GLOUCESTER, MA – Many of the principal people involved in the bluefin tuna and swordfish fisheries got their first detailed explanation of draft Amendment 7 to the Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan during a Sept. 4 public hearing conducted here by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
Most were dismayed, mainly by the mind-boggling complexity of NMFS’s proposed strategy for dramatically changing the way it allocates bluefin tuna among user groups and imposes a host of new restrictions on longliners.
“Everything but the kitchen sink is in here, and there’s something bad in it for everyone,” said Rich Ruais, executive director of the American Bluefin Tuna Association (ABTA). “It needs a lot of trimming.”
Terri Beideman, executive director of Blue Water Fishermen’s Association, which represents longliners, also voiced frustration with the proposal, which was outlined in a 47-page Federal Register notice published on Aug. 21 and supported by a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) numbering nearly 600 pages…
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