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mitchman

Herring Hearing tonight 7pm in Fairhaven.....anyone going?

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Info below. There is another one next week in Plymouth. This is regarding the midwater herring trawlers.....

 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Seaport Inn

110 Middle Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719

7:00 – 9:00 pm

 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Holiday Inn By the Bay

88 Spring Street, Portland, ME 04101

7:00 – 9:00 pm

 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Radisson Hotel Plymouth Harbor

180 Water Street, Plymouth MA 02360

7:00 – 9:00 pm

 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hilton Garden Inn

One Thurber Street, Warwick, RI 02886

7:00 – 9:00 pm

 

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I attended the meeting last night and overall things seemed to go well. The ASFMC is proposing amendment 5 to the herring management which includes several items of note. They want to put observers on the midwater/pair trawlers and potentially keep them out of sensitive areas (such as groundfish closed areas). Several people provided comments including representatives from the MSBA, the Hook Up tackle shop, charter captains, a Nantucket town selectman, other commercial fishermen (groundfish, stripers), as well as concerned citizens. Lots of guys from the Cape and Islands showed up. The industry had 2 representatives there: one was for lobstermen in maine who are concerned their bait prices will rise and the other was from the midwater trawler fleet. To my surprise the midwater trawler rep was in favor of observer coverage, though they may just realize its inevitable (or do their talking with their wallets and special interest groups). Also, I learned that there are only about a dozen or so of these boats on the east coast, so getting 100% observer coverage isn't out of the realm of possibilities. The Plymouth meeting is next wednesday if anyone wants to go....

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It's too bad that we couldn't find one person that has fished on a MidWater that could give us a first hand account of what really happens with the catch/bycatch. This is a popular website but yet no firsthand knowledge from a friend of a friend of a friend who fishes on one.

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It's too bad that we couldn't find one person that has fished on a MidWater that could give us a first hand account of what really happens with the catch/bycatch. This is a popular website but yet no firsthand knowledge from a friend of a friend of a friend who fishes on one.

 

One thing that was pointed out (and has been documented) is that the reporting of herring and the by-catch (cod, stripers) varies a lot depending on whether there is an observer aboard. Another big issue is 'net slippage'....which is essentially the boat dumping its net without bringing the net aboard if too much bycatch starts coming in. The industry rep also tried to justify their position by saying they're feeding the poor. This was right after the lobstermen were complaining that their bait prices will increase. So we're vacuuming the ocean of everything so we can provide bait for lobster traps :dismay:

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