National Fisherman

The 2014 commercial herring fishing season hasn’t hit the halfway point, yet bad news has already come calling for the Atlantic herring fishery in the offshore waters of the Gulf of Maine.
The National Marine Fisheries Service has imposed severe restrictions for the remainder of the Atlantic herring season in the federally managed offshore waters of the Gulf of Maine, saying 92 percent of the total allowable catch for this area already has been caught.
Until Dec. 31, vessels holding federal permits for Atlantic herring may retain no more than 2,000 pounds of the fish caught per trip or per day in this section of the Gulf of Maine.
More significantly, vessels holding federal permits will be restricted from any fishing for herring in what NOAA refers to as Area 1B from Jan. 1, 2015, until April 30, 2015.
According to NOAA spokesperson Marjorie Mooney-Seus, herring fishermen still will be allowed to fish in areas south and east of the affected management area, as well as in three other open areas.
The new regulations also restrict dealers from accepting from any vessel more than 2,000 pounds of herring harvested in one day or one trip from the affected management area in the Gulf of Maine.
As of Jan. 1, 2015, those dealers will be precluded from receiving any herring harvested from Area 1B of the Gulf of Maine. That will remain in force until April 30, 2015.
Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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