vens Act,” said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fi sheries. “Mag- nuson-Stevens provided the dynamic, science-based management process that is proving successful year after year at keep- ing U.S. fi sheries among the world’s most sustainable and resilient. This year’s report highlights the act’s continued success.” In 2015, eight stocks came off the

overfi shing list: greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico; gray triggerfi sh in the Gulf of Mexico; hogfi sh in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico; thorny skate in the Gulf of Maine; winter skate in Georges Bank/Southern New England; windowpane fl ounder in the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank; Puerto Rico scups

and porgies complex (similar species that occur in the same area); and Puerto Rico wrasses complex. In addition, two stocks are no longer

listed as overfi shed—blueline tilefi sh in the South Atlantic and canary rockfi sh along the Pacifi c Coast. A stock is on the overfi shing list when

the annual catch rate is too high. A stock is on the overfi shed list when the population size of a stock is too low, whether because of fi shing or other causes, such as environ- mental changes. The report also found that two fi sh stocks—canary rockfi sh and petrale sole, both on the Pacifi c Coast—were rebuilt to target levels in 2015. That brings the total number of rebuilt U.S. marine fi sh stocks to 39 since 2000. “This rebuilding success demonstrates

the importance of the scientifi c monitoring and responsive management approach Congress built in to the Magnuson-Stevens Act,” said Sobeck. “It also shows that man- aging fi sheries to sustainable levels in an ever-changing environment is an ongoing process of science informing management.

New sustainability assessment makes

recommendations to grow northern cod stock

ST. JOHN’S, April 21, 2016 /CNW/ - An independent assessment completed by SAI Global on behalf of WWF-Canada and

the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor) confi rms that the New- foundland northern cod stock has grown signifi cantly since 2006, but cautions that numbers are far below what they were during the peak commercial success of the fi shery. In 2015, FFAW-Unifor, the Seafood

Producers of Newfoundland and Labrador, Fogo Island Co-op and WWF-Canada agreed to work together to rebuild the fi sh- ery off Newfoundland’s northeast coast, also referred to as area 2J3KL, through a Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP). The multi-year collaborative project is designed to improve the fi shery so that it may one day reach the sustainability benchmark set by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The project has the support of the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture as well as Oceans and Fisheries Canada.

Comparing the fi shery’s performance

against 28 indicators of the MSC Fisheries Standard, the assessment identifi ed several issues. A FIP Action Plan will be developed to address the following: The rebuilding timeframe for the stock must be established; Target reference points must be determined; Explicit harvest control rules must be estab- lished; and Estimates will be required for the recreational cod catch. David Miller, president and CEO of WWF-Canada, said: “WWF-Canada is

C o n t e n t s

Publisher's Note Calendar of Events

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Waterfront News

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Commercial Fishing News DELA Director's Report 11 9

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pleased to see that northern cod is showing quite spectacular signs of recovery. There is a lot of work that needs to be done, but with the stock health improvements we’ve seen so far, we are confi dent that the com- prehensive Fisheries Improvement Project we’re undertaking along with FFAW-Unifor and other partners will help build on these positive trends.” Keith Sullivan, president of the Fish,

Food and Allied Workers Union of New- foundland and Labrador, said: “The increase in productivity of this stock in recent years suggests that it’s not too early to start thinking about how a future fi shery should be pursued. A viable, sustainable fi shery contributes to vibrant rural communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. We need to put measures in place now to enable the stock to further grow and plan for the future of the fi shery. In partnership with WWF-Canada, this Fisheries Improvement Project can help us achieve these goals.” Northern (2J3KL) cod The northern (2J3KL) cod fi shery has

been under a moratorium on commercial fi shing since 1992. An inshore stewardship fi shery for cod

continues to gather fi shery-dependent data for science assessments for Oceans and Fisheries Canada. Reported landings in the 2015 stewardship fi shery were 3,016 tonnes.

Continued on Page 12.

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