National Fisherman

BOSTON — Federal fisheries managers have officially announced proposed cuts in catch limits that they acknowledge will devastate the New England fleet.

The cuts include a 77 percent year-to-year reduction in the allowed catch of cod in the Gulf of Maine and a 61 percent cut on Georges Bank cod.

Tom Dempsey, a member of the New England Fishery Management Council, said the decision to approve the cuts was painful but necessary, but he also said that the cuts may not do enough to save the current fish stock.

"It doesn't guarantee that codfish are going come back. Both the Gulf of Main codfish stock and Georges Bank codfish stock are in bad shape," Dempsey explained. He cited that Georges Bank only has seven percent of a healthy codfish stock.

The size of the proposed cuts have been known for weeks, but are now open for public comment until April 15. The 2013 fishing season starts May 1.

The cuts come after poor assessments of the health of cod and other key species. Fishermen say the reductions will force most of the fleet out of business.

Read the full story at WBUR>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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