The New England Fishery Management Council has set its management priorities for 2017, including potential revisions to the management of Atlantic halibut and an examination of the implications of groundfish catches in non-groundfish fisheries.

The list of priorities, which largely charts the council’s expected — perhaps more accurately, hopeful — course in the upcoming year, was approved by the full council after about three hours of discussion at its November meeting.

The prioritization of issues, according to NEFMC Executive Director Tom Nies, is a valuable tool for providing the council with the structure to address pressing issues while also retaining the flexibility to delve into other issues as they present themselves to the council.

“The process is very helpful in focusing the efforts of the council on major tasks and still give it the flexibility through the rest of the year to change course as we have to,” Nies said.


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