Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Division of Marine Fisheries
251 Causeway Street, Suite 400
Boston, MA 02114
Fax (617) 626.1509
January 5, 2011
NOTICE OF ASMFC ATLANTIC HERRING HEARING ON THE MANAGEMENT OF SMALL MESH BOTTOM TRAWL VESSELS IN
MarineFisheries, in conjunction with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), will hold a public hearing on Thursday, January 13 on Atlantic herring management (see below for location and time). Regulations under consideration would affect small mesh bottom trawl vessels (< 6.5” square or diamond cod end mesh) holding a federal category C or D permit and fishing in Area 1A.
In November, the ASMFC initiated an addendum to the Atlantic Herring Interstate Fishery Management Plan to propose modifications allowing small mesh bottom trawl (SMBT) vessels to land herring caught in Area 1A on “days out” of the fishery. States implement “days out” of the fishery (days on which fishermen may fish and catch herring but are prohibited from landing more than the incidental catch limit) in order to control fishing effort when the total allowable catch for an area is projected to be reached early. Alternatives to the existing regulations are under consideration because “days out” restrictions in 2008 and 2009 may have disproportionably reduced landings for SMBT vessels fishing in Area 1A because these vessels have small holds and can only fish for one day per landing event while purse seine and mid-water trawl vessels with large holds and refrigeration can fish for several days prior to a landing day.
Draft Addendum IV is not yet available for public review. The ASMFC Atlantic Herring Section meets on January 7 and is expected to approve the final document for public comment. The draft addendum will be available shortly thereafter on the ASMFC website under Breaking News (http://www.asmfc.org/breakingNews.htm). Copies will also be available at the public hearing. The document will include instructions for submitting written comment. For more information on the hearing, contact MarineFisheries at 617-626-1520.
Atlantic Herring Hearing
January 13, 2011; 10:00 AM
Annisquam River Marine Fisheries Station
30 Emerson Ave, Gloucester, MA 01930