NOAA reports show groundfishery struggles

NEW BEDFORD — Good news for city fisheries was hard to come by in NOAA’s “stock status report” released Tuesday.
 
The report, released in tandem with an economic assessment of the fishing industry, describes the agency’s fisheries management nationwide as a success story.
 
But in New England and Massachusetts specifically, the good news is limited to the lobsters and scallops, which made up two-thirds of the region’s revenue from fisheries in 2012.
 
That year, New England landed 664 million pounds of finfish and shellfish, earning $1.2 billion in landings revenue, according to NOAA. Of that, $424 million came from lobster and $389 million came from sea scallops.
 
“The report puts every region together with the whole country and calls it a big success, but in New England the groundfishery really isn’t doing well,” said Brian Rothschild, former dean of the School of Marine Science and Technology at UMass Dartmouth. “We still have some real problems in New England straightening out our management picture.”
 
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