January 6, 2014
The New England Fishery Management Council has accepted a report titled "Recommendations for Excessive Share Limits in the Northeast Multispecies Fishery" prepared by the economic consulting firm Compass Lexecon.
Spokesperson Rachel Feeney said the Council is working to prevent over-consolidation of the groundfish industry.
"It'll be one of several pieces of information that the Council will be using to create alternatives to seeking an excessive share limit," Feeney said.
The Council will consider the report as it looks into measures for accumulation caps and preserving fleet diversity. A formal peer review of the final report is expected to take place early this year. Officials are concerned that too few vessels may be able to control too much of the catch, which in turn could lead to price manipulation.
"The was an interest expressed in creating some sort of consolidation cap, or ownership cap of either permits, or quota or how much to be leased, that sort of thing to try and avoid overconsolidation of the fishery," said Feeney. "People don't want it to all consolidate down to just one or two boats."