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Page 12. MAINE COASTAL NEWS June 2013


The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries

Commission’s Atlantic Herring Section members from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts set a ‘days out’ effort control measure to allow seven (7) landing days a week for Trimester 2 of the Atlantic herring 2013 fi shing season for Area 1A. Trimester

2 spans from June 1 through September 30, 2013 and has a total allowable catch (TAC) of 20,378 metric tons. This amount is 72.8% of the 31,200 mt annual catch limit sub-component for Area 1A approved by both the Commission and New England Fishery Management Council after account- ing for the 1,425 mt overage in 2011, 295 mt set-aside for fi xed gear, and 5% bycatch allowance. With seven landings days, or zero (0)

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days out for Area 1A’s Trimester 2, the entire TAC is projected to be caught close to the end of the trimester. Landings will be monitored closely and the directed fi shery will be closed when the trimester’s quota has been harvested.

Fishermen are prohibited from landing more than 2,000 pounds of Atlantic herring from Area 1A until June 1, 2013. The Atlantic Herring Section members from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massa- chusetts will reconvene on Monday, July 8, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. to review the fi shing effort resulting from seven landing days per week. The meeting will take place at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Region 3 Offi ce and Marine Fisheries Division, 225 Maine Street, Durham, NH 03824.

NOAA Fisheries announces catch limits for 2013-2014 Northeast groundfi sh stocks; remains committed to mitigating effects on New England fi shermen Based largely on advice from the New England Fishery Management Council, NOAA Fisheries announced fi nal manage- ment measures for the Northeast groundfi sh fi shery, including much lower quotas for some key groundfi sh stocks, and actions that will help fi shermen better manage and adjust to these quotas. In anticipation of these cuts, the Department of Commerce pre-emptively declared a fi shery disaster in the fall of 2012 and continues to work with Congress to help mitigate impacts to the region and maintain the long-standing culture of fi shing in these communities. “We know that for some fi shing com- munities that have relied heavily on cod, haddock and fl ounder, the next several years are going to be a struggle,” said John Bullard, NOAA Fisheries northeast regional administrator. “We’ve done everything we can to include measures that may help soft- en the blow of quota cuts, but it’s going to take a collective effort to fi nd more ways to keep both the fi shery and the businesses that support it viable while these stocks recover.” Quotas will be reduced on nine stocks of cod, haddock, and fl ounder. For nearly half of these stocks however, the 2013 quo- tas are higher than what fi shermen actually caught in the last fi shing year. The majority of these management measures are in line

with recommendations from the council, a body comprising federal and state members, fi shermen and other industry representa- tives. NOAA Fisheries is also pursuing one additional measure by using its emergency authority to set a lower quota for Georges Bank yellowtail fl ounder to prevent over- fi shing on this stock for 2013. This limit is in line with the recommended catch limit provided by a joint U.S. and Canadian work- ing group. NOAA Fisheries is taking a series of steps to help fi shermen adjust to these measures, including: Implementing an in- crease in quota for healthier stocks such as redfi sh, white hake, and pollock. Knowing the challenges facing groundfi sh fi shermen, NOAA Fisheries adjusted the 2013 white hake quota upward by about 15 percent over the proposed level, because recent analysis shows the stock condition has improved. Revising the rebuilding program for southern New England/Mid-Atlantic winter fl ounder, at the request of the coun- cil. As a result, the catch limit for this stock will be increased by more than 150 percent over 2012, and generate an estimated $5.4 million in additional ex-vessel revenue for the fi shery. Allowing some uncaught quota from last year to be carried forward into this year, reducing minimum legal sizes to allow more of the fi sh that are caught to be landed, and reducing some requirements for reporting, monitoring, and on small hand- gear operations. Allowing sector vessels to submit requests to NOAA Fisheries to fi sh in portions of areas that otherwise have been closed to fi shing.

“In considering requests from fi shing vessels to access year-round groundfi sh closed areas, we also want to address public concerns,” said Bullard. “That’s why we’ve been clear that areas defi ned as essential to protect fi sh spawning, feeding and breeding will remain closed and that access to other sensitive areas such as the western Gulf of Maine closure and Cashes Ledge probably won’t be viable. If we do grant access to any portion of these closed areas, we want to do it in a way that is both responsible and sustainable, so spawning fi sh, vulnerable groundfi sh stocks, habitat, and protected species are not put at risk.”

The mitigation measures approved today build on a suite of management mea- sures NOAA previously developed in coor- dination with the council and fi shermen to help the industry adjust to lower catch limits. For instance, NOAA intends to continue to cover at-sea monitoring costs in 2013 for the groundfi sh fi shery as the budget allows. Through cooperation with the council, NOAA Fisheries also is working to increase access to spiny dogfi sh and redfi sh – both healthy stocks and another source of revenue

for the industry.

NOAA Reports Six More Stocks Rebuilt in 2012

It was another record-setting year for one of our nation’s most valuable resources, our marine fi sheries. We are reporting that six more stocks were declared rebuilt in 2012, bringing the total number of stocks rebuilt since 2000 to 32. This year’s re- built stocks include Southern Tanner crab, Acadian redfi sh, windowpane, yellowtail fl ounder, coho salmon, and pink shrimp. In addition, overfi shing is at an all-time low with 10 additional stocks removed from the overfi shing list since last year. The number of overfi shed stocks also declined in 2012 with an additional four stocks removed from that list. Overall, of the 284 stocks whose status is known, 255 - or 90% - are listed as not subject to overfi shing. The details behind these record-setting trends are included in NOAA Fisheries’ new 2012 Report on the Status of U.S. Fisheries which is available online.

This good news on the status of our fi sh- eries comes on the heels of our most recent fi sheries economics report, which confi rmed that fi sheries, including commercial and recreational saltwater fi shing and all of the associated supply chain businesses, play an enormous role in driving the U.S. economy, generating more than $199 billion in sales and supporting 1.7 million jobs in 2011. The signifi cant improvement in the status of U.S. stocks and the recent, posi- tive fi sheries economic trends are exciting because they underscore the strength of the U.S. system designed to end overfi shing, re- build our fi sheries, and ensure sustainability. They also refl ect the high level of collabora- tion among the agency, the Regional Fishery Management Councils, Congress, research- ers, fi shing communities, and countless other partners. NOAA Fisheries will conduct a con- ference call on the report for stakeholders on Tuesday, May 14, from 3:30-4:30 pm to provide an overview of fi ndings and an- swer questions. Call-in information will be widely circulated through NOAA Fisheries’ newsletters and posted online. The report and data tables are available at NOAA Fish- eries and through its Offi ce of Sustainable Fisheries.

Annual Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries The 2012 Annual Report on the Status of U.S. Fisheries highlights the progress that collectively, NOAA Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils, and our stakeholders have made to end overfi shing and rebuild stocks. The report documents additional progress towards long-term economic sustainability of our nation’s fi sheries. Recent economic data illustrates that the overall seafood industry and rec- reational fi shing continue to generate sig- nifi cant sales impacts and income impacts while also supporting jobs. About the Report

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This annual report provides a ‘snapshot’ in time of the status of U.S. fi sheries at the end of 2012.

Highlighting Continued Success In 2012, as a result of the science-based management of U.S. fi sheries, the status of our nation’s marine fi sh stocks continues to improve. In general, in 2012 we increased the overall percentage of stocks not listed on the overfi shing or overfi shed lists: Ten stocks were removed from the overfi shing list. Four stocks were removed from the overfi shed list.

In addition, six stocks were declared re- built in 2012—bringing the total number of

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