For Immediate Release - February 04, 2014

Additional Public Meeting Scheduled: Preserving and Protecting MA Groundfish Industry

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has added an additional public meeting in Chatham on February 11th (see details below) regarding a state plan to preserve and protect the MA groundfish industry as well as recent federal disaster assistance funding. DMF is developing a plan to help protect, preserve and strengthen the Commonwealth’s commercial groundfish industry during the ongoing fishery disaster caused by substantially reduced catch limits. The Division is hosting a series of public meetings to gather input on these draft strategies from fishermen as well as their insights on additional steps that might be taken to provide relief. Please join us for these important public meetings.

Problems that plague the New England groundfish fishery are so widespread and extensive that the consequential socio-economic conflicts occurring in communities that are highly dependent on this industry for employment cannot be avoided or resolved. However, strategies and solutions can be developed and implemented to help transition some aspects of the groundfish industry to remain profitable and strengthened until more favorable fishery conditions are established.

Potential strategies to assist the MA commercial groundfishing fleet through the regulatory, social and economic impacts caused by recent severe federal catch limit reductions may include:

  • Expanding the MA Commercial Groundfish Revolving Loan Fund;
  • Supplementing quota leasing;
  • Cooperative research such as an Industry-based Groundfish Survey;
  • Marketing support; and
  • Industry buyout.

Following these sessions, DMF will submit its plan to the state legislature, at its request, for discussion of funding.  We thank you in advance for your time and participation.

Public Meetings Schedule:

North Shore
Monday, January 27 2014 – 6:00 PM
MA DMF Annisquam River Station
30 Emerson Ave.
Gloucester, MA

New Bedford
Monday, February 10, 2014 – 6:00 PM
Buttonwood Community Center
1 Oneida St.
New Bedford, MA

NEW: Chatham
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 – 6:00 PM
Chatham High School Auditorium
425 Crowell Rd.
Chatham, MA

South Shore
Thursday, February 13, 2014 – 6:00 PM
Plymouth Harbor Radisson
140 Water St.
Plymouth, MA