DANVERS, MA – There’s a lot of money at stake on Georges Bank, so scallopers, surf clammers, offshore groundfish fishermen, and lobstermen are starting to pay especially close attention to the eight vastly different habitat management alternatives being proposed by the New England Fishery Management Council for this critically important subregion.
Two of the alternatives are receiving relatively little attention. Alternative 1 is “no action,” meaning it would maintain status quo for Closed Area I and Closed Area II, which few people seem to want (see chart below right).
And Alternative 2 calls for “no habitat management areas” at all, which, for the most part, isn’t being viewed as realistic given the 10 years of work that went into developing “better” habitat closures for the council’s massive Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Amendment 2. Rather, this alternative is proving to be most beneficial to the Habitat Plan Development Team (PDT), which is using it for analytical purposes to gauge the biological and economic impacts of no closures vs. other alternatives…
Read the rest and much, much more in the May issue of Commercial Fisheries News.
Read online immediately and download for future reference.