Hi Folks, This is important stuff if you value the striped bass, groundfish and bluefin tuna fisheries ! I have cut and pasted information taken from the CHOIR Coalition website. Further information can be had be reading what is posted upon the CHOIR site. I believe that the future of our fisheries is dependant upon what we do in the next 2 weeks. Please take the time to write your NMFS person listed below. Thanks, Bruce
From the CHOIR website:
Management Herring are managed under the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP) by the New England Fishery Management Council. The herring FMP splits herring fishing grounds into four main areas and sets “soft” quotas for each area, as well as a target yield for the entire stock.
In January of 2006, the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) voted to submit Alternative 7 to Amendment 1 of the Atlantic Herring FMP to the National Marine Fisheries Service for implementation. The vote overwhelmingly demonstrated the Council’s intent to implement an inshore buffer zone and place the midwater trawl fleet under strict, enforceable bycatch caps.
To date, the inshore buffer zone has not been implemented, and it is under review by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Bycatch caps for groundfish were addressed through a Framework to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. This management action, namely Framework 43, has been published in the Federal Register.
The New England Fishery Management Council website chronicles actions taken to manage the Atlantic Herring Fishery. Visit their site to access the Atlantic Herring FMP, public hearing documents, stock reports, and other supporting documents.
SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS TODAY
The National Marine Fisheries Service is accepting public comments in regards to the implementation of Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan.
The CHOIR Coalition needs your help in ensuring that fisheries managers listen to the public’s demand for more responsible herring management.
Written comments on the proposed rule may be sent by the following methods: Mail Patricia A. Kurkel Regional Administrator National Marine Fisheries Service Northeast Regional Office One Blackburn Drive Gloucester, MA 01930 Attention: Comments Herring Amendment 1
Fax Patricia A. Kurkel 978-281-9135
Email HerrAmend1@noaa.gov Subject: “Comments HerrPropRuleAmend1”
Below please find an Example Letter that can be submitted to NMFS.
Dear Regional Administrator Kurkel,
My name is …..........., and I am a …............ (recreational tuna fishermen, for example), from …........... . I am writing to express my strong support for the timely implementation of Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan, as published by the National Marine Fisheries Service as the Proposed Rule.
When implemented, Amendment 1, which includes the Purse Seine/Fixed Gear Only (PS/FG) Area, would make significant progress towards the sustainable management of the herring fishery. The fishing methods utilized by the midwater trawl fleet have decimated the inshore herring resource. New regulations outlined in Amendment 1 are absolutely vital if we intend to have a healthy herring resource in the future.
As a …....... fisherman, I witness the devastating effects of the midwater trawl fleet, and it is very disturbing. Herring is the backbone of our inshore ecosystem, and it shouldn?t surprise anyone that such an indiscriminate and efficient fleet of midwater trawlers has brought the entire ecosystem to its knees.
Tuna, whales and other migratory species that come to the Gulf of Maine solely to eat no longer come and stay like they once did. These animals travel thousands of miles for one thing, namely to eat. Is it any wonder then that when the food is absent, the predators change their migratory patterns? Why would valuable tuna and groundfish inhabit an area of the ocean that has no forage?
A small amount of investigation uncovers the endless number of regulations that groundfishermen are forced to comply with in order to harvest cod and haddock. It is unfair that the midwater herring fleet would not be subject to similar rules; however, that is exactly what is occurring. Without strict regulations in place, there stands to be an irreversible amount of damage done to recovering groundfish stocks. The question must be asked: how many more obstacles must groundfish businesses overcome to remain viable? There are ecological changes over which no one has control; however, the destruction done by midwater single and pair trawlers is a problem that the Council can remedy.
The truth is that if Amendment 1 is not implemented by the summer of 2007, it will likely be too late for the biological and economic health of our coastal communities. I urge you to implement Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan immediately and restore the health of our precious herring resource.
Thank you for your time,
Fishing Vessel: Homeport: