Oceana, the ocean conservationist that labeled the Northeast multispecies groundfish fishery as one of the nation’s nine most wasteful fisheries, is pushing for reform of gillnet practices in the Northeast region.


“It is time for the region’s fishery managers to address the shortcomings of gillnet management and take action to review, revise and reform the use of gillnets for the 21st century,” Gib Brogan, Oceana’s fisheries campaign manager, wrote in a letter to the New England and Mid-Atlantic fishery management councils, as well as to NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard.


Brogan’s letter argues that sink gillnets “have been under-regulated in the Northeast region for decades,” in part because fishery managers “have assumed that sink gillnets are a lower-impact alternative” to bottom trawls.


“Gillnets have unique conservation and management issues of their own, which present serious problems for scientists and fisheries managers and must be addressed,” Brogan wrote.


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