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New England council initiates Groundfish FW57;  selects A23 monitoring range of alternatives

PORTLAND, ME – At its Jun. 18-21 meeting, the New England Fishery Management Council refined the purpose and need statement for Amendment 23 (A23) adjustment to the groundfish monitoring program, and initiated Framework Adjustment 57 (FW57) to the Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish) Fishery Management Plan.

With one exception, the two actions complete the 2017 priorities list set by the council last year.

Last September, the New England council initiated A23 to “adjust the groundfish monitoring program to improve reliability and accountability.”

Previously, FW55 clarified the goal of the groundfish monitoring program to verify the area fished and the catch and discards by species and by gear type in the most cost effective manner practicable.

So far, the groundfish monitoring program has consisted of:

•  Northeast Fisheries Observer Program scientists using the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Method (SBRM) to monitor catch and discards at a formulated coverage rate, and

•  At-sea monitors (ASM) who observe catch and discards in addition to the NEFOP observers.

A23 may increase or eliminate …

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