February 22, 2017 — The following was released by the New England Fishery Management Council:
The New England Fishery Management Council is hosting two workshops to bring together active fishermen who use bottom-tending mobile and fixed gear to discuss issues related to its Deep-Sea Coral Amendment. Advance registration is strongly encouraged. Here are the details.
PURPOSE: The Council is seeking guidance primarily from active fishermen who use trawls, traps or pots, gillnets, longlines, and/or dredges offshore in the Gulf of Maine and in the slope/canyon region south of Georges Bank. The Coral Amendment contains several alternatives that are under development. The Council is looking for: (1) industry feedback on fishing activity within proposed coral protection zones; and (2) help in refining management area boundaries to limit impacts to fishing operations while still providing protection for corals.
WORKSHOP #1, NEW BEDFORD, MA: Two days, beginning Monday, March 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and continuing into Tuesday, March 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, 185 MacArthur Drive, New Bedford, MA 02740.
AGENDA #1: The New Bedford workshop will focus on fishing activity in and around the amendment’s draft deep-sea canyon coral zones and shelf/slope broad coral zones south of Georges Bank. Generally speaking, these zones are deeper than 150 fathoms. NOTE — large pelagic fishermen who work in the canyon/slope region are not proposed to be impacted by the Coral Amendment.
MAP #1: A map of the area being addressed in Workshop #1 is available at zones south of Georges Bank.
REGISTRATION #1: New Bedford Registration Form.
WORKSHOP #2, PORTSMOUTH, NH: Single day, Wednesday, March 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Harborside, 250 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801.
AGENDA #2: The Portsmouth workshop will focus on fishermen and fishing activity in Jordan Basin and the Lindenkohl Knoll area of Georges Basin. NOTE — proposals for the inshore areas around Outer Schoodic Ridge and Mount Desert Rock are not the intended focus of this Portsmouth gathering.
MAP #2: A map of the area being addressed in Workshop #2 is available at Jordan and Georges Basins.
REGISTRATION #2: Portsmouth Registration Form.
GENERAL INFORMATION: Pre-registration is highly encouraged, even among stakeholders who have voiced an interest in attending but have yet to fill out a registration form. Both venues have limits on room capacity, and workshop organizers plan to distribute background materials and related information to registrants in advance of each event. Accurate head counts are important for planning purposes. Visit the Council’s Coral Workshops webpage for full details.
QUESTIONS: Contact Michelle Bachman, the New England Council’s habitat fishery analyst, at (978) 465-0492, ext. 120, email firstname.lastname@example.org.