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Closure of groundfish and winter flounder south of Cape Cod

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 

50 CFR Part 648

 

[Docket No. 080521698-8699-01]

RIN 0648-AW87

 

 

Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast

Multispecies Fishery; Secretarial Interim Action

 

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and

Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

 

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comment.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes a temporary Secretarial interim action under the

Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-

Stevens Act) to implement measures intended to immediately reduce

overfishing in the Northeast (NE) multispecies fishery, while

addressing the need to help sustain fishing communities, without

compromising rebuilding objectives. Measures proposed for the

commercial fishery include the following: A differential days-at-sea

(DAS) area north of 41[deg]30' N. lat., whereby a vessel would be

charged 2 days for every day fished; a large Southern New England (SNE)

Closure Area; and modified groundfish trip limits. This action does not

change the scheduled DAS reduction in the NE Multispecies Fishery

Management Plan (FMP), which would result in an approximate 18-percent

reduction in DAS. For private recreational vessels fishing in the

Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and for federally permitted charter/party vessels, this action would extend in time a seasonal prohibition on the possession of Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod, and prohibit the possession of SNE winter flounder. For federally permitted charter/party vessels, this action would implement a trip limit for Georges Bank (GB) cod.

In addition, this action proposes to mitigate some of the negative short-

term economic impacts of the FMP by making modifications to the DAS

Leasing Program, the Regular B DAS Program, and the DAS Transfer

Program; continuing the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock Special Access

Program (SAP); and implementing a reduction in the haddock minimum size

to 18 inches (45 cm). Finally, this action would specify management

measures for the U.S./Canada Management Area for fishing year (FY)

2009.

 

So no possession of winter flounder south of Cape Cod. And an extension of the Gulf of Maine Cod closure for two additional weeks (Nov-April 15th)

 

ouch...... eek.gif

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I think its less to do with quota than seeing the Biomass at expected recovery rates. Although the cod and flounder are returning they are not doing so fast enough to meet the quotas established by the act. Further restriction are intended to increase the successful breeding.

 

What seems to be forgotten is that the huge masses of dogfish(also protected) in the bay that are eating everything in sight including all the

small Cod and flounder.

 

Were protecting the breeding stock, but predation and loss of habitat are hurting the recovery.

 

My $0.02

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I know you can't judge what's going on in the ocean from your own personal experiences and those of your friends/associates, as you see only a small fraction of what's out there.

 

But in my opinion, there must be 100 dogfish for every codfish in the Gulf of Maine. Half the time we go out fishing for cod we just give up because the dogfish are so thick.

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View PostSo no possession of winter flounder OUTSIDE THE THREE MILE LIMIT south of Cape Cod. And an extension of the Gulf of Maine Cod closure for two additional weeks (Nov-April 15th)

 

ouch...... eek.gif

 

 

Fixed that for you.

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So no possession of winter flounder OUTSIDE THE THREE MILE LIMIT south of Cape Cod. And an extension of the Gulf of Maine Cod closure for two additional weeks (Nov-April 15th)

 

 

Fixed that for you.

 

Squidlips - you were both right HappyWave.gif

 

 

"Outside the three mile limit" is equal to "in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)"

 

 

It's the same place smile.gif The EEZ is the area that starts from 3 miles off shore and extends out another 197 miles to the beginning of international waters 200 miles offshore.

 

 

TimS

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View PostSquidlips - you were both right HappyWave.gif

 

"Outside the three mile limit" is equal to "in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)"

 

It's the same place smile.gif The EEZ is the area that starts from 3 miles off shore and extends out another 197 miles to the beginning of international waters 200 miles offshore.

 

TimS

 

from http://www.nero.noaa.gov/nero/regs/f.../09mulpria.pdf

 

9. Elimination of the State Waters

Winter Flounder Exemption

The State Waters Winter Flounder

Exemption currently allows vessels

issued a NE multispecies permit to fish

in state waters for winter flounder using

gear with mesh smaller than required

for other vessels in the fishery (provided

various requirements and criteria are

met). Due to the severely depleted status

of the SNE/MA winter flounder stock,

and the goal of reducing fishing

mortality to as close to zero as

practicable, this SAP would be

eliminated. Because the SAP could

enable limited targeting of winter

flounder, elimination of the SAP may

prevent some catch of winter flounder

from occurring.

ASMFC is meeting in DC in a couple of weeks to discuss the issue and are expected to follow the feds and eliminate all fish for winter flounder, rec or com. Looks like it will be inside the three mile limit at well.

 

So not only will you guys not be able to fish for them. No one else will either. Ground fishermen have a certain number of days they can fish each year None of them can be used South of Cape Cod. And North of Cape Cod they are counted 2 for 1; and they have an 18% reduction on top of that.

 

The stock is doing very poorly. It's less the 10% of the level it's supposed to be.

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View Post And North of Cape Cod they are counted 2 for 1; and they have an 18% reduction on top of that.

 

 

2 for 1 on DAS is a 50% reduction in effort -- is 18% a proposed reduction in harvest? How does a 50% reduction in effort compare to an 18% reduction in harvest? I'm confused redface.gif

 

 

TimS

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View Post2 for 1 on DAS is a 50% reduction in effort -- is 18% a proposed reduction in harvest? How does a 50% reduction in effort compare to an 18% reduction in harvest? I'm confused redface.gif

 

 

TimS

 

Me too freak.gif Here is how it works. Say you have 40 days to fish by the federal government. You 1st get a reduction in the number of days (in this case 40-8=32).... then the days count for 2 for 1 so you now have only 16 days to fish, a 60% reduction total.

 

Why they just didn't cut everyone by 60%....I'll never know redface.gif

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Do they have trip limits? Maybe the two for one will allow the limit of a 2 day trip? Maybe they can come in quick, offload and then go back out for another limit?

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View PostWhy they just didn't cut everyone by 60%....I'll never know redface.gif

 

Is that the same 18% that the Northeast Seafood Coalition promoted back in October? I recall the Ocean Conservancy saying the 18% was not enough and that they would not support it when the GARM was calling for 40-70%. From Kurkul's statememts last year it seemed they had to move very quickly so I'd guess it was easier to add new more restrictive rulings then ammend existing?

 

[edit1: I just read it closer, I think I see what happended. They got less DAS, but also a lower size limit on haddock with this rule. Probably not something NMFS wanted added to the original FMP.]

 

[edit2: Yeah, in another article it looks like DAS leasing rules (which I don't fully know) may have played the largest part;

 

"Maggie Raymond of Associated Fisheries of Maine in South Berwick said her organization supported the proposal. But she added that, if NMFS ends up contemplating a DAS cut greater than 18 percent, it should not be a cut per se of Category A days, but rather a method of differential counting or allowing only a percentage of the Category A days to be used. The reason, she said, is that fishermen can't afford to have anymore of their Category A days lapse to Category B, which would render them useless for leasing.

 

John Williamson of the Ocean Conservancy said the proposal has major flaws. An 18 percent DAS cut, he said, falls far short of the PDT's recommendation of a 40-50 percent cut in effort overall for 2009 and, in SNE/MA a 70-80 percent cut. With only an 18 percent cut, there will automatically be huge overages throughout the region, he said. And that will result in the need to address effort reduction on an ever-larger scale in 2010 due to 2009 overfishing. This would essentially shut down SNE and, overall, put the industry in a much worse position for 2010, he said."]

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View PostSquidlips - you were both right HappyWave.gif

 

"Outside the three mile limit" is equal to "in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)"

 

It's the same place smile.gif The EEZ is the area that starts from 3 miles off shore and extends out another 197 miles to the beginning of international waters 200 miles offshore.

 

TimS

 

 

But of course we get the alarmist sensationalistic "stampeed the masses" headline first, as usual. I was just pointing out that the original post contained the above information, You know, for those that sometimes need crayons.

 

As far a a complete moritorium on winter flounder both inshore and offshore,

I'm all for it.

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John Williamson of the Ocean Conservancy said the proposal has major flaws. An 18 percent DAS cut, he said, falls far short of the PDT's recommendation of a 40-50 percent cut in effort overall for 2009 and, in SNE/MA a 70-80 percent cut. With only an 18 percent cut, there will automatically be huge overages throughout the region, he said. And that will result in the need to address effort reduction on an ever-larger scale in 2010 due to 2009 overfishing. This would essentially shut down SNE and, overall, put the industry in a much worse position for 2010, he said."]

 

It's basically a shut down in SNE and a 60% reduction in GOM. it's it's way over what the PDT suggested

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I remember as a kid fishing for winter flounder the first and second weeks of April off Bass river ,High Banks and Swan River bridges back in the 1970s- early 1980s.  We used to catch 10 -20 fish per day and had a blast. Then the commercial fisherman decimated the stock around 1982. It was so bad that you had a hard time catching 1 fish and it might be 8 inches [ lone survivor of the nets]. Gone are those great years we spent as kids fishing off those bridges and having the times of our lives. The season for winter flounder will have a hard time recovering if it does at all.


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