HERRING PROTECTION COMMENTS NEEDED NOW !!
The comment period on the herring protections many of us have fought for the last 2 decades is ending in 5 days, on Oct. 21.
Read about the amendment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NOAA-NMFS-2019-0078-0001
This Amendment has two parts:
Implementation of a 12 mile midwater trawl buffer zone. Amendment 8 would prohibit the use of midwater trawl gear inshore of 12 nautical miles (22 km) from the U.S./Canada border to the Rhode Island/Connecticut border and inshore of 20 nautical miles (37 km) off the east coast of Cape Cod. This strengthens the existing Area 1A buffer and establishes for the first time a buffer off the back-side of the Cape and Islands
Amendment 8 would establish a long-term ABC control rule for herring.
My response to #1., I support the implementation of the 12 mile buffer. I wish it extended further off shore but 12 miles will help greatly.
My response to #2, I do not support this ABC Control rule. I think it was rushed and not enough analysis was done to determine the right controls.
The good news is the proposed rule has much of what we wanted: a 12-nautical mile buffer from the coast (Canadian border to RI/CT border) with additional 20 mile protections off the backshore of Cape Cod AND more stringent catch limits linked to the important role ocean herring play in the ecosystem. The bad news is that many of the recent comments submitted online oppose the amendment, primarily because of a new organized effort from the opposition.
We know many of you have been fighting for herring protections for the last 20 years and we are hopeful you can comment one last time to ensure the regulations you advocated for become a reality. If you have already commented, and we know a great many of you have, we appreciate your great comments and hope you can convince a friend or two to lend their voice to the effort as well.
Before Oct. 21, you can submit a short comment electronically through the federal register
Here is the link : https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/08/21/2019-18032/magnuson-stevens-fishery-conservation-and-management-act-provisions-fisheries-of-the-northeastern.
OR… via postal mail to : Michael Pentony, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930.
Mark the outside of the envelope, or the email subject line ”Comments on the Proposed Rule for Herring Amendment 8".
Comments on how these changes will positively impact your business, community and family are particularly effective.
Thank you, Bruce
ps: Please forward this email to anyone you know interested in preserving a forage base for our regional game and food fishes.