AUDIO: Debate Breaks Out Over Closed Area Access at NEFMC’s Sept. 27 Habitat Meeting
PLYMOUTH, Mass. – September 27, 2012 – The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) met on Thursday to review recommendations from their Groundfish and Habitat Committees regarding a number of fishery related issues, including, but not limited to, closed area access. The subject of closed areas set the stage for a number of comments made by members of the Council, as well as the general public, which raised important issues related to the effectiveness of these areas and the time-sensitive nature of their reassessment.
The Council’s afternoon review of the Habitat Committee’s report dealt almost exclusively with Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) closures and aimed to draft adverse effects minimization alternatives as a part of Omnibus EFH Amendment 2. That same morning, the Groundfish Committee approached the council with recommendations that asked for an increase in access to the groundfish closed areas as a way of mitigating the low allowable biological catch (ABC) limits that are expected for fishing year 2013. Several access area-related comments made during those discussions can be found below.
Listen to Peter Shelley, of the Conservation Law Foundation, threaten legal action during his condemnation of the Council’s approach to Omnibus EFH Amendment 2 in relation to the groundfish fishery.
Listen to Peter Baker, the Northeast Fisheries Director for the PEW Environment Group, express his disapproval of the Council's sector operations plan.
May 20, 2013 -- Fishing is a profession often passed down from one generation to the next. Many lobstermen in Maine fish the same bottom their fathers and grandfathers fished, and the same holds true of fishermen father offshore as well. Yet increasingly, anecdotal evidence has suggested that the old faithful fishing spots are no longer quite so reliable.