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Roccus7

GOM Cod MORATORIUM!!!!

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I've now heard this from multiple sources...


This week NMFS will announce a COMPLETE CLOSURE on Gulf of Maine cod in an emergency measure.  The committee will vote later on in the week on Amendment 53 which will close down cod for 2015, a moratorium that will likely persist for multiple years.


This is a COMPLETE shutdown, both commercial and recreational.  They will also keep non-selective fisheries like draggers and gill netters from fishing on prime cod grounds by closing these areas during high cod activity to reduce cod bycatch.  On the Recreational side, they will lower haddock retention to 2 or 3 fish per day to limit cod bycatch figuring boats will quit fishing once they're gotten their haddock limit.  The haddock are NOT in trouble, this is just a way to reduce cod bycatch.  AAMOF the new haddock numbers are showing a robust haddock population.


The other groundfish like pollock, cusk and hake are in good shape and have no new restrictions, but the fisheries managers are trying to limit/prevent boats avoid fishing in areas where cod are most likely to be.


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If you want to hear the bad news in real time, here you go...


NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator, John Bullard, will be hosting a Telephone Town Hall and webinar on Monday at 2:30 pm to announce new management measures for Gulf of Maine Cod. 

The call-in and webinar information are provided below:

Dial-in: 888-324-8125 passcode: Cod

Webinar info:

Event number: 664 112 750

Event password: Meeting123

Event address for attendees: https://noaaevents.webex.com/noaaeve...=664112750&t=a


 


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Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the bulletin it looks like they raised the haddock take for 2014 not cut it as a previous post suggests.


Plus, the rolling areas leave quite a bit of water open to fishing.  And charter and party boats can get a letter to allow them to fish some of the closed waters, so it's not a complete disaster.


However, the changes I note are only good through May, maybe the complete closure kicks in then.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumichog View Post

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the bulletin it looks like they raised the haddock take for 2014 not cut it as a previous post suggests.


Plus, the rolling areas leave quite a bit of water open to fishing.  And charter and party boats can get a letter to allow them to fish some of the closed waters, so it's not a complete disaster.


However, the changes I note are only good through May, maybe the complete closure kicks in then.





Yeah, this is complicated.  Bottom line is that they want to minimize cod retention to by catch levels and not put coms totally out of business.  Towards that end in the GOM EEZ...


1. They have shut down ALL recreational cod retention effective Nov 14 until new regs kick in on.  No biggie since it's already in the Sept 1 - April 6 seasonal shutdown.  Expect the total ban to continue year long for a few years.


2. They want to reduce incidental fishing pressure, both commercial and recreational on cod.  "No fishing" zones where using any gear capable of cod have been established so no dragging, no gill nets, no rod and reel.  These are some of the best cod grounds and the bans are calendar month related.  Most "open" areas are huge tracks of unproductive bottom.  


3. To throw the coms a bone, they've increased the commercial haddock catch so they can keep system.  No reduction yet in rec haddock, but I hear it's still in the works, look for it next year,  the logic being that if a recreational limits out quickly on haddock, he'll stop fishing and not be catching and tossing back cod while trying to fill a haddock bag.


4. They've hammered coms by limiting them to 200 lb per trip on cod, which is effectively a COMMERCIAL COD FISHING BAN in the GOM, but with the recognition that they will be some by catch even if the coms stay away from the cod grounds.  The ban exclamationpoint is that in FY 2015 they're reducing the Total Allowable Catch from 1500 metric tons in 2014 to between 200-386 metric tons in 2015. The 200 lb per trip limit is significant because up to now sector boats had NO LIMIT on how much cod they could keep per trip.  This action could be the beginning of the end for sectors, thank goodness.


5. Big question is whether or not charter and party boats can survive without being able to keep cod.  People don't mind pollock, cusk and hake as "bonuses" to their cod haul, but these are rarely considered the "Marquee" fish that attract fares.


Nobody is a winner in this scenario.  Hopefully the pain will bring some results.


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Maine is discovering a Sea Bass influx and the lobsterman are catching them in their traps and using them for bait. How can you manage or establish a fishery with this type of ignorance. Every species is being wiped out for a buck. The recreationals get screwed after everyone else has made their money.IMHO

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They may have thrown a bone by raising haddock limits, but since most of them would probably be taken in what are now closed areas for all groundfish, it's kind of a moot point.

 

-bd

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Originally Posted by bdowning View Post

They may have thrown a bone by raising haddock limits, but since most of them would probably be taken in what are now closed areas for all groundfish, it's kind of a moot point.

-bd


True 'dat, but they can point to that and say "We did something!"  A classic example of fisheries management and politics merging.


Draggers & Gill Netters now screaming about cod bycatch in lobster traps: http://www.pressherald.com/2014/11/13/fishermen-new-restrictions-unfairly-overlook-cod-caught-in-lobster-traps/  The lobstermen DO NOT toss cod back in, nor any other fish that is edible or good bait.  They'll either bring 'em home for dinner or cut 'em up for bait.  Lobstermen have given me the low down on some of my best inshore cod spots.


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True 'dat, but they can point to that and say "We did something!"  A classic example of fisheries management and politics merging.

 

 

 

For sure !

 

-bd

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Be ready to tell your grandchildren about fishing for cod...


Recreational Cod in the Gulf of Maine will be a distant memory for us, the recreational cod bit in Framework 53 approved yesterday states: 

Include zero possession of cod from GOM by recreational fishery while the GOM SSB is below 50% of BMSY.


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True 'dat, but they can point to that and say "We did something!"  A classic example of fisheries management and politics merging.

 

Draggers & Gill Netters now screaming about cod bycatch in lobster traps: http://www.pressherald.com/2014/11/13/fishermen-new-restrictions-unfairly-overlook-cod-caught-in-lobster-traps/  The lobstermen DO NOT toss cod back in, nor any other fish that is edible or good bait.  They'll either bring 'em home for dinner or cut 'em up for bait.  Lobstermen have given me the low down on some of my best inshore cod spots.

I assume that's not legal is it? Tough thing to regulate I'm sure, but I didn't know that they caught that many as a by catch in the traps, very interesting

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Quote:

Originally Posted by stripedbassking View Post

I assume that's not legal is it? Tough thing to regulate I'm sure, but I didn't know that they caught that many as a by catch in the traps, very interesting



Up until the recent emergency order it was legal, and it's still legal now, at least for lobstermen fishing in Maine territorial water.  Lobsterman catch all sorts of "finned treats" in their nets, flounder, cusk, cunners, etc. and although they can't sell them, they can eat or use them for bait.  And trust me, they don't catch that many fish.  When the locals unload, they may have one or two finfish in a tote for dinner.  Just sour grapes from the draggers and gill netters.

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