Longliners won’t benefit from swordfish revitalization

SAINT PETERSBURG, FL – The good news is that the swordfish are thriving. Two decades of effort by US fishermen paid off with the 2010 stock assessment finding that the North Atlantic swordfish population is completely rebuilt.

The bad news is that, despite the resurgence of the resource, there has been chronic underharvest of the US swordfish quota. Rick Pearson, fishery management specialist with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Southeast Region’s Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Division, said that only 56% of the baseline US quota was harvested in 2011.

“There is some risk that the unused quota will be reallocated to other ICCAT members,” said Pearson, referring to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.

Read the rest and much, much more in the July issue of Commercial Fisheries News.
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