View Full Version : Council Considers New Rules That Could Allow Fishing in the NE Groundfish Closed Area

09-28-2012, 09:25 AM
Plymouth, MA The New England Fishery Management Council today took a step in the process to
approve measures that could allow groundfish fishermen to harvest healthy stocks of fish from areas
that have been closed to this fishery for decades.
Explicitly, the 18-member Council voted unanimously to support further analysis of a measure that
calls for groundfish sectors, a type of harvesting cooperative established in 2010, to request
exemptions from the longstanding prohibition on fishing in three year-round groundfish closed areas
on a limited basis. These restrictions provide that:
 Access will only be granted for the parts of areas that are not defined as habitat closed areas, or
that have not been identified as potential habitat management areas currently under
consideration in a habitat action that is currently in development;
 Access to Closed Area I and Closed area II (on Georges Bank) will only be granted for the
period May 1 through February 15; and
 Access to the Western Gulf of Maine Closed Area (off MA and NH) will only be granted
during periods not subject to rolling closures that are applicable to sectors and already
specified in the Groundfish Management Plan.
Despite the vote, several Council members, fishermen and some advocacy groups voiced serious
concerns about the proposal during a lengthy comment period that occurred prior to the vote. As one
Council member put it, “This is not a fix-all, but a mitigation measure intended to address the low
levels of some fish stocks that will be available to fishermen over the next few years.”
If these and other measures receive final approval at the Council’s upcoming meeting on November
13-15, 2012 in Newport, RI, the Council will submit final documents to the National Marine Fisheries
Service and the Secretary of Commerce for final approval and implementation. The plan is to have the
measures in place at the start of the new fishing year that begins on May 1.
The New England Fishery Management Council, one of eight regional organizations established by
federal legislation in 1976, is charged with conserving and managing fishery resources from
three to 200 miles off the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and

09-28-2012, 10:34 AM
This is great. Reports of an absolute collapse of cod in the Gulf of Maine that has the potential to have hit critical levels that are unrecoverable from, so let's open up the only area left of refuge.:wall:

11-14-2012, 08:27 PM
Any news from this meeting?

11-14-2012, 08:38 PM
Still waiting to hear the outcome, for this to even be considered is a disgrace.

Jane Lubchenco “Obama’s puppet” is behind all of this. She is the reason for the whole sector boat BS and collapse of the Cod fishing stocks on Stellwagen Bank due to the pounding of the bank by the sector boats. They have done some real devastation out there. Scott Brown called for Lubchenco to be fired, if only that came to light. She is a true nut job. Congratulations to 4 more years of this asinine management of this fishery.

The Charter guys are doomed if this keeps up, I feel bad for those guys.

11-21-2012, 08:24 PM
There is another meeting in Wakefield MA. on December 20, 2012 to decide on opening the Western Edge of The Gulf of Maine to The Commercial Fleet.